By Whitney Jackson
With only snow in sight it’s hard not to dream of sun, sand, and surf but with spring break right around the corner, students should start planning their vacations sooner than they think. On average, it is recommended to begin vacation preparations one to four months before departure and when planning a trip out of state, students should try finding air fare and hotels as package deals as opposed to buying each separately.
While places like Cancun, Miami Beach, and the Bahamas are notoriously hot destination areas for spring break, they may not be the most affordable. With tuition fees, book expenses, and meal plans, it is not uncommon for bank accounts to be at an all-time low when spring break finally rolls around. However, that doesn’t mean a well-deserved vacation is out of the question. While a package deal may save your trip a few dollars, students should also keep track of flight prices on Tuesdays and Sundays, when airfare is at its lowest.
If a flight to your chosen destination isn’t financially in the cards, students shouldn’t be afraid to weigh their options and consider driving instead. While gas isn’t always cheap, it has been less expensive than usual and can make a big difference when traveling. Some websites and apps can even help track which gas stations to hit and which to skip. When choosing a hotel, narrow your searches by using sites like Expedia and Travelocity to provide places that are within your price range and have the amenities you’re looking for. Also remember to read reviews from past customers and look for any hidden fees as some hotels require a resort fee to be paid on top of their nightly rate.
When your vacation is officially set in stone, consider the option of cooking your own food as opposed to eating out, or if of age, buying your own alcohol as opposed to buying drinks at restaurants or bars. If a faraway vacation isn’t an option this spring break, opt for volunteering for your week off or planning simple and financially-friendly meals out with friends who are nearby.
Whatever plans you end up making, have fun and most importantly, be safe!