Black chalkboard framed by wood with the words "spring break" written on it, laying on grass and flowers.

Spring Break on a Budget

Spring break vacations can help make these last few chilly weeks feel much more tolerable. While prices might be lower than during summer months, it still requires a decent amount of funds to jet-set off to an exotic location, especially if you have children. To help you stay on track with longer-term savings goals, we’ve compiled some tips and ideas on how to save on spring break while still getting the retreat that you and your family deserve. 

Let algorithms do the money-saving work for you

Thanks to many creative techies, there are a multitude of apps to help with every aspect of a vacation. While America Saves does not endorse any service or product, this list of 50 new apps in 2017 by Travel and Leisure is worth a look for money-saving options, with ones for flying, dining, lodging, and more!

Fill up your stomachs without draining your funds

  • Bring along your own snacks to last throughout the trip so that those few dollars here and there don’t end up preventing you from enjoying a particular excursion due to budget restrictions. Additionally, you can pack basic groceries and make a few simple meals if your accommodations have a kitchen.
  • While vacation is a great time to enjoy nicer restaurants, not every meal has to be delivered by a waiter or waitress deserving of a tip. Grab some sandwiches from a deli and head to a picnic-friendly spot outside.
  • When you do eat out, look around for coupons first. Websites, such as Entertainment.com, where you can buy coupon books for your destination, and coupondivas.com, where you can find kids-eat-free programs, are quick, easy, and extremely budget friendly!

Try a new type of vacation

Satisfy your adventurous side while still sleeping in your own bed

Perfect for those who live in a large and/or historically rich city, a staycation gives you the opportunity to do all of those things around town that have been on your list for years. Set aside a portion of the money you would have spent on travel and hotels, and instead splurge on local attractions, day trips, and restaurants that don’t fit into your usual routine. Have a family discussion and vote on the places you want to visit, create a budget for each excursion, and get to it! 

Embark on a road trip

Road trips allow more flexibility in how long and when you want to travel, since you aren’t constrained by having to strategically select departure and return dates based on varying rates by days of the week, as with airfare. Additionally, the “travel” part of this vacation is arguably part of the fun, too. Create some fun playlists, bring along audio books for the whole car to listen to, or que up some longer podcasts that you don’t otherwise have the time to listen to. Your destination could be historic sites, national parks, or a particular road such as California State Route 1. Since gas will be a large expense of this sort of vacation, look up gas mileage calculators to help you estimate how much to budget for fuel.

Rethink what it means to take a “break”

Some universities and colleges have what are called alternative spring break trips, where students can volunteer their spring break for a service-oriented trip. Some go to national parks to participate in clean-up or maintenance projects, while others partner with local organizations in different cities to attend to the needs of communities, whether by working at a food bank or rebuilding houses. While it’s not the typical relaxing vacation on a white sand beach, you’re still getting a break from your normal work routine, volunteering your time to others’ needs, and gaining new perspectives and experiences.

Keep your costs low while flying high

  • Consider flying into a “hub.” Each airline has one where the majority of their flights arrive and depart. The multitude of flights means lower prices for you. If your final destination isn’t a hub, you’ll still save big by flying there first and then grabbing a connecting flight to your destination. Check out the full list of hubs here.
  • Look at airline sites directly, as some don’t allow booking sites to aggregate their pricing. Check out domestic budget airlines such as JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Frontier. 

It is possible to get a spring break without breaking the bank or derailing savings goals. If you’re choosing to cut back on spring vacations because of a longer-term savings goal, consider entering the #ImSavingForSweepstakes which runs through April 6, 2018. Share with us what you’re saving for, and you could win a cash prize!


Let America Saves help you save money so you can feel confident about your finances during your next vacation. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the America Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn't stop there. America Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.

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Looking to take a spring break but don't want to break the bank? We've got you covered with money-saving tips and creative vacation ideas >> http://bit.ly/2IdSR9P @AmericaSaves

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