MONEY-SAVING TIPS FOR SPRING BREAK
For many of us students, spring break is the perfect opportunity to travel and get away from the stress of school. There are tons of popular spring break locations for students, not just in the United States, but across North and South America. However, some of those well-liked locations come with a hefty price tag. Traveling within the U.S. tends to be cheaper than going to another country, although, anything is possible! Below is a list of the top 10 spring break destinations, as well as five tips for saving money on your spring break trip.
TIPS ON HOW TO SAVE
1. Plan several months ahead of time.
Planning is a crucial step when it comes to finalizing your dream spring break. First, gather friends and go over possible spring break locations that interest everyone. Once you and your friends have narrowed it down to a few locations, begin comparing prices of airline or train tickets, hotels, car rentals, and so forth. Planning a few months in advance is a great opportunity to get cheaper airline tickets and hotel deals. However, if you are beginning to plan a month in advance, student travel sites are available to make the planning process easier.
2. Use student travel websites.
Student travel websites understand that students do not have an abundance of cash flow. For that reason, many of these sites offer low-cost flights and group travel packages. There are many sites to choose from, particularly Student Universe and STA Travel. It is a good idea to look at both sites to compare and contrast options and prices.
Student Universe offers cheap student flights and hotels, rail ticket options, tours, travel guides, group tours, and student deals.
STA Travel is a one-stop shop. This site is easy to use and has lots of options, from airfare, hotels, group travel, and everything in between. STA Travel also allows you to read postings from fellow travelers. Most importantly, STA Travel offers six annual scholarships for those majoring in photography, film and art, travel and tourism, international business, international studies, and foreign language!
3. Find bargain flights.
The airline industry’s prices fluctuate constantly within the hour, day, and week. It is important to look for low-cost airlines, such as Southwest, Air Tran, or JetBlue, and alternate airports (BWI tends to be the cheapest airport for departures in the area). Also, purchasing tickets directly from the airlines, instead of using other services such as Expedia or Priceline, can actually help save money, considering that these companies usually charge a premium. There are also useful sites, such as Farecast, which help with figuring out the best time to purchase tickets. According to Independent Traveler, Monday through Thursday mornings have the lowest flying traffic, meaning that these days generally have the cheapest tickets and a less crowded plane/airport.
On another note, be flexible with travel times and dates. Midweek or middle-of-the-night flights tend to be the cheapest. Also, it can be smart to ask parents for their frequent flier miles, as well as booking flights and hotels together to save money.
4. Consider a road trip.
Another alternative to flying is road tripping! If your spring break destination is close enough to drive or take the bus or a train, it might be a more affordable than flying. It is advisable to compare all options and analyze which one would be most cost efficient. However, remember to factor in time, convenience, traffic, and gas.
5. Shop for meals at grocery stores.
When traveling, most people like to indulge and eat out, which tends to add up. One way that students can save some money is by buying groceries, regardless of where they are on spring break. Breakfast and lunch tend to be the easiest to shop for; students can buy granola bars and fruit for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. Think smart and eat smart! Also, searching for hotels that offer all-inclusive packages can come in handy. All-inclusive packages tend to be cheaper than spending money on food, and then the worry of what you are going to eat is eliminated. Download the Groupon app or use their website to look for resorts or hotels with that option.
Make sure to use your business knowledge to your advantage. And above all else, be safe!
Top 10 spring break hot spots