Last Updated: Mar 7, 2016
Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go. But you spent most of your travel budget on a plane ticket and hotel room. How are you supposed to have the most epic trip ever now? Don’t worry, spring breaker: you don’t have to make it rain to have a good time. There are a lot of ways to cut corners on vacation to save money for the spring break essentials, like sunscreen. And glow sticks. #necessities
Find local flyers
Cutting coupons may not be the coolest spring break activity, but paying full price when you don’t have to isn’t either. Welcome centers, hotel lobbies, gas stations, and grocery stores will all have stands full of brochures and flyers for area attractions, restaurants, and activities. They often feature discounts, group deals, BOGOs, etc. Grab all the ones that interest you; if they don’t offer any deals, check websites like Groupon or LivingSocial to see if they’re featured. You’ll be happy you took the time to look when everyone else is paying more than you for the same exact thing.
Cook in your kitchen
Going out to eat every day can add up. Just like back on campus, it’s more economical to buy groceries and make some meals at home. So if your hotel room or beach house has a kitchen, take advantage of it! Hit up the grocery store after you check in and stock up on things that can feed a group—spaghetti, rotisserie chicken, bags of frozen munchies—as well as sandwich fixin’s for easy lunches to bring to the beach or pool.
Hit up happy hour
When you do go out, happy hour can be a college kid’s best friend. Many bars and restaurants offer discount food and drink during slower times of the day, usually between 3:00 and 6:00 pm. Ask the bartender or waitress what today’s specials are or if they offer any discounts with a student ID. If you’re not old enough to imbibe, you can still take advantage of bar snacks or half-price appetizers. Use an app like the Happy Hour Finder to see what fun spots are near you.
Take cheaper transportation
Renting cars and calling cabs can be big money drains. Your hotel may offer free or cheaper transportation, like shuttles or bicycles. Golf-cart taxis that run on tips are also becoming popular around bars and beachy areas. Ask the hotel if any of these options are available to you. Not only will they save you money, they’ll also spare you the headache of driving around in circles fighting for a parking spot.
Enjoy the best things in life
They’re free, after all! Lying in a hammock, tossing a Frisbee on the beach, playing card games with friends—there’s a ton of vacation activities that don’t require you to open up your wallet. But if you do feel like going wild and crazy out on the town some night, you should have a little extra money to spend if you follow these tips.
Have a fun spring break, and make good choices!