1. Plan ahead
Depending on your spring break dates, it might already be too late for thorough planning and advance ticket purchasing. But plan what you can. Knowing where you’re going, how you’re getting there and what you’ll need means less stress and less likelihood of extra expenses and last-minute rate hikes. Developing a budget now will help you save on staples so you can splurge where it counts.
2. Check with your school
Many colleges have on-campus travel agents who can help plan your vacation and find the best rates; your school might even get special discounts. And campus organizations might be planning trips of their own, so you can get in on good deals there or find people to split costs with you.
3. Look for deals everywhere
Find Restaurant.com, Groupon and LivingSocial deals for areas you’re heading to or through — these sites serve travelers well, because deals frequently pop up for food and hotels. When booking or buying anything, look for online promotional codes and discounts too. When you’re in a hotel or all-night diner, grab one of those deal books from the corner stuffed with tourist brochures — they’ve got maps and coupons.
4. Be outgoing
When you’re traveling, don’t be shy about talking to the locals — first, because meeting new people is what travel is all about, but just as important, locals can tell you what’s worth checking out and what’s an overpriced tourist trap. They’ll save you time and money.
5. Don’t buy stupid souvenirs
Most of us cut loose on vacation, including with our wallets. While it’s fun to be impulsive about what you do and where you go, don’t succumb to impulse buys of tourist junk. You can find that stuff cheaper online anyway.
6. Know the local laws
Speed limits are obvious, but some states — and certainly foreign countries — have different rules about driving and what could get you pulled over, including driving while on the phone. The last thing you need on a trip is a brush with the law, which could mean hefty fines or worse. There may also be noise ordinances, or restrictions on what you can have at the beach.
7. Gather your posse
Cost sharing is a great way to cut car, hotel and other travel expenses. Try to collect a group of friends with useful skills: your obsessive-compulsive roommate who’s organized and can keep track of details, the cheapskate who can sniff out deals or knows the area, a sweet-talker who can score you discounts and smooth over ruffled feathers, and somebody who can cook so you don’t eat sandwiches and potato chips all week.
8. Wield your student ID
Especially if you’re going to a popular destination with high prices, there are probably student discounts that can bring things down to more reasonable rates. Sometimes you need a local ID, sometimes not, so ask. On the other hand, there are a lot of people looking to scam students on spring break, so be skeptical of “student discounts.”
9. Gather all the necessities
If you’re the type to have a little party the night before you go, you’ll probably end up packing at the last minute. Make a list so you don’t forget stuff like sunglasses, hat, clothes, sneakers and sandals, camera and whatever else you might need. That will keep you from having to buy them again at your destination.
If you’re going to be drinking, bring your own. Alcohol isn’t cheap, and you won’t immediately know where the best prices and drink specials are on arrival. So bring your own — but only if you’re old enough to legally have it. And be careful — the quickest way to ruin any trip is to overindulge, and one place you don’t want to save is with free lodging in the local jail.
BY BRANDON BALLENGER ON
PHOTO BY WAVEBREAKMEDIA / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Read more 26 Top Tips to Save on Spring Break 2017