Spring Break Vacation Money Savers

March 10, 2009

Spring break vacations are always something to look forward to after the long dark winter months. Spring break for college students is already beginning, and spring break for public secondary and elementary schools will begin in the next few weeks. 

When I was a college student in Florida, we took full advantage of the beaches we lived near all throughout our spring break.  The best months to visit Florida are February, March, April, and May, because our spring feels like the north’s early summer and early fall weather. Of course, being in college we were always looking for the best deals to save money on spring break.

I imagine most people that can afford to go on vacation this year will be looking for spring break deals and money savers in this struggling economy so here are a few tips on ways you can save money on your spring break vacation:

Student Travel Websites

Here are some good travel websites to check out for deals if you are a college student

My wife and I used STA Travel a few times to look for discounted airfares for students.  We got a great rate from Florida to Los Angeles, and we also found good deals on hotels. You can also check out some of the best travel websites.

Hotel Room Without an Ocean Front View

If you’re at the beach, you’ll save a lot of money by choosing the room that faces the courtyard or the pool.  Why bother getting the best room available when you’re only in your room to sleep anyway?  Also, try looking for a hotel that was recently renovated or brand new to the area.  They often cut deals to boost sales. 

Hotel Room With a Kitchenette

Okay, I know that I just told you to save money by going for the cheaper hotel room, but hear me out on this one.  One of the biggest expenses when you travel, other than your transportation to get there and back, is food and drink.  One of the best ways to save on eating out and drinking is to bring your own snacks and booze.  Bring food for breakfast and lunch, and save your money for a nice dinner every night. 

Avoid Popular Vacation Spots

I am always amazed that Destin and Daytona Beach are the most popular spring break destinations in Florida.  They have good beaches, but there are so many other great places you can visit in Florida without getting bombarded and ripped off by tourist traps. 

Clearwater beach near Tampa, FL and St. Augustine Beach are great options with plenty of stuff to do during the day and at night.  St. Augustine is touristy, but it’s definitely cheaper than Daytona and Destin.  What are some other great spring break destinations that aren’t tourist traps?

Travel During The Week

If you leave on a Monday and return on a Friday, you could save some money on airfare and hotel stay.  Businesses know that their biggest business is on the weekends, so they’ll discount their weekday rates to attract more vacationers. 

Use common sense and look for bargains wherever you can, because we all know that the economy is bad right now and we’re all looking for ways to make our dollars go farther.  Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts and most of all, make sure you stay safe!


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Erik Folgate is a husband and father living in Orlando who's been writing about money online for 6 years. Digging himself out of $20k of debt after college and his former experience in the insurance industry give him some useful insights into personal finance issues.

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10 Responses to Spring Break Vacation Money Savers

  • Katy Allgeyer

    Great tips! Here are a few more:

    Why lug around a computer of any kind that could get lost in the spring break milieu? If you’re near an Apple Store you can always check your email there while checking out the latest greatest mac products!

    You can usually find complimentary coffee, tea, and juice + newspapers in any upscale hotel lobby….look like you belong there, and it’s a cinch to score some free joe. Of course there’s always the free samples at Starbuck’s…

    Enjoy break!

  • Studenomics

    You went to college in Florida? I am so envious of you because people from all over North America travel their every year for spring break. The tips are great but all I want to say is that many people go to popular spots ON weekends for a reason, they want to have the best time possible. I agree that it could get too expensive but some people simply don’t care.

    One thing I want to add is that I have never gone to Florida but I go down south for every spring break. I figure that if I can pay $1,000 to go to the Dominican for an all inclusive package then it beats having to go somewhere else and have to stress about buying every meal and drink. I prefer to have everything included so that when I’m on vacation all I have to do is show up for dinner and eat.

  • RB @ recessionsblow

    I love eating out, but you’re so right. It adds up ridiculously fast especially while on vacation. Especially if your doing it 2, 3 or 4 times a day. Good Tips.

  • Jon

    Good Tips. Last year I went with a group of friends to New Smyrna Beach, FL. It is just south of Daytona Beach without the craziness. Since my group of friends were not exactly party animals, we focused more on saving and relaxing. We rented a 3 bedroom condo, cooked most meals ourselves (including fresh fish yum), and saved a ton of money. We were only right across the street from the beach. I bet total we didnt spend more than 1500 bucks total for 6 of us for a whole week. Cooking ourselves was yummier and much cheaper than going out all the time.


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