Save money while traveling on Spring Break

A chilly, windy sunset at the Flagler Beach, Fla., pier on February 6, 2015. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)
A chilly, windy sunset at the Flagler Beach, Fla., pier on February 6, 2015. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

VIDEO BY ERIN GLADIEUX


 With Spring Break coming up next week, students all across campus are preparing to pack their bags and travel. While taking a trip during this time is exciting, students should be planning ways to save money.

There are plenty of options when traveling for Spring Break, but some of the most popular options for escaping Muncie include renting out a condo, reserving a hotel room, booking a cruise and camping. Most of these options have a variety of ways to pinch pennies so students can get the most out of every dollar. Saving up before the trip is common, but saving during the trip is even better.

According to College Life.com, the most common way students forget to save is by purchasing small items like food and coffee, and letting the expenses add up. Spending money on going out to eat, alcohol and transportation costs are the activities that tend to add up, which causes concerns for students.

Dan Boylan, a Ball State finance professor, gave some smart insight in alternate activities students can do to reduce Spring Break costs.

“For those going to Florida, they can attend a free concert, hit a museum on the free night, see how much free stuff you can collect, people watch, sightsee a historic or cultural attraction and just go to the beach,” Boylan said.

Boylan also suggested that students who are staying home can go to local sports activities, spend time with siblings and volunteer at a fun charity.

Some expenses that can sneak up on students include open bar tabs, gas, souvenirs and purchasing clothes prior to the trip. If planning takes place ahead of time, students can come back without going broke. Here is a list of tips that can keep your wallet from becoming empty.

Camping

  • Always invite friends to help chip in with expenses and for safety.
  • Plan your menu ahead of time so you know exactly what to bring and so you won’t over spend.
  • Use block ice rather than cubed for your cooler. It's cheaper.
  • Shop in the bulk food section.
  • Don’t buy new gear. Always go to Goodwill to save on clothes.
  • Utilize general equipment from home.
  • Consider staying at a National Forest. You get to hike all around the premises for free.
  • Always bring duct tape. You’d be amazed by what it can fix.
  • Hotel / Condo

  • Eat the complimentary breakfast.
  • Get a hotel room with a fridge and microwave.
  • When going to restaurants, always bring back leftovers.
  • Pack a tub full of the essentials before you go.
  • In a hotel, the mini bar is not your friend. It is too easy to overspend here.
  • Always keep an eye out for “extra features” that come with booking at a hotel.
  • Pack lunches for beach visits or day trips.
  • Cruise

  • Always keep an eye on your bar tab. It adds up quickly.
  • If you do purchase drinks, try to stick to the specials.
  • Book spa treatments on port days. They tend to be cheaper since fewer people are on the ship.
  • Try not to over tip.
  • Book independent excursions when arrive at your port-of-call, or just explore the area.
  • For private dining and restaurant reservations, book in advance with dinner packages.
  • Pick shorter cruises.
  • Overall Tips

  • Always check last minute deals on hotels and room packages.
  • Hit up the grocery store when you arrive so you are less tempted to eat out.
  • Bring your student I.D. You never know where you can get discounts.
  • Take advantage on online student traveling sites.
  • Save on drinks. This can often add up quickly, so make a few drinks of your own before you hit the bar.
  • Don’t blow your cash on souvenirs.
  • Always consider alternative locations to travel. The most popular travel destination is not the cheapest.
  • Booking a hotel and flight together can sometimes save you hundreds.
  • Pack light. You don’t want to be spending more on heavy luggage and extra bags.
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