You’ve been working so hard in school — studying, attending classes, holding down a job. It’s finally time for spring break, and you have one week (two, if you’re lucky) to go big. You might be tempted to just stay home this year, considering you have already promised tens of thousands of dollars to your university, but you can enjoy an extravagant, blissful spring break in even on a student budget. Try these tips to travel in luxury without draining your bank.
Find Cheaper Flights
Instead of picking out your destination and then scrambling to find tickets that don’t cost an arm and a leg and a day wasted in airports, choose where you’ll go by looking at flight prices. Tools like KAYAK and Google Flights let you choose the type of destination you’re looking for (such as “beach”), and then see varying airports and their prices, as well as a span of dates that might offer better deals. Or, you can try a service like ScottsCheapFlights.com or Skyscanner and jump on a tantlyzing opportunity. The less you spend on your fight, the more you can put toward the best food, hotels, and experiences you can find.
Consider Shorter Stays
If you have a limited budget, try making your spring break last just four or five days instead of seven. Instead of staying in discounted hotels and stretching every dollar, you can do more with your money for fewer days. Just think: Do you want to stay in that oceanside villa for three fantastic days, or that Motel 6 without a view for six?
Try a Boutique Hotel or B&B
Without all the branding of a national chain, local boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts can offer more personal experiences with a higher level of service than most hotels. They might take a little more digging to find, but it could be worth it.
Or Skip Hotels Altogether
This secret it already out of the bag: You can get more bang from your buck by renting a space from a private party than from a hotel. Airbnb is the most popular method of finding a short-term rental, but there are several other options to find what you’re looking for, such as VacationRentals.com, VRBO.com, or Tripping.com. These local homes also offer something hotels cannot: a realistic experience of how locals live. They’re often spacious and private, and can be found outside of the “downtown” area, where most hotels are concentrated.
“Do keep in mind, however, that there are certain risks to choosing this type of accommodation. Before you go ahead and book a stay in someone’s spare room on Airbnb, make sure to check the reviews and do your research. If you’re feeling particularly conscientious, consider pulling up a background report on your host. After all, your safety is the number one priority, right?”
Spread Out the Cost
Shelling out a lump sum is more than most can swallow, but if you start tucking money away each month with your vacation in mind, you have a guilt-free pile of cash to treat yourself with. Even if your vacation sneaks up on you, a low-interest or rewards-heavy credit card can help you have the vacation of your dreams one week while paying it off over the course of several months. If your card gives you airline miles, you’re that much closer to your next luxurious destination.
In the words of Danny Kaye, “To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” So how can you skimp on that? By making smart choices and planning ahead, you can go big for spring break without going broke.
Note: This is a guest post by Sam Radbil a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.