January 23, 2016

How to do spring break on a budget


By Danielle Schretzman–

Trying to scrounge up enough cash to get Mt. Fuji or Jimmy Johns may seem like a monumental task, but it pales in comparison to the biggest bank breaker of them all, spring break. It’s hard to imagine warm Florida beaches with this terrible weather outside, however, mid-March is creeping up right around the corner. Not only are our spring break bodies not up to par, but our wallets aren’t ready either.

Here are a few simple and easy tips to follow to make the trip more affordable and allow more wiggle room for all the really important things on your trip, like souvenir fluorescent hats.

Always start by selecting your group. Choose wisely, because costs will be split and so will hairs if an argument ensues. Along with this task, designate a leader or two. This person will use their information for booking rooms, paying certain fees and having an overall handle on the plan for the week.

A huge tip to save money is to travel with a larger group. If you decide to rent a house or condo for the week you will get better deals if you have a more substantial group. Avoid booking hotel rooms until you know how many people they hold because you do not want to split the cost of a six person hotel room with only four people. That’s an immediate budget buster.

Also, drive don’t fly, though I’m sure that was already in the plan. A road trip with friends is not only cheaper but also a bonus adventure to your spring break.

So let’s say you have your group solidified and you know exactly where you are staying on your glorious trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You have spent nearly all your money on your hotel room but it doesn’t matter to you as long as you get to go. Yet you wonder to yourself, I am going to starve on this trip? This could happen if you aren’t smart with your cash, but it can also be easily avoided.

When you first get to your destination, before you even step foot on the white sand beaches, go grocery shopping. Buy all the essentials you would need at home like bread, breakfast foods and Ramen noodles, whatever your heart desires, because this will save you more money than anything else. Eating out for every meal will simply not be an option if you are on a tight budget.

Finally, trust anyone who has ever gone on a vacation in their entire life, do not under any circumstances buy a ton of souvenirs. Your mom and dad don’t need matching t-shirts and your grandma doesn’t need a marshmallow shooter. Your family will be perfectly happy seeing the pictures of your trip knowing you saved yourself money.

These tips will help you to plan a spring break trip to a far-away location on a budget. But if you crunch the numbers and simply cannot afford to go long distance, don’t fret. What you can do instead is the biggest budgeting tool in the entire book: stay local. There are plenty of fun locations right here in Kentucky or in our neighboring states, like Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee. A week off from school is a vacation in itself that doesn’t require a resort to make it complete. Make sure that no matter where you go, budget accordingly so that way you can still afford what really matters, like your tuition.

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