For college students, spring break is a time to relax and unwind before the demands of finals. Many students live on a budget; however, living on a budget doesn’t automatically mean you cannot enjoy a spring break adventure. There are many ways you can enjoy this time on the cheap. Below are 13 ways to have a cheap spring break:
1. Take a Bus Ride Instead of a Flight
Plane tickets are quite costly; therefore, you should take a bus to your vacation destination, if possible. The bus tickets will only cost a fraction of the cost of a plane ticket. In fact, it could cost just one-fourth of what you would pay for a plane ticket. Of course the journey will take longer; however, with what you will be able to save, it will be well worth it. If you are taking the trip with friends, you can find ways to enjoy each other’s company along the way.
2. Stay with Someone You Know
If you have relatives or close friends living in a state you’d like to spend your vacation, you should consider asking if you could spend a few days there. This could save you at least $100 that you would have had to spend on an Airbnb or hotel. Therefore, if you know a trustworthy individual who lives at your desired spring break destination, reach out to him or her and see if you can crash at their place for a few nights.
3. Find Affordable Accommodation
If staying with someone you know is not an option, ensure that you look into hostel and Airbnb options before looking at hotels. Hostels and Airbnb locations can be just as nice, although you would, most likely, be sharing space with others. If these types of accommodation are not for you, there are sites you can access to find reasonable hotel rates.
4. Make Early Hotel Bookings
If you decided that staying at a hotel is the right decision for you, make sure that you book directly with the hotel to cut out the fee that would have been charged by a travel agent. In addition, if you book early, there is a big chance that you will get an even more significant discount. The longer you wait to make your booking, the more you will pay for your hotel room.
5. Make Your Own Meals
Eating out can eat up your money real fast. Preparing your own meals can save you a lot of cash that can be used for other fun activities. When venturing out, you should consider packing snacks. If you can legally drink, you should also take along your own booze as the fancy beverages can cost a pretty penny. These can be taken with you to the beach, pool or other adventurous activities.
6. Don’t Waste Food When You Eat Out
It is definitely great to save money by preparing your own meals and taking snacks and alcohol with you. However, at some point during your vacation, there’s a big chance you will be eating out. After all, you’re on vacation and it’s ok to treat yourself. When you eat out, do not be wasteful. Get a to-go box and take your leftovers from your lunch at a restaurant and have them for dinner. Don’t allow the money spent on food to go to waste.
7. Budget Accordingly
Realistically examine your finances to determine the amount of money you can spend on your spring break. Preparing for the unexpected is important when considering your budget. Therefore, you should assume that everything will cost roughly 10 percent more than you anticipate. By doing this, you will be able to pay the bills and could even end up with a bit of extra cash.
8. Bring Only the Money You Want to Spend
Swiping a credit card makes it easy to lose track of the actual amount of money you’re spending. Bringing only the amount of money you want to spend on any given day or night will help you to stay on budget. If you’re uncomfortable carrying around cash, purchasing a prepaid debit card is always an option.
9. Use Your Phone to Stay on Track with Your Budget
If you have trouble sticking to your budget, you are not alone. Thankfully, there are free or low-cost apps like Mint and Trail Wallet that enable you to put in the amount of money you can afford to spend. After which, you will be able to track your daily expenses. You’re required to enter your overall budget and put in the amount you spend each time a purchase is made. This will help you to keep abreast of the exact amount you are spending and ensure you are staying on track.
10. Look for Free Activities You Can Enjoy at Your Spring Break Destination
Typically, there are almost always free activities to participate in virtually everywhere you go. These could come in the form of a free concert or a free festival. There are websites like Trip Advisor and Yelp that you can use to find activities. For example, you can check for the top things to do, read the reviews and see the deals to help you find free or low-cost activities.
11. Check Destination Brochures for Deals
It may seem uncool to even think about cutting coupons as a money-saving activity; however, unnecessarily paying full price is not cool either. Places like welcome centers, gas stations, grocery stores and hotel lobbies usually have stands filled with flyers and brochures for restaurants, area attractions and other activities. These publications usually feature savings like group deals and discounts. Get the ones that interest you and take advantage of any deal you think you’ll enjoy.
12. Consider Bike Rental
There are a number of big cities that allow you to rent bikes for a low cost. So rather than renting a car or paying for expensive cabs, you could rent a bike when you get to your destination and use that to get around most of the time. Websites like Spinlister can help you to locate nearby places where a bike can be rented. Better yet, you could save even more cash by just walking.
13. Make Good Use of Your Student ID
You just might be pleasantly surprised by the number of places that offer student discounts. Places that will offer student discounts range from food and clothing establishments to transportation and attraction companies. If you’re not sure if student discount is offered by a retailer, all you have to do is ask.
I hope you find this list helpful. By following these tips, you can have a cheap spring break and still have tons of fun!