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Smart Spring Break Spending

Author: Financial Success | Image: Financial Success

With Spring Break quickly approaching, students all across campus are preparing to pack their bags and travel. Either way you decide to spend your Spring Break and dodge this cold Iowa weather, it’s smart to plan ahead for the expenses that come with it. We all know that these Spring break trips can be a great way to escape for a week, but how much are can these trips costing students financially?

According to, the average college student spends $1,100 a week on spring break, and less than half of that is spent on lodging and transportation. It might seem like the cost of having a good time, but there are several key mistakes that are likely contributing to this number.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that spring breakers make is being overzealous with their credit cards, racking up charges and occasionally going over their credit limit. Students will be better off if they pay for as much of the trip in cash as possible since consumers generally spend more conservatively when they have to watch dollars physically disappear from their wallet.

Another big mistake vacationers make is keeping their bar tab open. While it’s fine to do this at home in a bar you frequent, on vacation, you could easily end up footing the bill for friends or freeloaders, not to mention “accidental overcharges” from bartenders who confuse your tab with dozens of others they’re managing. Always take a closer look at your bill before you sign it, or you may end up paying for more than you intended.

Saving money during the trip itself is also important. Think about attending a free concert, hitting up a museum on the free night, or see how much free stuff you can collect. Spending money on going out to eat, alcohol, and transportation costs can really add up in a hurry. Here are some overall tips that might help cut your Spring Break spending:

  • Always check last minute deals on hotels and room packages
  • Hit up the grocery store when you arrive so you are less likely to eat out
  • Bring your student ID (You never know where you can find discounts!)
  • Take advantage of online student traveling sites
  • Save on drinks. Bar tabs can add up quickly, so make a few drinks of your own before you hit the bar
  • Don’t blow your cash on souvenirs
  • Consider having alternative locations to travel. The most popular travel destination is not always the cheapest
  • Booking a hotel and flight together may save you hundreds
  • Pack light. You don’t want to be spending more for heavy luggage and extra bags

So before you wave goodbye to the cold Iowa weather and say hello to the Panama City Beach sun, remember that you might be eating ramen noodles for the next few months if you don’t manage your money well during Spring Break.

Be safe and have fun, Cyclones!