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5 Tips to Keep Spring Break Affordable

Spring Break.

Two words have rarely meant more to kids and parents alike, though generally the responses are polar opposites. It’s the first big vacation opportunity of the year and, in many ways, it’s like going to a buffet when you’re starving. Everything is tempting and it’s easy to end up trying everything in sight! The problem with that – one of the many problems with that – is that it’s easy to overspend.

This post is not about self-denial, though! We are not going to give you the evil eye and ask if you really need to try all three flavors of cake. (Because we are totally trying them all!) Instead, we have a few simple tips to help save where you can, so you can spend where you want. Starting with our #Travel140 Travel Tip on the topic, and continuing with these tips, we can Keep Spring Break Affordable!

Tip #1: Be Flexible

Yes, we know you’ve had your heart set on a beach trip. Everyone else has, too, and beach resorts know this. Same goes for the ski resorts who still have snow. You are going to pay a premium for these vacations, but you can opt for something fun in someplace not as popular. Perhaps that’s a beach town that doesn’t get overrun by college kids (and thus, is much more family-friendly). Maybe that means exploring the ghost towns of Arizona instead of the Grand Canyon.

Flexibility with your calendar will pay off, too. Unfortunately, school (and often work) holidays usually start Friday afternoon, and end on Monday mornings. That leads to a big problem: Everybody wants to fly out on Friday, and back on Sunday. No bueno for your pocket book.

But you’re not just competing with fellow vacationers. Though fewer in number thanks to Zoom meetings, the so-called Road Warrior’s second home is the airport. They typically fly out on Mondays, and back home later in the week. If you can travel mid-week, Tuesday through Thursday, you’ll generally pay less.

Tip 1: Be Flexible and Fly on Cheaper Days - Keep Spring Break Affordable via

It’s all about saving where you can, so you can spend where you want.

Tip #2: Pack Smart

Tip 2: Pack Smart - Keep Spring Break Affordable via

A bigger suitcase – though, not too big – can actually help your family save on luggage fees!

Airlines love baggage fees. We do not. So ask yourself: “Does my family of four need to check four suitcases on this flight?” Sharing is saving. If two kids can squeeze into one bag (figuratively; please don’t try this at home!), that’s $25 saved. You might have to leave a few things behind to make that happen, but it could be worth the trade-off.

See also  The 20 Minute Travel Workout

On the other hand, it might make sense to pack some things you could buy when you get there. Sun screen is a good example. You can pick some up at home for a few dollars, compared to $10 or $15 (or more!) at a resort. Unless there’s a drugstore nearby, you’ll almost always pay Resort Prices for toiletries and over-the-counter medications. Individually, they may not add much to the bottom line, but they can add up quickly.

You can enjoy #SpringBreak without breaking the bank! Here are five tips to get you started. Share on X

Tip #3: Book Ahead

If you are booking a hotel for Spring Break in the spring, chances are you’re paying too much. The closer we get to any holiday or event, the less open rooms there are likely to be. Which means the rooms that are empty will cost more. Our favorite trick is to book a room early, but keep looking for price drops, sales, and promotions. If you find one, book the cheaper rate and cancel your old reservation. If you’ve booked a non-refundable rate, it never hurts to call the hotel and ask if they’ll honor the sale price for you.

The same is almost true for airfare, except for the part where you book the new price and cancel the old ticket. Airlines are smarter than that. There is almost always a cancellation or change fee involved, which will usually wipe out any potential savings. Because of the airline’s pricing strategies, you are usually best off booking somewhere between one and four months before your trip. That’s when sale fares are most likely to show up. When you see a price you can live with, buy it! There are probably very few seats with that price tag; once they’re gone, the airline moves to the next cheapest fare.

Tip 4: Be a Coupon Queen - Keep Spring Break Affordable via

Tip #4: Be a Coupon Queen (or King)!

A lot of thrifty travelers swear by Groupon and Living Social to find cheap eats and attractions at their destinations. Don’t stop there, though. By checking our smartphone’s app store for more coupon apps, we found Specials, which shows us restaurant specials and coupons around us. Having someone old enough to join AARP in the family helps, too. The AARP Member Advantages app also shows local savings and discounts, and you don’t have to be 50+ to use them. Finally, be sure to search Google or ask Siri about specials in your destination, too. Many times, you’ll find coupons you can print in advance for more savings.

