Last-Minute Tips For Living It Up On Spring Break Without Going Broke

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Getting a little R & R and sunshine is just what every college student needs to recharge mid-semester. Spring break is right around the corner, and college campuses everywhere are buzzing with talk of tropical destinations, road trips, and no schoolwork.   

Whether you've made plans to explore a cool foreign city or lounge on the beach for hours on end, you can beat the last leg of winter with a budget-friendly spring break. Follow the tips ahead to keep costs down during your getaway. 
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Have A Budget

Chat with friends about your travel budget, so you’re all on the same page when it comes to how much you’re willing to spend. For those who suffer from #FOMO and have a hard time saying no when it comes to cutting back on spending, it's best to create a budget for yourself, tell your friends what you're working with, and vow to stick to it.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Be Open-Minded

Though it may seem like everyone you know is headed to the trendiest, far-flung beaches, you don’t have to travel far for a memorable spring break. Believe it or not, there are a ton of hot spots in the U.S. And, if you didn't plan ahead but are now itching to get away — anywhere — consider taking a bus (Mega Bus or Bolt Bus offer cheap fares), or hopping on a train to escape somewhere fun.

Or, grab a couple of like-minded pals and put together a road trip. You might end up spending half your vacation in the car, but traveling by land has its perks. If you're up for an adventure but couldn't afford the overseas flight, pack a cooler, make a killer spring-break playlist, and GPS yourself somewhere new.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Stay In Hostels

For the eleventh-hour planners who missed out on the early hotel deals, you might still be able to get a bed in a hostel dorm room. While sleeping next to strangers may seem unappealing, it's actually a great way to meet people from all over the world — and save a ton of cash. Plus, if your group is large enough, you could potentially book an entire private room.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Eat Responsibly

No matter the state or country, dining out adds up. Cut back on spending by hitting up the grocery store as soon as you arrive at your destination. If you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen (many hostels have serviceable kitchens), plan to prepare a few meals to save both money and calories.

For many of us, dining out on vacation is a big part of the trip. Before you go, research local favorites, make reservations well in advance, and don't forget to factor those costs into your overall budget.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Rent A Bike

Cut back on cab fare by renting a bike. Not only will biking save you some money, but it also offers the opportunity to see more sights — and get in some exercise to boot. Remember to rent a bike lock or opt in on the extra insurance fee to avoid paying for a damaged or stolen bike.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Use Your Discount

Having student status can seriously work to your bank account's advantage. Not only can your student discount score you deals on everything from flights to hotels and guided tours, you can also get discounts on travel insurance and international cell phones.

Flash your student ID to save big bucks on museum entrance fees, clothing and gift items, and entry to live music shows. Your student status won't last forever, so make it work for you while it's still valid.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.

Volunteer vacations are a great way to get away even if you're on a serious budget. These kinds of opportunities allow you to explore new cities and countries while helping those in need.

Added bonus? Many volunteer organizations will cover room and board, so you're only tasked with covering your round-trip flight.

And, immersing yourself in a structured volunteer program will keep you from spending money on random vacation splurges.