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Spring Break Without Breaking the Bank

Spring Break Without Breaking the Bank

This post goes out to our student (and teacher) readers and our own nostalgic selves. Who hasn’t wished for a Spring Break vacation or watched the parties on MTV from back in the day? Some of us may even have our own stories and memories from Mexico, the Bahamas, or Florida! But, if the parents aren’t paying the bills, planning a big Spring Break holiday can be very expensive.

Spring Break Planning – On a Budget

However, with some Internet research and wisely planning a budget, your dream Spring Break can become a reality. Here are some useful ideas, destinations, and tips to help you and your friends create the experience of a lifetime.

1.     Pick your dates carefully

If you can be flexible and avoid travelling during the most popular time (March 16-23, 2014), you can likely save yourself a good amount of money. According to research by Hopper, fares during this popular period can be about 30% higher than other days!

Do not fly out on Friday as this can add an average of 22% to the fare. Experts say Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the best days for departing. According to the NYT, leaving on Sunday can help you score a better deal on flights.

For teachers, you may be thinking ahead to Easter Break, (April 11 – 22nd, 2014). Although prices are likely already high for Easter Break, it is still best to book your flights as far in advance as possible Good luck!

2.     Choose your location wisely

Choosing your destination is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle, for many reasons. However, if you are restricted by budget, there are some tweaks you can make in terms of destination in order to still achieve your dream Spring Break vacation.

A perfect example is comparing the flights. If the Florida beaches are calling to you, instead of flying direct to Daytona Beach, consider taking a cheaper flight to Orlando. It’s just an hour away and can save you at least $100 on air fare. If you were planning on renting a car anyway, flying to Orlando makes much more sense on the wallet. The rental car rates are likely less expensive in Orlando as well!

3.     Look for Packages & All-Inclusive Resorts

If you are planning on drinking (and eating) to your heart’s content, all-inclusive packages are oftentimes the best way to go. You can rest easy knowing regardless of how many mojitos you consumed, your bill won’t exceed the booking price. If you have decided on the Caribbean or Mexico, http://www.cheapcaribbean.com/ is a great site for comparing packages, resorts, (and even cruises). Signing up for alerts will keep you up to date on the latest offerings without having to search them out yourself. For hotel and flight included, you can spend 4 nights in the Riviera Maya for $849! For dates beyond Spring Break, the prices are of course even lower.

4.     Try something different, entirely

Have you heard of “voluntourism“? I think this could actually appeal to students and teachers alike. If you are looking for a unique experience, there are travel companies specifically dedicated to connecting people with programs and opportunities with a “volunteer vacation” vibe. While there are fees associated with the program, they frequently cover the housing and food for participants and the cost is much lower than your typical Spring Break package.

Think about it, you can work with animals at the Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Costa Rica, head to Brazil and assist in building houses, or even stay closer to home and go to New Orleans to help areas still recovering after Hurricane Katrina. You can enjoy the scenes, culture, and sightseeing – all while also making a difference on your Spring Break.

No matter what you end up doing, it’s most important that you enjoy yourself with your friends (or family). As a friendly reminder, watch your spending and don’t exceed your limits!

About Sherrie W.

Sherrie is a part-time contributor to All the Frugal Ladies. She currently works for a small publishing firm in New York and enjoys writing about her frugal (and not so frugal) life experiences and lessons learned along the way :)
  • http://www.agarwalankit.com/blog Ankit.Agarwal

    Great article Sherrie! This applies not only for spring break but for any vacation pretty much.One thing that has really helped me cut down my travelling costs in the last 2 years is the use of AirBnB or hostels. I used to skeptical of these but in my last trip to Israel alone, AirBnB turned out to be a great way to not only save money but make friends in the new city and have the best experience

    • Sherrie Woosley

      Thanks, Ankit! I didn’t talk too much about the accommodations in this article but you’re right on about AirBnB – money saver and you end up feeling more at home!

  • Rebekah

    Awesome! I’ve done volunteering on vacations before and it was such a great experience. We’re also a fan of the all inclusive things and using sites like Hotwire and Priceline. My husband and I booked our honeymoon for less than $2k and that included two round trip flights, and a 7 night stay in a 4-star resort.

    • Sherrie Woosley

      Nice! Where did you go for your honeymoon? True, using those travel aggregator sites like Hotwire, Priceline, and Kayak are crucial these days.

  • Elisebet F

    Great tips! And some of these could be used for regular trips too, not necessarily Spring Break.

  • malia p

    Great tips! I sure wish we were going on vacation this Spring Break. We’ve decided to wait for Fall Break though…

  • JoanneGreco

    I never heard of voluntourism. What an awesome idea!! You can help the community and see the world at the same time.

  • http://www.contest-corner.com Beeb

    Being flexible with dates makes such a difference when you’re booking travel! I live in a coastal town that is a popular spring break destination, so I think a “Staycation” is in order for me! :)

  • http://www.thefrugalweds.com/ thefrugalweds

    Voluntourism sounds like so much fun! I can vouch for the all inclusive resorts as well, especially if you plan on just staying on the property the majority of the time.

    • Sherrie Woosley

      Yeah, I’m thinking of checking out some of the voluntourism options for next year actually.

  • http://www.giveaways4mom.com/ Victoria H

    These are some great tips. I love the trying something different entirely tip.

  • Elizabeth Towns

    I have heard of voluntourism but never knew how to get into it. I definitely would love to try that out at least once in my lifetime. These are all great tips, especially the ones about when to fly, and when to make travel purchases.