Spring break isn’t just for college kids — with so many travel deals, it can be the perfect time to plan a getaway for the family. And you don’t need to break the bank for your adventure; we share spring break savings strategies that will make it more affordable to get away and offer ways you can save money when you reach your destination.
Saving for Spring Break
If you are looking to carve out travel money in your budget, don’t think you need to pinch every penny to save for a week of fun and sun. A few tweaks to your budget can go a long way toward furthering your savings goal. Consider checking out one or more of these savings apps to help you find room in your budget.
- Albert: This savings app connects your various accounts and automatically sets aside savings based on your spending habits. You can use it to easily build up a savings cushion without even noticing a hit to your budget.
- Digit: Digit analyzes your spending and automatically saves the perfect amount every day so you don't have to think about it. The app learns how you spend so you don’t have to change your lifestyle in order to boost your savings account.
- Clarity Money: Forgot you were paying for that streaming service? Never go to the gym? This app helps you track and cancel subscriptions that you don’t use and put the money you would otherwise be spending to better use.
- Acorns: This app “rounds up” your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests your spare change, helping you grow your investment portfolio one purchase at a time.
- Chime: Anytime you use your Chime debit card, it rounds up your purchase and puts it into savings.
Money-Saving Travel Tips
Carving out money in your budget is only half the battle. After you have built up your spring break savings, you can also stretch your dollars during your trip. Following these simple spring break savings tips can help you get more mileage out of every dollar you have saved.
As soon as you know which dates will work best, book flights and hotel accommodations. When you enter your travel dates into the Hopper app, you will receive notifications on the best time to book or if it would be better to wait. You can watch travel rates up to a year in advance, create filters and purchase tickets right from the app. Traveling at off-peak times — during the off-season for popular destinations, on weekdays rather than weekends and avoiding holidays — might net you and your family a deal.
Consider Alternative Destinations
Spring break is all about rest and relaxation. While many folks choose to hit the beach, you may want to skip the crowds and save a few dollars by opting for a budget spring break destination. For example, consider checking out a national park or exploring somewhere a little closer to home. If you can’t imagine a spring break trip that doesn’t involve a little fun and sun, consider the ways you can get the most savings out of an all-inclusive resort.
A few affordable places to go on spring break include:
- Yellowstone National Park: This famed national park offers camping, hiking and plenty of opportunities to view beautiful landscapes, the Old Faithful geyser and wildlife, such as bison and moose.
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: The mini golf capital of the world, Myrtle Beach boasts more than 35 mini golf courses. You and your family can also collect seashells at Myrtle Beach State Park and hit up amusement parks like Family Kingdom and WonderWorks.
- Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake: The Full American Plan rolls up accommodations, meals, and most amenities and activities into one package at this charming location 40 miles from Portland, Maine.
Look for Hotel Alternatives
Sometimes it’s fun to act like a tourist in a strange city, sure, but be prepared to pay tourist rates. If you want to bypass the tourist scene and live like a local when you are away from home, consider booking accommodations through Airbnb or VRBO to increase your spring break savings. You can customize your search parameters (downtown or suburbs? room or whole home?) to capture the experience you’re looking for. Be sure to read the reviews and communicate with the hosts beforehand so there are no surprises.
Set a Daily Spending Limit
Give yourself a set amount you can spend each day on sightseeing, meals and other expenses. You might also want to make an overall budget for your trip, broken down by category. Keep track of everything you spend. With a strict daily spending limit, you’re less likely to indulge in impulse purchases. You may also be more motivated to look for free and less costly activities.
Cook Your Own Meals
If you stay in a room with a kitchen, you and your family can prepare meals instead of eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your family might decide on one meal a day where you’ll dine out and cook the remainder of the time. You can also bring reusable water bottles and thermoses from home to save on drinks.
Visit Friends and Family Along the Way
Go on a family road trip and plan your route to include stops at friends’ and families’ homes. You can save on lodging, meals and potentially childcare, if grandparents are willing to watch the kids while you explore the area or enjoy some downtime. Also, your friends and family members might have memberships or discounted admission to local attractions. They might also be excited to play tour guide for you and your family.
Savings for the Procrastinators
If planning just isn’t your thing, that’s OK. You don’t have to pay steep hotel fees when you use apps like HotelTonight and One:Night, or websites like Late Rooms that offer steep savings on late bookings. (You don’t even have to share your secret with you planning-obsessed friends.)
Maximize Your Time
No matter how you spend your spring break, relax. Whether you are enjoying a staycation or are traveling, when you have insurance from Farm Bureau, you’re covered. Contact your local agent to review your coverage and have peace of mind during your vacation.