Spring Break is just around the corner, and if you don’t have anything planned, it’s not too late to get a trip on the books! Ensure that you have the best spring break with these planning tips and tricks.
Set Your Budget
Before you can do anything, you have to know how much money you can spend on a trip. Look at your finances, income, or any savings you might have. If you’re traveling with friends, ask what they’re willing to spend. Maybe you can’t do a week-long excursion, you can always go away for a few days, or try a long weekend somewhere more local. (Have you checked out these Clemson-close weekend trips yet?)
Don’t make the mistake of using a credit card to finance a trip that you can’t afford. The last thing you want after graduating is credit card debt, plus there’s plenty of affordable options to still have the best spring break!
Determine Your Destination
Do you want to go somewhere that there with lots of activity (aka spring break partiers)? Or are you looking to get away from it all and relax, something more low-key? If your idea of a great week off is a quiet beach or mountain resort, you may find better bargains than hitting the resorts in Cancun with all the other spring breakers.
While you consider your destination, make a list of the things that you want to do on the trip. This will naturally lead you to find the right place to go. Plus as a bonus, once you book, you’ll already have an activity wish-list.
Find the Best Deals
The cheapest flights and accommodations are found when you book well in advance. Even just a few weeks out is better than last-minute flights. Use Google Flights price tracker to see how the cost of tickets are fluctuating as you get closer to spring break (they even email you alerts).
You can use travel sites like Expedia, Kayak, and CheapTickets, to research prices and hunt for deals. Those sites often offer discounts when booking hotels, flights, and rental car packages. Bookit is another all-inclusive site that offers flash deals and sales. One thing to be careful with discount sites and travel packages—make sure to read the fine print, as there isn’t much flexibility when it comes to changes.
Southwest is a popular discount airline with frequent sales. But they can’t be found on other booking websites (Google flights, Expedia, etc.), so make sure to include them in your price comparison.
If you’re booking last minute, Hotel Tonight offers unsold hotel rooms at low rates. Which is also a great resource if you’re just staying local—staycation at a fancy hotel? Why not!
If you’re traveling with a group, you can also check out Airbnb to rent a house or cabin. Airbnb also has an experience feature that can help you find cool local activities or events.
Download Your Apps
Don’t forget to download before you go! As we all know there’s an app for anything you need, so prep ahead and you’ll be set for just about anything that arises while you’re on break. CityMapper and NearMe are helpful for navigating new neighborhoods. You definitely want to have Uber or Lyft app ready to use, especially if you’re not renting a car.
Use apps like Life360, FindMyFriends, or set up location sharing on your phone to keep your friends apprised of your whereabouts. It’s not a bad idea to also share your location with a parent or family member at home, just in case of emergencies.
Besides the apps we already covered, remember to be responsible, especially when drinking. Know the laws of the location you’re in and make sure you adhere to safe behavior. While we all love to document—for the ‘Gram and otherwise—you might want to be more cautious about sharing specific locations via social media, especially if you don’t have a private profile.
Use common sense and the same tried-and-true safety tips our parents have always told us:
- Don’t put your drink down when you’re in a public place.
- Always always use the buddy system—safety in numbers!
- Be careful in the ocean, don’t go swimming alone or at night.
- Protect your skin anytime you’re in the sun with high-SPF sunscreen.
If you’re traveling outside the US make a copy of your passport and other IDs, and send to your parents or another family member, this can seriously help you out if you lose anything while traveling.
Have the Best Spring Break this Year!
It’s not too late to make this the best spring break yet. Do some initial research, book a trip that’s within your budget, stay safe, and make some awesome memories with your friends!