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How to save money on spring break

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By Julia Sayers

You aced your midterms, you’re all packed, travel arrangements are set and you’re ready to spend a relaxing ten days with friends or family. And although you planned to save money all year for spring break, now that it’s actually rolled around your bank account is a pretty depressing sight. Maybe you spent a majority of your money on your spring break flight or a shopping spree for cute spring clothes and now have nothing to spend on vacation. Don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to save money while you’re on spring break!

Take advantage of your relatives

Call up those relatives you know in Florida! Most of the time they’ll be more than willing to accommodate you and your friends (and they’ll feed you!). Staying with grandma isn’t exactly your idea of a fun spring break? Consider staying with your relatives for part of the time then renting a condo or hotel room for the other nights. This will cut down costs instead of having to pay for a hotel for the whole time. Research nightly rates at places and then maybe spend the amount of nights equal to the people you have. For example, if you have 4 people, stay at a condo for 4 nights. This way each person pays for one night and it makes figuring out the price much easier.

Buy groceries and cook meals

The first thing you should do after settling in is go grocery shopping. Cooking dinners instead of eating out at overpriced restaurants will cut back on costs. Buy granola bars for breakfast and sandwich supplies for lunches you can pack and take with you to the beach. Delegate dinner duties to a different person (or group of people) each night. Maybe guys can make tacos one night and girls can make spaghetti another night. If you do go out to eat, avoid the most touristy spots, as they will be more overpriced.

Don’t buy drinks at the bar

If you’re going to go out to bars and clubs every night, watch drink prices. At most clubs, especially spring break ones, drinks will be insanely overpriced. According to drinkprices.com, in Miami, FL mixed drinks range anywhere from $3 to $7 dollars (and those are at the “cheap” bars!). Beers are a little cheaper, but still pricey, ranging from $2 to $5 for an average beer. Also be wary of entrance fees. Most dance clubs have a cover charge, which is often between $10 and $20. Choose one night to go to a nice club and then look for cheaper options the other nights. A karaoke bar can be just as fun, but much cheaper than a dance club.

Find cheap things to do

Research things to do in the area that don’t cost much. Look for parks and nature trails in the area. Find out if there are any festivals going on. If you’re spending your break in a big city, you can often buy combo packages, which will give you entry to a certain amount of museums and tourist attractions for a cheaper price than paying for them all separately. If you’re going to Disney World, consider getting the Park Hopper ticket if you plan on going to a few different parks.

Use your Phoenix Card

Make sure you bring your student ID with you. Most museums and attractions offer a student discount if you can show a valid student ID. According to lendingtree.com, even restaurants, movie theaters and stores will offer spring break discounts to students. Ask the concierges at your hotel if they have any coupons or know which places are student friendly.

(Written for the Pendulum’s magazine insert, Elon Edge)

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Written by juliasayers

March 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm

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