College students around the country are trying to figure out how they can afford to take a spring break trip while on a really tight budget. Trust us. You might be pinching pennies for school, but you can probably still afford to reward yourself for your hard work this year.
Here are some helpful tips from our experts to help you make your spring break dreams a reality!
Budget Airlines Are Your Friend
These days, there are a lot of options for bare bones fares if you’re on a strict budget. For example, there are fares available from Boston to Fort Lauderdale in March for only $103 on Spirit Airlines. There are tradeoffs to getting these rock bottom fares – the main concession being that your low, low fare is for a seat on the plane and nothing extra (not even a carry-on bag). Still, if you purchase online, you can either pay up front for a carry-on or forgo the carry-on altogether and just ride with your small backpack. That’s about the size that’s allowed for a “personal item.” It’s spring break and you’re going to be in your swimsuit all week anyway – it’s the perfect time to travel light. Sound a little extreme? Kick in $30 online when you pay for your ticket (prices go up depending on when you buy), and you’ll still be going to Fort Lauderdale for $133.
Lose the Luggage
As we mentioned, the discount air carriers like Spirit and Frontier charge for carry-ons these days. But did you know that a lot of the legacy airlines are adopting this business model too? To keep your flight costs manageable you should really plan to pack light, light, light. It takes a bit of pre-planning, but look at it this way. Think of all the extras you could afford on your trip if you’re intentional about what you bring. We love this lifehack that shows you how you can easily pack your whole vacation into a “personal-item” sized bag.
Skip Weekend Flights
Sometimes the best way to get a discounted ticket to popular beach and ski destinations during the busy spring break months (March and April) is to fly mid-week. Actually, mid-week flights (Tuesday and Wednesday) are almost always cheaper than the busy flight days of Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The savings can range widely, but it’s always a good idea to check those mid-week flights if you have the flexibility. As a bonus, hotel rooms are also often less expensive during the week in beach towns.
Another important strategy for getting the best airfare price is to try to purchase during the prime booking window, which is the best time on average to get the best price for your flight. We define the prime booking window as three weeks to four months out from your trip. You can read more about this optimal time to buy here. And since spring break is a popular time for students and families, the longer you wait, the less chance you’ll have to get a bargain.
Consider Monthly Payments
An option you may not know is available to you is making monthly payments to finance your spring break flights. You can actually break up your up-front costs and pay for the trip slowly, over the course of 3, 6 or 12 months. You can read all about our simple search and approval process here.
There are so many destination options. Get some inspiration here.