Spring Break on a Budget

Posted on May 15th, 2017 | Budgeting

I would watch with envy as my friends booked trips to Miami, Jamaica and other such warm weather hot spots where you could spend your entire spring break lounging around and indulging to your heart’s desire. For me, however, that sort of spring break was out of the question, as I simply didn’t have the money. Luckily, I quickly learned that with a little creativity, you can have a fun spring break without spending a fortune.

If you’re low on funds and wondering what to do with your time off, here are some affordable suggestions:

Take a Road Trip
Can’t swing the cost of a flight? Gather up some friends and hit the road. Since you can divvy up the cost of gas and tolls, it’ll be considerably cheaper to travel by car, and you can keep lodging costs to a minimum by staying at no-frills inns or motels.

Soak up City Life
If you’ve got access to a nearby city, you can create a week-long itinerary that lets you take advantage of everything it has to offer. Hit up some museums, visit a few landmarks or go on a walking tour of some offbeat neighborhoods.

Rent a Ski House
If you live within a reasonable proximity to skiing and winter sports, round up a group of friends and split the cost of a week-long house rental. Many ski houses are set up to accommodate a dozen or more people, thus keeping the per-person price to a minimum. Even if you only hit the mountains once or twice to keep costs down, you can enjoy a week of simply hanging out. Pack a bunch of DVDs, bust out the board games and stock up on hot chocolate and snacks. It’s essentially an extended sleepover, minus the pillow fights (or not).

Take a Class
You deserve a break from hard-core academics, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge a hobby or area of interest. Sign up for a week-long cooking class, take ballroom dancing lessons or work on your tennis skills.

Volunteer
If you can’t afford a vacation this spring break, why not use the time to give back? Find a cause you’re passionate about and spend your time off helping others. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity and United Way run spring break trips geared toward college students looking to put their vacation time to good use, and as an added bonus, you’ll get to meet new people and gain experience that will look great on your resume.

Go Home
Spending spring break with your parents may seem kind of lame, but there’s something to be said about getting a week of home-cooked meals without having to spend a dime. Coordinate with your hometown friends and you can turn your break into a week-long reunion.

While it may be tempting to spend your spring break at an exotic destination, there are plenty of enjoyable alternatives that won’t leave you with a giant credit card balance hanging over your head. With the right company and a little imagination, you can have just as much fun as your beach-hopping, globe-trotting friends, and you’ll come away with far less debt in the process.