See also  #Travel140: Check Spending to Budget Better

Tip #5: A strong dollar goes further, and so should you!

If you’re comfortable taking your family overseas, this spring is still a great time to do it. After historically low air fares, and favorable exchange rates in 2021 and 2022, prices are going up again. That’s especially true for air fare, as airlines cut schedules, try to fill pilot shortages, and pay higher fuel costs.

The dollar, however, is still relatively strong against most world currencies. While Mexico and Central America have always been a good value for American tourists, the European continent is still a good deal. Travel experts are saying to look even further: South America, North and South Africa, and even Asian countries like Vietnam and Cambodia are good values. While the long flight might be expensive, low prices in-country make up the difference. Whatever the savings are, there is no better value than an international experience for enriching young minds. And older ones!

Tip 5: The Dollar Goes Further & So Should You - Keep Spring Break Affordable via

Save where you can, so you can spend where you want. Quick and helpful tips to stretch your #travel budget. Share on X

Rule Spring Break!

You don’t have to bust the budget for a great experience. Whether it’s a family vacation or an adults-only escape for Mom and Dad, these tips can help you get the time off you deserve with some savings you’ll appreciate.

We’re anxious to hear what’s on your Spring Break agenda, and how you plan to get away without breaking the bank. Share your tips, thoughts, or questions in the Comments!

37 comments on “5 Tips to Keep Spring Break Affordable

    • Sometimes, I think you’re better off without Spring Break. The good news is, the tips really work any time! We are finally past having to time vacations around school schedules…but we still find ourselves ready to break away once the weather turns nice. Ack…can’t escape that darn Spring Break! 😉 Thanks for reading, Sarah!

  1. As Garth said, I think these kind of sensible tips can be pretty well applied to all sorts of holidays for those looking for affordable trips. So I imagine this goes double for Spring Break, which I can only imagine is quite a hectic period of the year!

    • You guys are right. Who doesn’t like saving a bit on any trip? In the U.S., Spring Break does get pretty crazy in some places. If we do travel around that time, we tend to head anywhere we think the crowds won’t be heading. 🙂 Thanks for reading, David!

  2. These are excellent tips, Rob. I think I’m very good all of the above except perhaps for packing. If it was up to me, I would like to take my entire wardrobe on the trip, so deciding which outfits to take is always a challenge (LOL)!

    • Thank you, Anda. We struggle with the wardrobe selection also, especially when it’s a city destination where you might need to go from shorts to suits. But we do what we can… 😉 Thanks for your comment!

    • Hi Chloe – Flexibility is key, especially when your heart is set on someplace popular…which always seems to mean expensive. 🙁 Glad you like the tips!

  3. Such wonderful tips!!!! I’ll have to take advantage of this! Thanks for sharing! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday, hope to see you again this week! xo

  4. I agree with you tips. Always being flexible help a lot, one extra day can make such a big difference on the final price. We are taking one checked bag just because our tripod is to big for the carry on, otherwise we could travel just with one backpack each. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I agree with so many of these tips. Being flexible, going off the beaten path, packing light, and booking early have saved us a lot of money and headaches in the past. Great post for the spring breakers 🙂

    • Thanks guys! I think they are lessons many of us learn along the way. And usually learn the hard way! Hopefully, this saves some of those headaches. Thanks for your comment!

  6. I only remember taking one Spring Break trip before I graduated from college. It was a ski trip with my church youth group, so I’m assuming it was on the inexpensive side. This year, we are headed on a Disney Cruise, so I’ve pretty much given up on the concept of keeping things cheap. At least our return flight is on Southwest, so we get a free checked bag each! I’ve also been shopping around on the best transportation from port to the airport. At this point, renting a car for 4 hours seems the most economical. #WkendTravelInspiration

    • Ha! Michelle, you had me literally LOLing. True, there is nothing budget about Disney, but it’s always such a great experience! I’ll be excited to read about your cruise afterwards. We’ve been contemplating…we love cruises and Disney, so it seems like the best of both worlds. Enjoy the trip, and thanks for reading!

