No matter how old I get, I will always, always go on Spring Break. I thoroughly believe that an end-of-winter vacation is healthy for people of all ages. So, whether you’re in college or not, as long as you’re craving a little time to blow off steam and take a break, this article is for you. So, how you do have a cheap spring break? Your answers:
Be flexible with where you go. You and 10,000 other people are eyeing Cancun during March, so maybe you should go to someplace like Tulum instead. Want to save even more money? Head to places that are more off the beaten path, like South America or even up north to Alaska or Canada. Spring Break doesn’t always have to be a warm break – winter vacations are so much fun! (Read about our December trip to Seattle HERE). By going to the less mainstream places, you’ll save tons of money on hotels and flights, as well as have a more peaceful vacation! Also, I hear that tickets to Iceland are on a record low right now (just saying).
Go in on rooms or rentals with friends. I believe that you did vacation right when you don’t spend much time in your room. Really, you’re only there to sleep, so share a bed with your pal for a few days and save some money! I like to book through TripAdisvor, Airbnb, and hotel.com to snag the best deals.
Scout out flights with CheapFlights.com to gauge prices and good dates to go. Consider leaving a day early or later (or at less-than-ideal times of day) to save on airfare. Vacationing on week days will also lead to cheaper hotel rooms, too. Of course, this is easier to do when you’re in college vs. have a fulltime job.
Cross reference your hotels, restaurants, beach spots, etc at TripAdvisor and Yelp to make sure they’re worth your time and budget. Don’t forget to check menu prices and see if reviewers have insider tips – like special happy hour times or days to get free entry tickets. Planning can literally pay off!
Skip Lunch. On many trips I take, we end up having a late, large brunch that holds us until dinner. This tactic is great for cutting costs on meals and lends well to longer, more purposeful meals. Think: long, happy brunches over mimosas and a full English breakfast and then later, slow dinners with paella and sangria by the beach.
Stay Local. Instead of planning an elaborate vacation to another state or country, consider traveling to a fun or new town just a few hours away. I’m lucky enough to have Napa, Carmel, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe all a few hours drive away because I live in San Francisco. When I lived in Wisconsin, Chicago made a good local getaway spot. Local doesn’t mean boring – it’s cheaper and just as fun! And driving vs. flying means you’ll have tons in airfare. I suggest pulling out a map and picking a city that you’ve never been to, but never had a real excuse to visit (until now).
For Robin’s Spring Break he’ll be visiting home (I got him tickets as a birthday gift) and I’ll be staying put in San Francisco. My (late) spring break will come in May with my friend Melanie to Nicaragua. Stay tuned for South America travel tips! And leave a comment below on where you’re heading from Spring Break!