Spring Break is right around the corner and we could not be more excited! There will be sun, sand, palm trees…well, there will be for everyone who’s spent the last three months planning a vacay in Panama City. What about the rest of us procrastinators?
Never fear, just because you’re late to the party doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast. We’ve got three steps that will get you from your last midterm straight to last-minute Spring Break paradise, and all without breaking the bank!
Step 1: Start with cheap plane/train/bus tickets. Transport can be the biggest cost barrier to an awesome trip, so if you’re destination flexible, settle on a spot with killer round-trip fare.
The Flight Deal – http://www.theflightdeal.com/
Prepare to fall in love. The Flight Deal is an awesome little website that finds you miraculously low prices on flights to great destinations. Here’s how it works: deals are posted daily to and from specific airports (lucky you, Boston pops up a lot!) and are usually live for 24-48 hours. They may have specific booking dates, like any trip between March 1st and April 15th. Since the deals are pretty random, The Flight Deal is perfect for booking a last-minute getaway, as opposed to a big trip planned months in advance. Sound too good to be true? The Boston-Dallas and Boston-Denver routes are author tested and approved!
- $108: Roundtrip Boston to Ft Lauderdale
- $80: Roundtrip Boston to Dallas
- $234: Roundtrip Boston to Oslo, Norway
- $572: Roundtrip Boston to Beijing, China
- $269: Roundtrip Boston to Barbados
Busbud – https://www.busbud.com/en
It’s like Kayak, but for buses! Spring Break isn’t just for beaches, it’s also the perfect time to explore cities a bit closer to home. You can save a bundle of cash by traveling over ground instead of by air.
- $86: Roundtrip to Montreal
- $44: Roundtrip to New York City
- $70: Roundtrip to Philadelphia
Step 2: Skip the hotel and go private!
Airbnb (your new bae) – https://www.airbnb.com/
This awesome hub for renting out private rooms is way cheaper than a hotel! It’s tough vetting and rating systems mean that you know exactly what you’re getting and that it’s super safe. You can easily find rooms under $30 a night if you’re fine with a twin bed and perhaps not the comfiest mattress in the world.
- $24/night: Ft Lauderdale
- $28/night: East Dallas
- $30/night: Barbados
- $21/night: Charlevoix, Montreal
Hostelworld – http://www.hostelworld.com/hostels
While not as common in the US, hostels are a tried and true travel staple in Europe and are ideal for the budget-conscious student. You pay rock-bottom prices for simple accommodations, which are often shared with other travelers. It’s a great way to meet people from all over the world!
- $28/night: Manhattan, New York City
- $19/night: Philadelphia
- $17.25/night: Myrtle Beach
- $17/night: Tampa
- $29/night: San Antonio
- $23/night: San Francisco
Step 3: Find free stuff. Once you’ve got your lodging and transportation down, spend a bit of time working out your trip schedule. Most of your daily budget will be spent on food, so planning out cheap eats is a good place to start. From there, fill in the pricier stuff that you’re dying to do, and fill in the gaps with free/inexpensive activities.
Groupon: The big kahuna of all deal finders. Purchase coupons online (or in the app) for restaurants, movie theaters, retail stores, and so much more to use in person. Deals can be filtered by city, interest (like Things To Do or Food & Drink), and price range, allowing you to build Groupons into every aspect of your trip. Use code NEWOFF to get 10% off your first deal!
Daily Gobble (app): First, find dozens of restaurant coupons based on your location. Dine out and pay the bill, then snap a picture of the receipt in-app to get the discount reimbursement sent directly to you via PayPal!
Scoutmob (app): This awesome app rounds up “scout-approved” restaurants, shops, and local artisans and slaps great deals on them, so not only do you get an insider look into the best of a new city, but you get it at a fraction of the cost!
Bandsintown: This site/app is perfect for last minute travelers looking for a fun night out in a new area. Big shows at a city’s headlining stage show up, but perhaps even better, Bandsintown shows you all kinds of concerts at smaller venues with local bands and acts. It’s not only cheaper, but it’s also a much more personal way to get to know an area!