As winter winds down and warmer weather is on the horizon, it’s a good time to start planning for spring break. Traveling around spring break can be pricey and not as relaxing as expected since it’s a popular time for college students to let loose and families to get away from it all. But with a little planning and some thinking outside of the box, it’s possible to have a relaxing spring break without breaking your wallet. Whether you’re on a tight budget or just love saving money, you can have the spring break of your dreams with these travel savvy tips.
Airfare is often one of the most expensive parts of any trip, but it doesn’t have to be if you know where to look. Using apps, like Hopper and Airfare Watchdog, can help you find the best deals available. Hopper lets you know when it’s the best time to fly and buy airfare and makes it easy to book a flight from your phone. Airfare Watchdog lists airfares that are lower than their historical average and fares that have gone down suddenly, like overnight or during the day, allowing users to take advantage of last minute deals.
Flexibility goes a long way when planning a trip. Consider keeping your travel dates open as well as the destination. By keeping your travel dates and destination open, you’ll have the freedom to choose the best deal, plus you may end up somewhere totally unexpected but well worth it. With that said, keep in mind that traveling on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are usually the cheapest days to fly.
Airfare to traditional spring break locations, like the Caribbean or Florida, is often higher around spring break, not to mention hotel costs will be higher and you’ll likely be dealing with crowds of college kids. Instead, consider more budget friendly locals, like Washington D.C. for cherry blossom viewing or Montreal, Canada for some poutine. Traveling off the beaten path and away from spring break crowds can yield a more relaxing vacation for those looking for something more low key this spring.
Depending on where you stay, lodging can be as expensive or even more expensive than airfare. Avoid high hotel rates by looking for last minute bookings on apps like HotelTonight. While it is possible to get a good deal on a hotel, consider alternative lodging options like renting a room or a whole house through Airbnb.
When packing for your trip, be sure to pack things you’ll need based on what you plan to do and where you plan to go, like sunscreen or sunglasses, as prices are generally higher in tourist locations. Also, consider limiting baggage to carry-on only to avoid checked baggage fees. Some ways to keep your luggage down to a carry-on bag is to plan your outfits for each day being sure to pack things that can be paired in multiple ways to avoid over packing and, if you plan on staying in a hotel, leave your toiletries behind and use whatever the hotel offers.
Take advantage of local deals through apps like Groupon and LivingSocial. Through either of these apps, you can find amazing deals on dining, events, entertainment, activities, and shopping wherever you may be traveling to.
Savvy traveling isn’t just about saving money. It’s also important to take certain safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings when in new, unfamiliar areas, leave valuables at home, share your itinerary with a family member or trusted friend, and make sure you have an international cell phone plan ready if traveling outside of the country. Also, look for unlimited data plans (carriers like T-Mobile have their One plan) that let you use your phone throughout North America if traveling to Mexico or Canada to stay connected throughout your vacation.
Planning a spring break getaway doesn’t have to break the bank. By using these travel savvy tips, you can have an amazing spring break on any budget. Where will you be spending your spring break this year?