10 Ways College Students can Save Money on Spring Break

March 14, 2007

Before You Go

1) Get a Hotel Referral
The brochure might be nice but who knows what kind of a dump it will be when you get there; ask someone who’s been before. We decided it would be cheap and fun to camp on the beach on South Padre Island. When the seagulls woke us up at dawn, the tent filled with sand, and the girls couldn’t stand the community showers we had to find somewhere else to go. If a room hadn’t opened up at Motel 6 we would’ve had to spend big bucks for a fancy hotel room.

2) Know your Healthcare Coverage
Spring break is usually a crazy week and it’s inevitable that someone will get hurt or sick. Getting treated somewhere not covered by your insurance can cost you a ton of money. While we were in Padre, a strep throat induced delusional fever forced a late night call to a friend’s parents for insurance/hospital information. How would you like your parents getting a midnight call from the middle of Spring Break island? Figure it out before you go.

On the Way

3) Go the Speed Limit
Little towns on the route to popular spring break destinations love to setup speed traps and rake in the speeding fines from lead-footed students eager to get to the beach. Watch your speed or you could start off your trip with a big fat fine.

4) Pack the Car
Fill up your car with friends. The more, the merrier, and the cheaper the gas bill. Splitting the cost of driving to spring break can save some money. Of course, don’t exceed the legal passenger limit and make sure everyone has a seatbelt.

In Your Hotel

5) Pack the Room
Same principal as pack the car. The more people you can fit into a room, the cheaper it is per person. We could only fit 5 guys into a Cavalier on the way to Ft. Lauderdale but we met up with a few friends down there and filled our hotel room to the brim. Obviously with just two double beds there’s not enough bed space for everyone so be sure to bring a sleeping bag for nights when you get floor duty.

6) Don’t get Stuck with the Bill
Whatever you do, don’t put the room on your credit card. They’ll probably need a credit card to reserve it but get someone else in your party to use their card. It’s only a matter of time until something gets broken; if the room is in your name, guess who gets the bill.

Out on the Town

7) Check your Rearview Mirror
The first night in South Padre someone backed into my friend’s car in the parking lot. In order to avoid an insurance claim, the other driver forked over hundreds of dollars to my friend. Accidents are expensive so look where you’re going or you might blow your spring break budget on car repairs.

8) Avoid the Authorities
Put another way, don’t be stupid. Having to pay bail for a friend or some fine for yourself is a lousy way to spend your spring break cash. Steer clear of the men in blue and your wallet will thank you.

Food and Drink

9) Bring a Cooler
Wherever you go for spring break the locals will be looking to make some money off of you. Avoid the jacked up prices for food and drink by bringing along a cooler and loading it up at a local supermarket.

10) Hit the Buffet
I stuffed myself at a delicious seafood buffet in Ft. Lauderdale one night and didn’t have to eat again until the next evening. If seafood’s not your thing, find a Denny’s and graze for a few hours.

Follow these tips and you’ll hopefully have a little money left over to buy a coffee or soda to get you going the morning after you get back from your adventure!

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Ben

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Ben
Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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