Spring break is no “break” from financial strain. Trying to plan a fun but affordable week away from school and work is tricky but doable. Here are some cheap spring break ideas for keeping costs down and fun up:
Recruit Friends, Road Trip
Packing 3-6 close friends in a vehicle for a spring break road-trip can be a blast. Best of all, it’s very cost effective. When fuel prices are split several ways among friends, driving several hundred miles away from home for spring break becomes no big deal. Traveling on the road also allows you to keep costs down by bringing your own supplies and even camping overnight along the way.
For more help, see our planning a road trip on a budget article.
Spring break does not always mean visiting some faraway beach. For some, the best spring break is a short drive to the nearest metropolitan area. Plan ahead to figure out what to do and see on your urban spring break trip. Just be sure to know where the cheap spots to party are before getting into town!
Go on a Volunteer Trip
Many charitable and volunteer organizations are willing to subsidize or fully cover the costs of students to go on spring break provided they agree to work for the organization by day. This is a win-win situation: not only are your spring break costs negligible, but you get to engage in a productive way towards a charitable cause. This may not be the hedonist’s approach to spring break but it’ll be substantially more fulfilling… and affordable. Moreover, you’ll come back from a volunteer spring break trip with more interesting stories than your friends who did little more than party on a beach for a week.
Remember, as more rooms and seats have been booked for spring break providers will increase their price to offset their diminishing supply. If you want to save coin on spring break, you’ve got to plan ahead. It’s never too early to begin planning for spring break. Ask your hotel or transportation provider if they will offer a lower rate since you’re planning so far ahead. Many small hotel owners will be willing to offer a discount in exchange for an early pre-booking. All you have to do is ask.
Leave the Country
It’s counter-intuitive, but leaving the country can be a great way to save money on spring break. Many budget-conscious spring breakers are drawn to Cancun for spring break due to the cheap cost of living in the Yucatan region of Mexico. Many all-inclusive resorts in this area offer not only a room but all of your meals and even alcohol for a relatively cheap nightly rate (best shared with a friend!) Best of all, these resorts are a stone’s throw away from some of the best beaches on earth and a spring break mecca.
Alright, so staying home for spring break is an instantly distasteful idea, but hear us out. By having a “staycation” for spring break, you can use it as an opportunity to get ahead on finances and catch up on some things you’ve been meaning to do around your house and community. While your friends are all setting themselves back financially and otherwise for a week of debauchery in the sun, you can use it as a chance to recharge for the weeks ahead. Save some dollars, visit that local museum you’ve driven by a million times, go through your old belongings and sort out what can be donated to charity. When you’re young, staying home for spring break might sound terrible but one day the notion of having a full week off to catch up on some things on the domestic front will sound luxurious. It’s all about perspective!