How to Save Money on Spring Break

how to save money on spring break

Spring break is coming up fast, and you’re probably wondering how to afford all the excitement without going broke. If visions of sandy beaches, poolside margaritas, and wild nights out are dancing in your head, take a deep breath. Enjoying your time off doesn’t have to put a massive dent in your wallet. With some smart planning and by comparing prices, you can have an amazing spring break adventure on a budget. First — decide what’s most important to you.

Is it the destination, hotel, food, or their party scene? Prioritize your must haves, then look for ways to save on everything else. You may have to compromise here and there, but some minor sacrifices mean more cash for the stuff you really care about. Get ready to soak up the sun and make memories without soaking up that cost!

Find Discounts on Accommodation

Affordable accommodation is essential to saving money on spring break trips. Some options to consider:

Check to Find Student Discounts

If you’re one of many college students enjoying spring break, flash that student ID! Many hotels, motels and hostels offer student rates, especially those popular spring break destinations. You could save 10-50% off their regular prices. Some require proof you’re currently enrolled.

Find Budget Hotels or Motels

Forget the lavish beachfront resorts. Go to budget hotels or lodges a couple blocks from the beach or nightlife. You’re still going to be close to the action but pay a fraction of the price. Check sites like Motel 6 or Days Inn.

Consider Hostels

If you’re open to shared dorms or private rooms with shared bathrooms, hostels can be very budget-friendly, especially for solo travelers or small groups. Many hostels have common areas to socialize and some even organize group activities or bar crawls. You can’t beat their prices and you’re going to meet tons of other spring breakers.

Check Daily Deal Sites

Sites such as Groupon, Living Social and Travelzoo frequently offer spring break hotel deals and vacation package discounts of up to 60% off. They negotiate special rates with hotels to fill empty rooms during off-peak seasons. The deals are only available for a limited time, so you’ll need to act fast, but the savings can be huge if you find one in your destination.

Find student and budget rates and compare prices on daily deal sites, save a bundle on accommodation and have more left over on important stuff – like drinks, food, and activities! Your wallet will thank you.

public transportation

Public Transportation

Public transit is one of the best ways to save money on your spring break trip. Avoid rental cars if you can—between rental fees, gas, and parking, it can end up costing you a small fortune.

Busses & Subways

Most tourist destinations have affordable bus and subway systems that can take you anywhere you want to go to. A one-week transit pass is usually very budget-friendly and allows unlimited travel. See if you can purchase passes in advance on the transit system’s website before your trip to save time lining up to buy them.

Taxis & Rideshares

Only use taxis or rideshares for short trips or in areas not well-served by public transit. If you do need to call an Uber or Lyft, try to rideshare with friends to split the fare. As a last resort, you can walk or bike to destinations less than 2 miles away. The exercise will do you good after all that beach lounging!

Airport Transit

Check if the city you’re visiting offers affordable shuttle or transit service from the airport to your hotel or vacation rental. Some hotels and vacation rental companies also offer free shuttle service or private transfers for a fee. Public transit and ridesharing are also good options for getting into the city from the airport.

Airplane

Flight prices seem to often be cheapest 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Book early and create a price alert on Kayak or Google Flights to get an email if fares drop for your selected dates.

Public transit takes longer, but you’re going to be saving bundles of cash that you can then spend on food, drinks, and souvenirs. It’s also a great way to experience the city like a local. Hop on, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride—your bank account and feet will thank you! If it’s a somewhat nearby destination — consider making it a road trip!

Cook Your Own Meals

Cooking your own meals is one of the best ways to save money on spring break. Eating out for every meal can easily cost $30-$50 per person each day. Instead, head to a local grocery store and stock up on basics to make simple, budget-friendly meals.

Breakfast

For breakfast, pick up some eggs, bread, fruit, and yogurt or granola. You can make scrambled eggs, toast, and fresh fruit salad or parfaits. Both options will fill you up for under $5 a person. If you have a kitchenette, oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches are also inexpensive, filling choices.

Lunch

For lunch, grab sandwich fixings like bread, deli meat, cheese, lettuce, and condiments. Greab soup, salad, or veggies and hummus. Lunch meat, soup, and salad kits typically cost between $3 to $7 a serving. If you’re dining outside, choose casual spots like food trucks, diners or fast casual chains where you can get a good meal for under $10 a person.

Dinner

For dinner, pasta, rice and beans, or stir fry with frozen veggies and tofu are all budget-friendly options under $5 a serving. You can also do fajitas with chicken and veggies or tacos with ground beef or turkey. Buy tortillas, beans, salsa and any extras to round out your meal.

With some simple planning, you can easily cook 2-4 meals daily for under $30 total, saving at least $50 every day over eating all your meals out.

limit souvenir and gift shopping

Limit Souvenir and Gift Shopping

One of the biggest money drains on a spring break getaway is souvenirs and gifts. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new place and buy things you’ll regret later. Set a strict budget for souvenirs before your trip and stick to it. Only buy things that are meaningful to you or that you absolutely can’t live without.

Buy Locally-Made Goods

Supporting local artisans is a great way to find unique gifts without breaking the bank. Find handicrafts, art, or other goods made by local craftspeople. You’ll find better deals and your money will go directly to the community. Some beach destinations are also known for specific local goods, like Mexican pottery, Caribbean rum, or Hawaiian Kona coffee. Focus on what the location is known for and you’ll save money while taking a piece of the culture home.

Create a Daily Budget

If you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing spring break on a budget — decide how much you can afford to spend on souvenirs and gifts each day of your trip. Take out cash to match your budget and leave your credit cards in the room. Once your daily cash fund runs out, you’re done shopping for the day. This approach helps ensure you don’t overspend in the excitement of the moment. You can then splurge on your last day if you have money left in your overall souvenir budget.

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