Spring break on a tight budget

Lifestyles Student Life

Imagine waking up in a cold, dreary apartment. Spring break is supposed to be the best week of a student’s life, but instead you are stuck at home. Friends are gone because they went somewhere exciting for this special week. Many students have to stay home because they don’t think they have enough money to go somewhere for spring break.

Don’t let this tragedy happen. The main reason most college students don’t go anywhere on spring break is because they think it is too expensive. Spring break is just around the corner and right now is the perfect time to start planning your trip. Hopefully, you’ve been setting some cash aside in a special fund for your trip, even if it’s only a few dollars a week. It all adds up quickly enough and gives students control over their finances. Spring Break planning should start months before the actual date because you need to do your research to find
the best deals.

Try checking out the vacation packages offered by travel agents that target students. The packages often include hotels and transportation however; be careful when booking packages that say they are cheap, because sometimes they are more expensive than buying everything separate. It’s best to book and pay ahead of time so financial arrangements can be made well in advance.

South Padre Island would be a good place to go for spring break on a budget. Florida would be fun, but it’s too far away. New Orleans is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

Becky James, MWSU student, works for a company that helps people book the best deals for spring break. She works for studentcity.com. She said they offer good deals because they have partnerships with vendors at each of their locations, and they offer lower prices and sometimes free drinks and meals to the customers.

If the packages still seems too expensive, don’t worry there is still hope. Sleeping arrangements are probably one of the biggest expenses. There are many ways to make it cheaper. You could always stay in a hostel. Bet you never thought of staying on a campsite? Campsites are one of the cheapest places to stay. But, if staying in a hostel and camping isn’t your thing, you can find the cheapest hotels by pricing at Biddingfortravel.com.

In South Padre Island you can stay at a name-brand hotel located right on the beach for $159 a night through biddingfortravel.com. If you have four people staying in the room, it would only cost $39.75 a night.

The cheapest way to get to south Padre Island is to drive. To travel to South Padre Island round trip from St. Joseph, it would be about 2253.3 miles. With gas being $2.23 a gallon, it would cost $167.49. But if you are traveling with four people and you split the gas, it would only cost $41.87 per person. Also, it’s a huge benefit to have a car at your destination. That way you don’t have to spend more money on buses and taxes when you get there. The drive there would be about 17 hours. It may seem like a long time, but when you are with your

friends, it can make time go by more quickly. Also, everyone can take turns driving, that way no one gets tired.

Food is another big expense on a trip. Don’t forget to use your common sense. We all know but tend to get lazy… buying from a grocery store is always the cheapest way to go for food. Also, the more people you have travel with you, the more deals you can get. Lutfiee Atieh, graduate of Missouri Western State University, took a group of about 35 students to South Padre Island last year. He said it cost about $700 per person. But with spending cash it ended up being about $1,200 to $1,500, depending on what you wanted to do.

Atieh said that if you have over 30 people, you should call around to bars and restaurants because they will give you some good deals on food and beverages.

Spring Break can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a young person’s life – but it can also be one of the most expensive. But with a little foresight and planning, you can not  only have the Spring Break of your dreams but also even have some money left over after the trip is done.

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