Feeling the winter blues? We are a mere month away from the first day of spring (March 20th), and spring break is probably on your mind.
Whether it’s a spring break vacation or maybe just a fun staycation planned, here are some ways to save money and still treat yourself to a much-needed winter break.
- Set a budget and stick to it. Set a budget for your spring break. Maybe your budget allows you to take a trip somewhere warm, visit some family, or just do a few fun things around your own town. Either way, make a plan for the week and stick to it. Plan out your activities, meals, gas and extra things you might need. Budgeting apps are a great way to keep track of your finances and to make sure you are staying within your budget.
- Take a road trip. A couple weeks ago my husband had a few days off and as much as we would’ve loved to fly our family somewhere warm, our budget argued otherwise. But we still wanted to do something fun! We decided to take a road trip to a place some friends recommended. We drove about an hour and a half to the Great Wolf Lodge and our family had a great time for two days enjoying the indoor waterslides and pools, bowling as a family and even hitting up the arcade. The nicest thing about the trip was everything was in one place. We slept, swam, ate, played and repeated. Great Wolf Lodge has locations all over the country too, so if you’re interested in a quick, fun family getaway, this could be your spot.
Tips on booking:
- Check for Ebates to get cash back on hotels
- Book at least 60 days out to get the Early Saver Deals
- Visit the website to see what deals are going on before you book (when we booked there was a 40% off winter discount going on!)
- Best prices run for mid-week stays
Whether it’s the Great Wolf Lodge or somewhere else within driving distance, a night or two away can be a nice break and change of scenery. Priceline’s Name Your Own Price tool can be an excellent way to get a last minute hotel stay for up to 60% off too!
- Cook your meals. If you’re like me, then eating out is half the fun of a vacation. But eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will leave you feeling overstuffed and can get pricey! So pick a few meals you want to pack or cook. When you book a place to stay, try to get a room with a fridge and microwave to help with easy things like storing milk for morning cereal or heating up leftovers from dinner the night before.
- Scope out deals. If you are still looking to book a vacation, check multiple apps or websites to compare prices on flights, hotels, cars, etc. Search for your best deal on Kayak, or set up the Hopper app on your phone to watch flight prices daily for you. You can actually set up your trips on the app (to, from, dates, etc.) and Hopper will notify you when flight prices rise and drop, so you always know when the best time is to book.
- Check Special Rates. Make sure to take advantage of any special rates you can get. Whether this is AAA, senior citizen discount or student discounts. If you’re a member of Costco, don’t forget to check out special discounted rates on Costco Travel. The last two times I’ve booked a rental car, the cheapest I’ve found is through Costco.
- Split costs or swap homes. If you’re doing a family vacation, consider booking with other families to split the costs of lodging, food, etc. Or, you might even swap homes with someone on the other side of the country. HomeExchange lets you temporarily swap homes with someone else, and although you will need to sign up for a membership ($150/yr), this could be worth the money even for just couple swaps a year.
Budget and plan for this spring break with these tips and you’ll not only save more, but have more fun too. Now let the countdown to spring break begin!