Planning spring break on a budget can be tough. You want to have an unforgettable getaway with your BFFs but you are also on a student’s budget. It might seem like you have to choose between emptying your wallet or staying at home doing nothing.
Luckily, you could not be more wrong! There are tons of ways to save money on your spring break trip and still have loads of fun. From researching discounts to planning a getaway that isn’t the usual beach trip, it’s easier to pull off a budget spring break than you may think.
Keep reading for my top tips on planning a cheap spring break that is still filled with memories!
Plan a Staycation
The easiest and most obvious way to pull off spring break on a budget is to plan a staycation. Staying at home will save you money on everything from lodging to transportation to food. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be boring!
If you have been hella stressed this semester, a staycation might be just the remedy you need. Taking advantage of your break from school to relax and indulge in some self-care can give you that boost you need to finish out the school year strong.
Planning a week-long trip away will only add to your stress as you try to figure out the logistics. Not to mention that traveling means you don’t really get any time “off.” Staying at home might seem lame at first but you will definitely love the chill vibes it brings you!
Whether you plan to relax solo, chill with friends, or hang out with your boo during break, there are tons of choices when it comes to staycation activities. Don’t believe me? Here are some of my personal favorites:
- Go on day trips. Staying at home doesn’t have to be so literal. Venture to a nearby town and hit up some cool local attractions. It’s way cheaper than a long trip but you will still get a change of scenery.
- Explore a new neighborhood. Being a tourist in your own city is easy! Head to a neighborhood you haven’t hung out in much and spend the day there. New restaurants, shops, and sights to see can make it feel like you’re on vacation without ever leaving home.
- Learn something new. Your brain might feel fried from classes but that is no reason to let it go to mush over spring break! Learning something new that you are passionate about (like coding or baking) won’t feel like work at all.
- Get outside! Even if you aren’t sunning yourself on beautiful beaches, you can still enjoy that spring sunshine. Schedule some outdoor activities with your pals like yoga in the park, having a picnic, or hitting the tennis courts. There truly is nothing like Vitamin D to revive you after a long winter!
Need more at-home spring break ideas?
Check out this video by Ashley Hudson. In it, she shares some ideas for fun activities to do and essentials you’ll need to plan the perfect relaxing, cool spring break at home.
When you think of spring break, the image of partying by a pool or lounging on a tropical beach probably comes to mind. However, this traditional spring break getaway has its flaws.
Hotels fill up fast and can be way more expensive due to demand. You will constantly be fighting for space on the beach and trying to get the bartender’s attention. Plus, doing the same thing as everyone else is kind of boring! Instead, consider an alternative spring break trip.
If you’re an outdoorsy gal, a rustic (or not) camping trip might be the perfect fit. Gather your nature-loving pals and plan a fun getaway in the woods! You can rent a pretty cabin in the snowy mountains or rough it in a tent in a national park. The quiet atmosphere is ideal for unwinding after a long school year.
Camping doesn’t sound like your thing? How about a road trip? Hopping in a car with your BFFs and hitting the road is basically a right of passage.
If you are trying to do spring break on a budget, stick to a shorter trip with stops near home. For those willing to spend a bit more money, take the week to drive up and down a coast, explore some national parks, or tour a region of the country you have never visited.
Planning a non-traditional spring break trip might make you feel left out at first, but I guarantee you’ll have amazing stories to tell! While everyone else is reliving the same old tales of doing shots by the pool, you will have unique experiences to share after the break is over.
Stay In A Suite
When booking hotel rooms for your trip, don’t forget about the suites. These larger rooms typically have more beds, a kitchenette, and just more space in general. They are usually a little more pricey but come with major money-saving perks.
First off, the more people you can fit into one room, the cheaper it is for each of you. Now, I am in no way saying you should sneak 20 people into a suite. By design, suites sleep six to ten people, where a standard room usually tops out at four.
Suites usually have a bedroom and a living room area with a pull-out couch, but can be even more spacious depending on the hotel. When splitting the bill between everyone, you might find that suites can be hundreds of dollars cheaper (and way nicer!) than regular rooms.
That’s not all.
