Winter break isn’t even over yet but already I’m looking towards that glorious week that is SPRING BREAK! If you’re like me and haven’t been a Spring Break enthusiast in the past, I want you to consider that this could be your last Spring Break EVER. Suddenly, that cheap0 cruise to the Bahamas is looking a lot nicer. And spring break doesn’t have to have that Girls Gone Wild connotation attached to it. Instead, look at this senior year spring break as a way to bond with your college group for one of the last times before graduation. The best way to make this trip memorable is to start planning now for a a flawless time! Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Cement your travel group: This might sound like an obvious thing to do but we all have that flaky friend who doesn’t make decisions until the last minute. It’s impossible to plan a trip when you don’t know how many you’re planning for, so it’s crucial to get a correct headcount. In college, spring break trips seem to grow and grow, and half the trip is a “friend of a friend.” It is cheaper to plan a trip with more people but make sure everyone included is someone you wouldn’t mind splitting a room or spending a week with.
2. Set a budget: It’s easy to go overboard in planning a vacation, and spring breakers seem prone to overspend. Remember, you want to have fun not bankrupt yourself. When setting a budget be sure to include the cost of transportation (both to your destination and for traveling around the location), housing, daily meals and drinks. If you’re going on a cruise, they quite often have charges for things like gratuity and activities on and off the ship. Be sure to do your research because these things are not always included in the package deal.
3. Pick a destination: This might seem like a reverse tip but it may be easier to set a budget before you pick a destination. If you get your heart set on a particular location but realize it’s out of your budget, it will be a bigger letdown. It’s a mental trick to find a place that fits your budget rather than dealing with the disappointment of a place out of your financial reach. As for locations, it could be just as fun (and potentially cheaper) to stay somewhere in the US as opposed to the typical locations like the Bahamas or Mexico. Interior travel also allows you the option of taking a road-trip and negating the need for passports and other travel documents.
4. Set due dates: I’ve learned that the most effective way to plan anything is to set short-term goals. Setting due dates to have things such as your hotel or flight booked makes the trip planning seem less daunting. The earlier you book flights, the cheaper they tend to be. If you’re going with a large group of people, having due dates is key since it can be hard to coordinate schedules. One member of the group should be a reminder for the others. You don’t want to have one friend miss out on a deal because of forgetfulness. As you get closer to the trip, you’ll be able to focus on smaller details like where you’ll eat rather than worrying about the bigger items.
5. Plan for special activities: You don’t want to plan out every minute of your trip but you should plan for a couple of major activities throughout your stay. Look for activities or things to see that you can’t see back home. If you start looking up these things now, it’s easier to find deals as well as determine what fits your budget.
6. Start saving now!: It’s crucial to start saving money for the little things on the trip like souvenirs. Over winter break, try to pick up extra shifts at work since you won’t be busy at school. And when you go back to school, make sure your conscious of how much money you spend on the weekends. Some weekends I spend $5 and others I spend $30. Either way, I know I tend to mindlessly spend. Set a budget for your weekends and put your remaining money into your trip fund.
Hopefully these tips get you off to a good start! Let us know any of the travel tips you have to offer as well!
[Lead image via Kzenon/Shutterstock]