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Top Cheap Spring Break Destinations to Visit

By Sally Aquire

exotic beachGetting away from it all is the perfect way to spend Spring Break, but how do you choose a suitably exotic destination without spending a fortune? You don’t have to spend a lot of money during Spring Break to go somewhere nice. You just need to be smart, pick a spot that makes sense, and make a few compromises. Here are our top picks for where to go for your Spring Break on a budget.

The Caribbean

Blue waters and sandy white beaches mean that Jamaica and the Bahamas are popular Spring Break choices, and they’re cheaper than you might think. If you like watersports, you’ll love Barbados. Spring Break is a good time to visit the Caribbean, because tropical storms are more likely in the summer and early Fall.

If you opt for the U.S. Virgin Islands, you shouldn’t even need a passport, because this part of the Caribbean is actually a U.S. territory and most major credit cards and travelers checks are accepted there. Shopping is a popular activity here, because there are significant discounts on duty-free goods. The main downside is the cost of accommodation, because hotels can be rather expensive, unless you book your break as a package that includes your flights and accommodations together.

South Padre Island (Texas)

Only five miles by water from Mexico, this island has good beaches, and it is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. For Spring Break, the weather is usually very warm, so you don’t need to travel out of the U.S. for exotic weather. To keep things cheap, try one of the all-inclusive resorts. If you’re traveling with a big group of friends or family, renting a beach house can be an affordable way to stay. You can look for vacation rentals on VRBO.com.

Florida

South Beach and Miami Beach are favorites, especially with students who are looking to save money by taking their Spring Break vacation in the United States.  There are plenty of hostels in South Beach, so it’s got some appeal for students on a budget, but it’s not as casual as Miami Beach and can be more expensive too. If money is tight, staying in Miami Beach is your better bet, because the accommodations tend to be cheaper. To find hostels in the area, check out Hosteling International, where you can search for hostels all around the world. If you’re not too far from either location, why not make a road trip out of it instead of taking a flight?

Another option is Panama City, especially if you like your beach parties. Alternatively, you can swim with dolphins at the Gulf World Marine Park, or try your hand at kayaking or deep sea fishing.

Ski Resorts

If you like skiing, there are various options in North America. The top of the pile tends to be the Canadian ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb, which is highly rated. In Colorado, Crested Butte boasts good snow, and it is well set-up for snowboarding, but it can be challenging for the inexperienced. There are a ton of other great mountains in Colorado, Utah (Park City), and even California (Lake Tahoe). Just keep an eye out for the best deals.

Just because a destination is ‘hot’ right now, it doesn’t mean that it’s automatically too expensive to bother with. If you look around for good deals and maybe make some compromises with your accommodations, you can enjoy a relatively inexpensive vacation even in one of the popular Spring Break destinations.

(photo credit: madmack66)

Sally Aquire
Sally is a UK-based freelance writer. As well as personal finance, she also writes on health & beauty and lifestyle topics. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, shopping, hanging out with friends and generally making the most of her downtime!

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  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    Spring Break? It just hit 63 in Minneapolis! Students may as well head here to enjoy their break away from school. :) But really, some excellent ideas for having a relaxing spring break here. Just be sure to be smart about your belongings and keep your valuables secure when south of the border. Some of the border towns can be a bit dangerous.

    • http://www.sallyaquire.co.uk Sally Aquire

      Sounds lovely in Minneapolis!

      Good advice about the security.

    • Lilyv714

      I want to go somewhere but my parents said it was way to expensive to go where I wanted to I wanted to go to the Bahoma’s but I can’t instead my mom decided to go how unfair she said non of us were going anywhere and she has already left SOOO unfair

      • Annoying

        Great advice about the Security!

  • http://www.yourfinances101.com/blog David/Yourfinances101

    Consider the “Sun Coast” of Florida too. It is generally cheaper than the East coast of FL. And the wethar’s just as warm and the beaches (almost) just as nice

  • Em D.

    The ski season in the Tahoe area is great this year and will probably continue for at least another month. Unfortunately workers don’t get spring break :( otherwise I’d be up there taking advantage of one of the many midweek half off deals or ski and stay deals.

  • Gina

    Another option is ‘homeswapping’. I personally have never tried this, but it seems like a way to find a more inexpensive way to vacation.

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