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Cheap Spring Break Travel Tips

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So you really want to go on Spring Break this year, but your bank account has more zeros than a seedy singles' bar?  No worries- you've come to the right place.  With the right planning and a little "thinking outside the box" on your part- cheap spring break travel is easily accomplished.

First things first- there is no such thing as a free Spring Break trip.  Cheap Spring Break travel- yes, free- no.  We are not going to try to tell you that you can fly and stay somewhere without having to pay something (such scams never really work out anyway).

We can, however, give you some tips and pointers to maximize your Spring Break dollar so you can get away without breaking the bank.

Location, Location, Location...

The number one key to cheap spring break travel is location.  As you might expect, it is usually cheaper to travel to a domestic location, rather than a foreign location.  Not only can you drive to any domestic location, you can also shop around and price compare much more easily. 

Additionally, the more popular domestic spring break hot spots tend to be more economically developed than their foreign counterparts- which means more retailers vying for your money.  More competition means lower prices for you.  Resorts in other countries may look nice in pictures, but the reality often is that once you're on their property they can charge you whatever they want for their food and side-services because you can't just walk across the street to a competitor.

Even among the domestic locations for Spring Break there is still more possibility to travel cheaply.  All domestic Spring Break hot spots host other events during some part of the Spring Break season.  You can book a room much more cheaply by avoiding those locations during your Spring Break week.

For example, South Beach, Miami hosts its annual Winter Music Festival in late March.  Daytona Beach hosts the biggest NASCAR race of the year in mid-February.  South Padre Island hosts many Mexican Nationals during Easter week.

Hotel rooms get much more expensive during these "special events."  You can avoid paying a premium for a room by avoiding these locations on those special weeks.

How do you find out if a special event is going on?  It is easiest to visit the webpage for each city you are considering visiting.  See if they have a convention or visitors' bureau that would already promote these events.  If that doesn't work call a few hotels and ask the reservation desk- they will gladly tell you if they are pricing higher for any special events taking place during your selected week.

Truly cheap spring break travel begins with picking the right location.

There's Strength in Numbers

This is our easiest cheap spring break travel tip- go with a group.  No one really wants to travel alone for spring break- you need at least a wingman or a girlfriend along for the fun. 

This is helpful because there is almost no single availability among Spring Break hot spots.  Most hotels or tour operators will charge a hefty premium for the single traveler.  This occurs because most hotel rooms at these destinations are made to hold 2 or 4 people at a time.  Thus, you cost the hotel money if they have to give you a single room- and they will charge you accordingly.  Cheap Spring Break travel is found in numbers.

Groups of 4 are much more common these days- and everyone can enjoy the price break that comes with splitting the cost of a room, any group food and beverage you keep in your room, and even the cost of gas should you use tip #1 (above) to drive to your destination. 

If you have a lot of friends wanting to go on Spring Break with you, you may even be able to (mostly) travel for free.  Many tours operators will pay your airfare and slot in a room if you can organize a medium to large group and get them to all buy from the same operator.  This can be a great way to finance your trip and create your own cheap Spring Break travel.

We recommend Inertia Tours for booking your next Spring Break travel- great to deal with, honest, and they always take care of those who know how to book larger groups.  You can even become a campus rep for the, check it out!

Party of One?!

You do not have to travel with a group, however, solo travel for Spring Break can be very exciting, especially when you do not have to care where your friends or roommates are.  You do need to be well, prepared, however.  Check out Solo Tourist for some invaluable advice!

Plan Ahead

Cheap Spring Break travel is very rarely planned at the last minute.  Such last minute trips are always subject to numerous restrictions and disclaimers about how things just might not work out in your favor once you get to the airport or hotel.

In fact, to have the peace of mind that comes with a guaranteed reservation, many tour operators charge an extra premium if you wait too long to book your trip. 

Tour operators have to charter planes, buy rooms in hotels in bulk, and rent out party venues months in advance.  In order to guarantee themselves that they will be able to meet their quotas and fill these spaces, almost every tour operator will give you a discount if you book early.

Use this fact to your advantage.  If cash is a problem, bigger tour operators even have a payment plan option to allow you to make small monthly payments towards the total cost of your trip.  We highly recommend Inertia Tours for all your Spring Break travel.  Not only are they reliable and deliver what they promise, they also allow you to make small payments!

... But Last Minute Deals Are Possible

Despite our recommendations to book early, there is another side to the coin.  After buying blocks of rooms and seats on charter flights, travel companies still have to pay- even if the seat or room stays empty.  To that end, it is possible to score a great deal on Spring Break at the last minute. 

Read this article for tips on finding and booking last minute travel, written by our pal Jonathan.  Lots of good information for planning last-minute cheap Spring Break travel.

To add on, or not to add on...

that is an important question!  You've probably already seen the web sites of major Spring Break tours operators.  They all have a special party pass or additional package that you can buy with your trip.

These "passes" usually include a certain number of meals, a number of parties with an open bar, and access to several nightclubs with free or reduced cover charges.  If you want to be where "the action" is, these add-on passes are just the thing for you.

Don't worry about keeping up with these passes throughout your Spring Break week.  Most commonly, these passes are worn as brightly colored wristbands that you keep on you all week long.  You've seen the folks on TV with 3 or more day-glow wrist bans lining their arms.  It's a simple visual way to get access to the different venues these cheap Spring Break travel programs offer.

These passes usually are a good value.  Often times the extra money these passes cost can be made up for in club cover charges alone!  Lest we mention the free drinks and happy hours usually included as well. 

The only downside here- your party schedule is pretty much planned for you.  The bars and clubs will recognize your pass on only certain nights of the week- so you party where and when they say.  The good news- you'll always be with a crowd!

Bigger tour operators also include meals with these passes- usually a breakfast and dinner- often served buffet style or from a limited menu at a major restaurant at your destination.  As long as you're not expecting gourmet dinners each night and don't mind catching a shuttle bus for some grub, this can be a good way to ensure you will not go hungry while keeping your bank account in check.  Yes, you still can eat on a cheap Spring Break travel budget.

On the other hand, if the focus of your Spring Breaks is not to revolve around the clubs and all the eye-candy to be had there, or if free drinks are just not your thing, these passes may not be your golden ticket to  cheap spring break travel.  Evaluate your personal Spring Break goals first, before buying one of these add-on packages.

Think Outside the Box

If you looked at your monthly cash flow (money coming in vs. money flowing out), you might be surprised at just how much money you are spending.  Get control over your expenditures and put those savings back into the bank.  After just a few months, you're likely to be on the way towards a nice nest egg for your next Spring Break. 

Save on expenses.  Students move every year into a number of different housing situations.  Check out Student Movers Forum - edited directories of accommodation and apartment rental listings for students.

More Information on Cheap Spring Break Travel

We're always looking for advice from our fellow Spring Breakers on how to make Spring Break affordable.  Please share your experiences with us and our fellow Spring Breakers by submitting cheap Spring Break travel tips here.  We thank you for taking an interest in our site!

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