  7. Great travel tips for Spring Break and how not to spend to much money. I must try Groupon for savings. I have been there with trying to find the best places to travel for Spring Break with Teenagers. With following these tips people will definitely save money with or with kids. Great tips thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Stephanie – I have to admit, we are not huge Groupon users because we generally forget to check ahead of time! Shame on us. When we do remember, we have found some good deals, and discovered a few places that we really enjoyed. Double win!

  8. All public holiday breaks in the UK are super expensive – all the travel companies know that children are not to be taken out of school during term-time and hike up the prices when they have “half term” or “Xmas break” etc so these are great tips for anyone who has to take holiday then. Love the idea of sharing luggage, that’s a great one, although I can imagine some arguments there with too many pairs of shoes etc lol. #feetdotravel

    • Hi Angie – I hate that kind of opportunistic pricing! But I suppose there’s not much we can do except exercise our creativity to make great getaways without breaking the bank. In the end, I think it’s the time away with the family that makes the memories anyway. Thanks for reading! I know you’ve been “internet challenged” lately, so we appreciate that you made it happen!

  9. The concept of Spring Break is a little foreign to me – I always associate it with college students getting drunk on the beach – so I didn’t realise that it’s also something families enjoy too! Some great tips in there – I will make sure to share with my friends across the pond!

    • Hey Lexx – Well, there are those kind of spring breaks, but it’s an annual thing for all schools (at least, public schools) in the U.S. It can be a nice time for family getaways. For us, summer always meant sports and summer camps, so we took Spring Break to relax and enjoy some family time. Thanks for reading, my friend!

  10. Great tips for saving money, guys! Neither Mr. Nerd or myself ever got to go on Spring Break, in college or otherwise, but even so, I’d also thought it’d be expensive to do so (and have heard to avoid traveling over Spring Break). It’s good to know there’s a lot of ways to save and not ruin the budget. 🙂 Booking ahead is especially important. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Anna – Mrs. TL and I never did Spring Break trips in college either, but we were out there every year as parents. Something tells me we did that the wrong way around. 😉 Even though Spring is a shoulder season, those couple of weeks around school breaks are crazy. I don’t blame people who avoid it! We do follow our own advice, and aim for places that are not typical destinations for the college – or even high school – crowds. That way, it’s a little less expensive and a lot less crazy. Thank you & Mr. Nerd for reading!

  11. Rob, can’t believe we are talking about spring break. Seems like the year just started. I am going to follow your tip of going where the dollar is strong. I haven’t been to Mexico since the fall of the peso. It is time to go and take advantage of that. #WeekendWanderlust

    • Hi Ruth – As my daughter would say, “I know, right?” Time flies. Mexico sounds like an awesome idea! (It doesn’t hurt that it’s cold and cloudy as I’m writing this.) Given the current economic / political environment, I think Mexico is even more of a bargain, and could certainly use the support. I hope you do make that trip and have a great time! As always, thanks for reading!

    • Hi Garth (and Phil!) – Although we addressed this in terms of Spring Break, the tips are really good for anywhere and anytime! Yes, even in Blighty. 😉 Thanks for reading, guys!

  12. These tips are so applicable to spring break and any other travel times. It drives me crazy that they increase the prices based on things like spring break or Christmas holidays. Supply and demand, I guess…. I’m all about saving money – it just helps fund more adventures! Last year, we had our hearts set on a beachy spring break and ended up going to a ski town instead. Although we don’t ski, this was one of our best trips all because we were flexible and willing to try new things! Great post – saving it for later!

    • Hi Jennifer – that’s exactly how we ended up on Hilton Head Island for the first time. It was an alternative choice and turned out to be a family favorite! Thanks for reading; glad you found it helpful!

  13. These are great tips and most could apply to any travel planning, not just spring break. Not sure if I will do a spring break trip this year, but we will see. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • Hi Anisa, thanks for your comment. You’re right, we framed this up around Spring Break because it’s on the horizon, but any time is a great time to save some money! 🙂

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