Spring Break is right around the corner, and money is the biggest resource and concern when it comes to vacation — don’t let it hold you back. Here are 10 tips on saving money and having a stress-free break.
1. Plan ahead
You may already know where you are going, but what are you taking? Plan how much money you have to spend before and after you leave. Are you going to buy souvenirs? Are you eating out the whole time? Or are you and your friends going to split the cost of groceries? Figuring these things out will help judge how much money you’ll be spending.
By answering the questions above, you should be able to put together a budget of how much money you should be spending on your trip. You should leave a little wiggle room for unavoidable and unforeseen costs, but try not to go over it too much.
3. Find deals
Deals are the best friend that will never let you down. Whether it is Spring Break specials or a giant coupon book you borrowed from your mom, you should have access to some money-saving deal. Some sites have bundle deals for a hotel and a plane. Restaurants may have coupon books or online codes you can use. Websites like Groupon and Retailmenot are just a couple of sources right at your fingertips.
4. Take advantage of student discounts
Student discounts are everywhere. You can’t be denied as a student if you flash that ID. This will usually work, but be weary of any scams or the need to have a local ID. Having a student ID can save significant amounts of money, and it never hurts to ask before checking out.
5. Keep money out of sight
Keep your money where you can’t just pull it out of your pocket to spend. Only use money for emergencies and necessities. Anything can happen and coming up with money last minute on Spring Break won’t be easy. Make sure you have a system to limit when and how you will allow yourself to use it.
6. Cut down on delivery
Getting food delivered is probably the best way to get food. It’s quick and easy, but also pricey. Keep the food orders to a minimum before and during vacation. It is cheaper to go to the restaurant or cheaper yet to make food yourself.
7. Do more biking and walking
Gas is expensive. Your own energy is not. Walk and bike rather than tour in cars. This saves on gas money and also gives you a workout for the day. You'll have an opportunity to see sights you may have missed otherwise.
8. Use your phone to keep track
Only bring what you want to spend, but don’t exceed that limit. Use your phone to keep track of what money you have and what money you have spent. Seeing the values may help to better save money and many banks will send you alerts once your checking account dips below a certain level.
9. Don’t stay in the tourist locations
If you still have time to plan where you are staying, go outside of the tourist city. Being outside of the city can save a lot of money on hotels, food and transportation. Tourist cities know they can get money and tend to reflect their prices as such.
10. Split the cost with friends
Let’s be real. As college students, we don’t have the most money and many of us barely make minimum wage without having our college bills to pay. Split the cost with a group of friends. This will make it easier on everyone and create a more laid-back environment if money stress isn’t involved.