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Spring Break or Spring ‘Broke’?

Published March 27, 2014

spring break budgeting tips

If your expectations of the perfect spring break are being squelched by a lack of funds, you don’t have to sit around at home watching reruns and eating cheesy microwavable dinners. Instead of shouldering the burden of dealing with debt this spring break, why not plan a ‘staycation’ instead?

What Exactly Is a Staycation?

A staycation is precisely what its name implies: staying home. Staycations have become increasingly popular due to a sluggish economy and the fact that people are having a hard time paying outrageous amounts of money they don’t have for things they can’t afford.

The Difference between a Staycation and Staying Home

The difference between a staycation and staying at home is that you have the time to do all the things you couldn’t find time for before. You can host a pot luck, go to local attractions, or finally find the time to finish that 2,000-page autobiography that’s been gathering dust on your night stand.

The best way to enjoy your staycation is to find things to do (preferably on the cheap). Sites like Groupon have great deals for happenings in and around your area, so look for activities you and the family may be interested in.

Going Down the Road Less Traveled

Alright, so maybe a staycation isn’t for you. That’s OK; you can still travel and save money by visiting destinations during their off-season. While beaches and water parks may be out, mountain towns, camping sites, and many other non-beach-related destinations are a sound idea since the majority of spring breakers will all be crammed together receiving potentially dangerous amounts of UV exposure.

On top of being affordable, visiting places during their off-season will also involve a lot less time waiting – waiting in traffic, waiting in lines, and waiting to see what all the fuss is about at that seafood place down the street.

Channeling Your Inner Cost Cutter

If you’re still set on going to that expensive vacation destination, don’t leave home without first planning how much you intend to spend. Make a spring break budget before your trip, and look for ways to cut corners and save money. For instance, rather than spending money on every single meal, try making your meals instead. You can also work to boost your savings by using coupons like crazy. Since a lot of places offer generous discounts during their off-season, check online to see if there are any deals or specials going on.

Your spring break should fun. It should offer you the chance to take a break from the hubbub of day-to-day life. So instead of sweating the details of how and where you’re going to find the money to pay for this year’s vacation, look closer to home for cheaper ways to enjoy your break.

Looking for more spring break ideas? Take a look at last week’s post on our top 5 spring break budgeting apps to see a few of our favorite apps to help you save while traveling.

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