Approximately one-in-four Americans who are age 18 or older are or may travel this spring break. Of those, 49 percent intend to leave the state, and 26 percent would like to head to another country. Usually, the goal is to have some fun and possibly shake off the winter chill. However, for many, finding ways to stick to a tight budget is crucial. Otherwise, they can’t travel for spring break at all. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep costs down. Here’s a look at how to save money on spring break.

Skip the Major Spring Break Destinations

While heading to South Padre Island, Cancun, Venice Beach, Key West, Myrtle Beach, or Daytona Beach might seem like the ideal way to go, it usually isn’t. These destinations are incredibly popular. They tend shockingly crowded, and that makes it hard to find reasonably priced accommodations and airfare.

Instead of hitting a hot spot, consider an alternative with a similar vibe. If you want to head out of the country to find a tropical destination, you might enjoy Caye Caulker, Belize, Casco Viejo, Panama, or Exumas, Bahamas. For a sunny US destination, consider Palm Springs. If you want to visit a unique city, maybe Charleston, South Carolina, is for you.

By looking at alternatives, you might be able to make your trip more affordable. Just keep an open mind and explore the opportunities. You could be surprised by what you discover.

Book Your Plane Tickets Early

In most cases, you’ll find the best deals on airfare during a specific window. Typically, you want to purchase domestic plane tickets approximately six weeks before you intend to travel. For international flights, you should get them at least six months in advance.

If that window has passed, then you’ll need to use a different approach. Monitor fare prices and compare ticket costs from multiple airlines. You can also take advantage of a comparison site like Google Flights to see what deals might be best.

Explore Every Option for Accommodations

There are tons of approaches that can help you save on lodging. You might be able to find deals on travel sites like Priceline or Travelocity. This is especially true if you are open to being a bit surprised and are willing to book accommodations without first learning the property’s name. By being open to that, you can secure potentially deep discounts for hotels with a guaranteed minimum star rating.

However, you also shouldn’t overlook options like Airbnb or Vrbo. You may be able to rent a room, condo, or whole house for much less than you’d spend on a hotel. This is especially true if you are traveling in a large group and would require several hotel rooms, as you might be able to find a multi-bedroom rental that you could stay at together.

Plus, with a condo or house, you could end up with access to a full kitchen. That may help you save on food costs as you could, at least occasionally, make your own meals instead.

Get Your Attraction and Experience Tickets in Advance

If you want to swim with dolphins, head to the zoo, or do anything along those lines, get your attraction or experience tickets in advance. It is almost always cheaper to buy before you intend to arrive.

Plus, it gives you a chance to find deals. You can check options like Groupon for discounts or see if there are city passes available that can help you save on multiple attractions. At a minimum, you can see if there are online specials through the experience or attraction website.


Do you have any tips that can help people save money on spring break? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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