Another way staying in a suite can save you money is that you can cook for yourself. Suites usually have at least a microwave and mini-fridge, but finding one with a full kitchen is key. Eating out for every meal is not only bad for your health but can be hard on your wallet, too. Help your besties stay on track with their nutrition and reduce your spring break spending by making a big grocery store trip when you reach your destination.
Finally, suites are perfect for parties! While this doesn’t help you in the budget department, knowing you can host a lot of friends in your room makes the experience a little more fun.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
When you are a student, you have to take advantage of every free and discounted thing you can get. Spring break is no exception! Many hotels, airlines, transportation methods, and other businesses offer discounts to students. You just have to do your research!
Even if you don’t immediately see a student discount on a company’s website, it never hurts to ask. There may not be an official discount in place but will give you one just for asking politely!
This also goes for businesses you’re going to IRL like restaurants, attractions, and stores. Many people recognize the plight of the poor college student and will probably be willing to knock a bit of money off your bill if you are well-mannered.
Don’t forget about using student discounts for spring break prep, too! Want a new bathing suit? Need a bikini wax? Trying to shed a few pounds before you hit the beach? You’re in luck! Tons of clothing brands, spas, salons, gyms, and more offer hefty discounts to students. If you’re not sure which places in your city are student-friendly, a simple online search or scroll through your school’s online forums can clue you in.
One of the most unexpected ways to do spring break on a budget is to be smart about your packing. Buying everything you forgot once you reach your destination can add up fast! If you try to pack everything you could possibly need, you could slash your expenditures by a lot.
You might feel silly packing a sweater for a trip to Florida or bringing a box of Band-Aids along, but trust me, you will be so happy if you end up needing those things. Don’t go overboard and bring your entire house with you on your trip but do plan ahead.
My husband actually had to drop $50 on a sweatshirt on our trip to Disney once. It was December but we thought Orlando would be warm all year long! It was only about 50 degrees. We have since learned to pack backup clothes for all types of weather no matter where we go or what time of year.
Need some help in the organization department? Here’s how to ensure you never forget anything for a vacation again:
- Make a packing list. Thinking of everything you will need ahead of time helps means you are less likely to forget something.
- Pack early. Start packing for your trip a few days before you jet off for spring break. Leaving it to the night before when you’re tired and excited almost always leads to important items being left behind.
- Gather everything first. My favorite packing method involves gathering all the stuff I want to pack and laying it out on my bed before I put it into my suitcase. When you start throwing things into a bag willy-nilly, you will probably end up forgetting some things and packing double of others.
- Do a room sweep. Before you leave the house, give it a once over. Scanning your room lets you physically see everything you haven’t packed, so you are more likely to notice if you forgot your hairbrush or wallet.
Book Flights and Hotels On Student Universe
StudentUniverse is an awesome site that offers discounts on hotels and flights to students. They work with top airlines, hotels, tours, and group travel companies to bring you exclusive deals. Just sign up for a free membership and start browsing your spring break possibilities!
Whether you want the warm weather of Myrtle Beach, the bright lights of Las Vegas, or the snowy slopes of Aspen, you can plan your vacation for hella cheap. One of the website’s extra awesome perks is that they reduce prices even more during times when they know students love to travel—like spring break!
Not only can you find discounts on your flights and accommodations but also StudentUniverse offers fun activities for a fraction of the regular price. From the San Diego Zoo to the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower to a tour of the Everglades, making the most of your spring break trip just got way more budget-friendly.
It gets better.
StudentUniverse is more inclusive than you might think. As long as you are age 18-25, you are eligible for many of the deals on the site. Some of the discounts are specific to students and require proof of enrollment but others are for anyone who is a youth (defined as under 26 years old). This makes the site a great resource for those who want to explore the world after they graduate!
It’s Time To Start Planning Your Budget Spring Break!
When I was in college, I always stayed home for spring break. I thought it was too expensive and that I should catch up on school work instead. But now I wish I had taken the time off to explore and travel!
If you want to plan a spring break vacation that is both inexpensive and unforgettable, look no further! The tips I’ve outlined in this post can help ensure you have money in your bank account and memories in your camera roll after the week is over. Whether you decide to take advantage of student discounts, plan the ultimate staycation, or sign up for a StudentUniverse membership, you will definitely have the best spring break ever!