How To Plan An Awesome Spring Break Trip On A College Budget

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1. Create a budget.

The first step to planning any kind of trip is deciding how much money you can or are willing to spend on it. Sit down with your friends and figure out how much everyone can spare for the trip. While things like plane, bus, and train tickets have to be paid for by each person, remember that you can pool your resources to pay for car rentals, hotel rooms, or campsite fees.

2. Pick your destination wisely.

Just because you’re not headed to Jamaica or Costa Rica doesn’t mean your spring break can’t be awesome. If you want to have a beach party spring break experience without spending all the cash you don’t have, consider a more local destination like Daytona, South Padre Island, or Myrtle Beach. These will be cheaper to get to and stay at, and you’ll have just as much fun with your friends.

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3. Don’t be afraid to try a unique destination.

Spring break doesn’t have to be all about beach partying, either. There are lots of fun destinations that aren’t exactly geared toward the usual spring break crowd, so they’ll be cheaper and probably at least marginally quieter. Try looking for flight & hotel deals to places like Montreal, Washington, DC, or Chicago, and get out there and explore someplace new with your friends.

4. Maybe even do an in-town getaway...

You can still “get away” with your friends even if you don’t leave your city. Check your local deals site like Groupon or Living Social for good deals on interesting classes, spa days, movie tickets, and other fun activities in your area. You can also check Hotels.com for discounts on local hotels. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourselves to a little in-town fun!

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5. Or a road trip!

With gas prices lower than they’ve been in quite a while, a road trip with your friends might be the perfect affordable spring break option. Pick an interesting destination (the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Moab, something cool!), pile in the car, and head out. If the weather permits, camping is a good option for more fun shenanigans and saving money. Win-win!

6. Find discounts on travel & lodging.

There are lots of sites that offer discounts on flights and hotels if you buy them together, like CheapAir.com. You can also use a coupon code to bring the price down even further. Priceline.com also offers the Name Your Own Price deal, which, if you’re willing to travel at random times, can help you get a super low price. When it comes to lodging, you can’t beat Hotels.com’s last minute discounts – they offer up to 50% off when you book last-minute. And let’s face it, most of spring break planning gets done last minute anyway.

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7. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Before finalizing your plans, buying your tickets, and reserving your rooms, do a final check to make sure everyone is down. It’ll be a real bummer for everyone if someone backs out at the last minute, and you might end up each having to pay more than you had planned. So double check to make sure that everyone’s still in before you make your plans final. Once you’re sure, make those reservations and get ready to party!

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