Spring Break on a Budget

Spring Break on a Budget

Roman Battaglia

Spring Break is almost here! That means warmer weather, a week long break from classes, and most importantly, vacationing! Here are a few tips that will help you save money during your spring break getaway.

1. Stay in a hostel

Hotels are expensive, so why spend all of your money on a tiny room when you’ll be spending most of your time enjoying the outside world? Hostels are like hotels, only you share a room with other people. The rooms can be as small as four beds to as many as the hostel has. Some hostels have large open room dormitories. There are many options to choose from, like the size of room or whether the room is co-ed or single gendered. Hostels are a great way to meet new people and learn more about the area. Many hostels have lockers where you can securely lock up your belongings while you’re away and offer amenities like wifi and breakfast. Another option is to…

2. Use Airbnb

Airbnb is a service that allows people to rent out their homes and apartments for short term visitor stays. You can find anything from small studio apartments to mansions on Airbnb. Many people like to rent out houses and use them as basecamps, or just to relax in another home.

3. Road trip

When considering travel options, a lot of the time distance is a very important factor. The fastest option is usually flying, but it’s not always the cheapest. If you aren’t traveling that far, make some fun out of your travel and go on a road trip. Grab your favorite snack, download a couple hours of your favorite podcast and hit the road with your family or friends. You’ll save a lot of money over flying and it can be fun to enjoy the scenery along the way.

4. Stay at home.

Why travel during spring break when you can have just as much fun with a staycation? Instead of spending all the time, stress and money of traveling somewhere else, you can grab some movies or video games and spend the week vegging on the couch. You might even be able to finally finish that book you’ve always wanted to read. A staycation will be easier on your wallet and you won’t get homesick while you’re at it.

5. Bring/buy your own food

One of the biggest expenses while on a vacation, besides travel and lodging, is food. Everybody needs to eat, so how do you minimize your food budget without your pantry full of ramen? The best way to keep it cheap is utilize all your resources and shop at the local grocery store while on vacation. If you have a fridge available to you, the options open up even more. You can buy some cheese, crackers, your favorite drink and have a picnic in the park, enjoy the local scenery and catch some vitamin D. Avoid eating out as much as you can and try to find lodging that provides an included breakfast.

6. Pack enough clothing 

Instead of spending your money on a laundromat, you can pack enough clothing in your suitcase to last you the entire trip. This way you avoid spending money on detergent and on the washing machines at a laundromat. Just pack all of your dirty clothes away and wash them when you get home.

7. Scavenger hunt for souvenirs

There are so many souvenirs shops, especially in large, tourist towns. Try and avoid shopping at the ones near busy plazas and large avenues–those will have higher prices than the ones farther away from the action. Try looking for alternative souvenirs, check online or with locals to find out if your vacation destination has any farmers markets. You might be able to find some locally created art for much cheaper than those made in China.

8. Hunt for deals

Don’t be afraid to go coupon hunting while you’re on vacation. You might be able to find two for one tickets to museums or other attractions. Look for the attractions that don’t charge an entry fee, or the ones that offer student and family discounts. If you do the right amount of research beforehand, you may be able to find great deals on attractions and events to keep you entertained while on your vacation. Or… 

9. Avoid going to attractions at all costs

For the extreme penny saver, you could avoid going to any paid attractions at all. Spend all your time at free museums, take walks around the parks, etc. Sometimes a great way to get yourself immersed in the culture of a city is to just get lost. Put your map and GPS away in your backpack and go wander around–you may be surprised at the any hidden secrets that a city has to offer, you just have to look in the right place. Treat your vacation like an actual vacation and just relax.

10. Ask the locals

Often times the best resource in a new city is the people walking all around you. Just like you know everything about your hometown, the local people know a lot about theirs. Try asking your server, receptionist or shop owner about the best things to go and see while you’re in town. They can often times point out the best places to see while keeping your wallet happy.


Photography by Aidan Meyer (via unsplash.com)

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