It seems like inflation and the cost of living are rising each day. But, when looking up tips for how to save money on Spring Break, I found plenty of easy ways to share with you. From when to begin planning to method of payment and maximizing airfare calendars, here are 16 easy ways to save money on Spring Break!
If you like travel stats, you’ll love this one: 56% of folks in the U.S. are planning on traveling this spring. And with travel restrictions being lifted thanks to the CDC, travel is taking a huge upswing. But there is a downside: the cost of travel is on the upswing, too. We’ll be paying more for airline tickets and lodging. And don’t even get me started on gas prices. In my neck of the woods near Pittsburgh, a gallon of gas is way over $4.29.
But, there are still ways for the savvy traveler to save for Spring Break. All it takes is utilizing these tips to get some serious savings.
Disclosure: These tips were given to me by the folks at Savings.com!
How to Save Money on Spring Break – Make Credit Cards Your Friends
Along with getting cash back, air miles, and travel points, credit cards can offer you travel protection just in case something happens. For example, we love our Chase Sapphire Rewards card because it offers trip insurance coverage.
It offers trip delay reimbursement, covers reasonable out of pocket expenses due to a lengthy trip delay not caused by a common carrier. It also includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance, provides reimbursement for covered travel expenses if you have to cancel a trip or leave early along with plenty of other travel perks.
Now, I’m not saying to put a vacation on your credit card and rack up interest because that would not help for you to save money. What I am saying is to look at your credit cards, see what travel benefits they have, and use accordingly.
Book As Early As Possible for the Lowest Rates
Since last year, both lodging and airfare have increased 20% plus. So, if you’re flying internationally, you’ll want to book 2 to 8 months ahead of your trip. Staying in the country? A good savings window is 1 to 3 months to get the best savings.
Check Local Planning Groups for the Best Deals
I’ve been in a Walt Disney World planning group on Facebook for over 10 years now. What started as a bunch of Disney newbies bouncing questions and tips off each other has not turned into long standing friendships.
But, it’s planning groups like these that are great for asking locals what to see and do in a particular city or location. Additionally, don’t discount Reddit for getting help from locals. And while you’re on vacation, feel free to ask ride sharing service drivers for tips and tricks when you’re going to and from locations.
Lastly, hotel and resort concierge can assist you with restaurant suggestions. I always like to ask where the locals eat for really good cuisine.
Make Southwest Airlines Low Fare Calendar a Priority
If you’re planning on flying, check out the Southwest Airlines low fare calendar to help with departure return flights. It shows airfare prices a month at a time to help you plan your trip. If you book midweek, you’ll save the most.
Check Google Flights Before You Book
Apart from Southwest Airlines, check out Google Flights for the best prices before you lock down your flights. It shows both one way and round trip, which gives you flexibility. Additionally, it shows the emission rate per flight, which is something I never thought about until I began using it.
How to Save Money on Spring Break – Consider a Value Resort
When planning for Central Florida theme park travel, you don’t necessarily need a swanky resort if you’re going to be in the theme parks most of the time. When we visit Walt Disney World, I love booking the Disney Value Resorts. For one, they’re themed to the hilts. Secondly, you can save hundreds of dollars per night. Thirdly, if you have smaller children, they’ll love the big pools with hourly activities.
Use All-Inclusive Resorts to Your Benefit
When it comes to budgeting, I love taking advantage of all-inclusive travel packages. It gives me peace of mind knowing that everything is paid for in advance, that way I can budget for souvenirs, etc. For example, when we travel to Walt Disney World, I’ve paid for the Disney Dining Plan in advance so I know we have two big meals and two snacks a day already accounted for. Whatever snacks we don’t eat, I grab them the day we leave and take them home (make sure they’re prepackaged).
As an added perk, you also won’t have to worry about splitting costs with the rest of your travel party.
How to Save Money on Spring Break – Travel As a Group
Having written the above section, if you’re not into going all-inclusive, consider traveling with a group of family or friends to split the cost of ride sharing, resort rooms, and food. If you’re traveling with a large party, you may qualify for a discounted rate, so always ask when you’re booking.
Prepare Meals in Your Room
I know very well that dining is a major expense when traveling with my family. So, if we’re in a large resort room that offers a kitchen, I’m more than happy to cook. We head to a local grocery store and grab meal items, drinks, and snacks, and that way we can eat at least one meal on property. Personally, I like to cook dinner.
Tip: If you know you’ll have a full kitchen or even a mini fridge, you can order a case of water and other foods from Amazon Marketplace and have it delivered to your resort.
Take a Road Trip Instead of a Flight
I know, gas prices are skyrocketing, but do the math and see if it will save you money overall. For one, you’re able to pack the car as heavily as you want and not worry about baggage fees. Secondly, you have great flexibility to stop and see points of interest or roadside attractions.
Lastly, think about how closely a cruise port is if you’re taking a cruise. I started looking up summer cruises recently and didn’t realize there was one only a few hours’ drive from me in Baltimore. But, you will have to pay for parking to keep your car at port so, again, do the math.
Look for Free Activities in Your Area
When I was planning my first family trip to Washington, DC, I wanted to budget for Smithsonian Museum visits around the National Mall and came up empty handed. I quickly learned they were free and I was stoked. Not having to pay for the attractions we visited on that trip save d a ton of money.
So my advice is to look up free activities in the place you’re traveling to and take advantage of them. Search “free things in ___” in Google and make a list.
Bundle Attraction Passes and Tickets in Advance
Check local visitor’s bureaus to see if they offer an attraction pass. These passes bundle attractions together for a flat fee instead of paying each time. I, personally, love the Clifton Hill Fun Pass in Niagara Falls and CityPass for larger cities.
How to Save Money on Spring Break – Use a Hotel Shuttle
Before you go, find out if your resort has a free shuttle. If it does, ask if it takes you to/from the airport or within a certain distance for free.
Really Think About Attending a Timeshare Presentation
On one of my first visits to Mexico, I attended a “property tour” in exchange for a free breakfast buffet that morning. After our meal, we were shown the property and then shown what a buy-in to it would be. The presenters got more and more heated and high pressure and, by the time I left, I was shaking.
I’ve never attended once since then because my time is money. What may start as a two-hour presentation often goes over and the pressure of a sale can get severe. Totally not worth it for me to save a few bucks.
How to Save Money on Spring Break – Give Yourself Flexibility
By planning for Spring Break travel in advance, yes, you’ll get the best deals. But if it’s months ahead, you never know what may come up right before. So, consider travel insurance for peace of mind.
Travel insurance works by paying in advance then, if something comes up and you can’t go, your trip is covered and you won’t have to pay.
If you won’t want to go the travel insurance route, book with resorts that have easy-to-cancel policies and allows for rescheduling.
f you’re traveling internationally, it’s also important to make sure you get a Covid-19 test if your destination requires it. A Drip Hydration Covid test can ensure you have the right documents in hand so you can avoid travel disruptions and additional costs.
Travel to Unpopular Destinations
For this one, unpopular doesn’t mean untoward. So, think of beaches that aren’t swamped with people and aren’t the hot ones to visit.