It's almost spring break, so why not give your wallet some time off? College students are notoriously broke, but having a good time doesn't have to be expensive. It is possible to be frugal and have fun if you plan ahead. Below are a few tips on how to save money this spring break. As a bonus, you'll probably relax even more if you're not constantly concerned about your finances.
Choose a cheap destination and hotel. Daytona, Fla.; South Padre Island, Texas; and Puerto Rico nabbed top spots on U.S. News and World Report's list of best low-cost beach towns, so consider them for your upcoming trip. All three have an abundance of hotels to choose from, and you can shop around to get the best deal possible. For extra savings, look at places a few miles away from the water and drive to the beach instead of staying right on it.
Be smart about transportation. Pricey flights can set you back before you even get where you're going. If you're within a few hours of your spring break destination, why not carpool there? It's a great excuse for a road trip. If you must fly, try to travel in the middle of week. Check out CheapAir's spring break flight index to see how airfare is trending before you buy, but ultimately try to get tickets sooner rather than later.
Don't waste money on restaurants. Once you've settled in your condo for the week, take up a collection among friends for food. Then go grocery shopping, focusing on bulk products you can use to make group meals. These multi grain pancakes, cheeseburger sliders and carrot cake recipes all measure out to less than $1 a serving. Once you've got your ingredients, stick to the plan -- don't eat out, no matter how sunburned you are.
Consider a staycation instead. If you're really tight on funds, spend the week at home. Seventeen Magazine recommends throwing a picnic, going hiking or hosting a movie marathon. Minor league baseball teams often have seats available for cheap, and farmers markets are a usually free -- and yummy -- way to spend a morning. If you find yourself still itching to get out of the house, put on your sneakers and go Geocaching. You can leave your debit card at home.