There’s only two inevitable truths about spring break. One, it’s never long enough. Two, it’s never cheap enough. And while we’re never going to be able to slow down time or convince your school to give you an entire month to hit the beach, we can help you have more fun using less money. Here’s how:
- Go somewhere cheap. There’s a whole world out there, not just Mexico. Think about other cheap options. The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, the Caribbean–there’s tons of options to pick from. Price them out ahead of time and remember to include the cost of airfare in your decision.
- Book early or late. There are lots of deals to be had, but timing is everything. Planning ahead can save you money if you’re insistent on traveling on very specific dates and at specific times. But waiting to the last minute can save you even more if you’re a bit flexible on the specifics. This is especially true of airfare and hotel reservations, which can dip last minute to cover unsold seats or rooms.
- Squish more people into less rooms. The beds are pretty big for a reason. Squish more people in and your cost-per-person goes down. The other benefit of putting lots of people in a single room is that it makes it easier to look out for each other. Spring break can be crazy, so it pays to stick together in packs.
- Or just get a hostel, especially if you’re overseas. These days hostels can have pretty good amenities at pretty good prices. And you can save literally hundreds of dollars. Plus it’s just a place to sleep. You’ll probably be spending most of your time outside anyway.
- Or better yet, just CouchSurf it. Check out CouchSurfing.org. It’s a good way to meet new people and get a roof over your head for free. The great part is you can use it even if you’re vacationing abroad. It’s a good way to meet locals and expatriates alike. Just be sure to check out user reviews and stay with trusted members of the site.
- Skip restaurants. Bring your own food or buy it at grocery stores. If you don’t have access to a kitchen, go picnic-style and get by on cheese, sandwiches, and gallon-tubs of peanut butter. The less you spend on food, the more you can spend on doing things. Like, you know, skydiving, or scuba diving, or cliff diving, et cetera.
- Do more free stuff. Why pay for a nice hotel and a nice pool when the beach is free?