By Whitney Christy
You don’t have to break the bank to have a good time this Spring Break! Here’s a guide to having a good time on a budget.
Grab a handful of friends and drive for a day or two. It’s easier than you think to find something interesting to do one or two states over. You still get to visit somewhere new and won’t be stuck on campus alone. Traveling with a group of friends allows you to divvy up the cost of hotel/gas. Sites like gasbuddy.com can give you a quote on where you can stop for gas during the trip and how much it will end up costing.
Don’t go far
There are many places to travel that aren’t far from the Capital City. Biloxi, Pensacola, and Destin are a few poplar locations within a five hour drive that have nice beaches.
Book all-inclusive trips
Some sites like EfCollegeBreak.com offer packages and group rates specifically for Spring Break that include a variety of events and parties to attend with VIP options, hotel, and occasionally flights. Choosing an all-inclusive means you won’t be worrying about the cost of dining out because meals and drinks are included. This makes it easier when figuring out how much you’ll need to spend. Cruises also fit this category. Prices can easily range from $200 and up, but keep in mind alcoholic drinks are not included and cannot be brought on the ship.
Pack Everything You Will Need
If you have to buy a camera, sunblock or other common tourist items once you reach your destination, you will pay much more than you would have at home. Make a list so you don’t forget stuff like sunglasses, hat, clothes, sneakers and sandals, and whatever else you need.
Keep your food costs in check. Meals out can be one of the largest – and most underestimated – expense on a multi-day vacation. Stop by the grocery store and pick up at least enough food for breakfasts, lunches and snacks to cut down on overpriced meals served at overcrowded restaurants. Bring a cooler along and shop for food that’s ready to eat -or that you can easily cook. And if you’re staying at a hotel, take advantage of the continental breakfast if it’s offered.
Bring Your Student ID
You may want to forget that you’re a college student while away on Spring Break but carrying your student ID can actually be very advantageous. A lot of clubs, restaurants, and attractions will give discounts to students as they recognize you’re probably traveling on a budget.
Spend your time off working for a cause. Volunteer trips are perfect for college students looking for an alternative way to spend Spring Break. Often volunteers only pay for travel expenses and program registration which often includes food and accommodation. Prices are low to motivate more to participate. Sites such as breakadifference.org and unitedway.org are great places to start.
If you are stuck on campus, home, or have a work schedule keeping you from going away, take this time to catch up on sleep. Students spend a large amount of time at college awake; whether that is studying, hanging out with friends or binge-watching Netflix, we never sleep enough. Take this week to sleep in, take a nap or never get out of bed. You’ve earned it.