by Shareen Nicholson
Spring break is right around the corner for many colleges, but with travel expenses rising many students may not be able to afford an enjoyable break because they’re surviving on a budget, but that doesn’t mean they have to stay local for spring break this year.
“While blowing a ton of money on spring break might seem like a lot of fun, students need to keep in mind the very real expenses they are going to be faced with come summer and come graduation, when they will have real concerns like rent, groceries, etc.” said Stephanie Kaplan, CEO and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Media.
Here are some tips that could help keep some money in your pocket while also having a great spring break.
Book now, travel later. Booking in advance could save students hundreds of dollars. Airlines and hotels are becoming aware of the times when spring breaks occur and they hike prices accordingly. Check websites such as Groupon, which offers discounts and daily deals for travel and hotels. Also, students should be aware that booking flights that have layovers tend to be cheaper than nonstop ones. Students should also consider leaving midweek and making a weeklong trip into a five day trip. Booking weeks in advance and leaving on a Tuesday or Wednesday offers the cheapest deals on flights.
Consider all-inclusive packages. Many websites such as studentcity.com offer packages that could keep you from even thinking about a wallet during your trip. Sites such as these offer round trip airfare, all-inclusive hotels, access to pre-planned events, as well as food and transportation to anywhere you may need to go. Although it may cost a little more at first, they pay off in the long run.
Stay close to vacation hot spots. When choosing a location, consider an area that is a small drive away from the bigger, popular destinations. These neighboring locations can be more affordable and less crowded. This could save students money on hotels, and even airfare if they are flying into a smaller airport in the area.
Cook more, eat out less. Spending money going out to eat three times a day is a major expense. Consider requesting a microwave at the hotel, and eating easy-to-make meals instead. Many popular areas tend to have higher priced food since they know they are located within a tourist area. Look for happy hours, chain restaurants and small restaurants as they will be most affordable. Some hotels also offer a free complimentary breakfast, which could cut down on the cost of buying food three times a day.
Be open-minded and set a budget. Being too set on going to a specific place greatly determines how much students will spend. Being open to going to another place that has a great beach, warm weather, or even just a decent amusement park can bring down cost. Set a budget in advance, be aware of how much you can spend and plan accordingly. Factor in costs of food, activities, transportation and even unexpected emergencies.
Money might be tight, but with these money-saving tips a fun and affordable spring break is right around the corner.