Guide to Spring Break on a College Student Budget

Believe it or not, spring break is right around the corner!  Students are already starting to plan and book their trips.  Money might be tight for most college students, but a spring break trip doesn’t have to break the bank.  By following a few tips and planning ahead, you can have an outstanding experience for a reasonable cost!

Go somewhere close

Instead of flying or driving somewhere far, decide on somewhere close.  There are plenty of tourist attractions in or near the Mid-South that you have probably never seen. (List of spring break spots within driving distance from Memphis coming soon!)  Spend your week as a tourist in your own city of Memphis.  There are plenty of things to do on a budget right here at home!

Find student discounts

U of M student ID

Student discounts are abundant during spring break, especially in locations that get a heavy influx of college students. When deciding on a place, call around and ask what kind of discounts they offer.  Always carry your student ID.  Many restaurants, shops, and bars offer discounts if you have one.

Get the best price

Groupon and Living Social have been featuring a high number of vacation getaway packages for 50-75% off.  Always try calling the hotels and airlines directly.  Some over discounts for large groups.

Spring Break Camping

Spring Break Camping

Housing costs are usually the highest expense when planning a vacation. Even low-rated motels can charge over $100 per night in popular spring break locales so find a cheaper alternative. If you’re going to the beach, you can usually camp in a tent or you car for a small fee or even free. State parks also offer cheap or free camping, whether it’s in a tent, your car or a big RV.  Panama City Beach offers many camping options including St. Andrews State Park, right on the water.

House Sit

There are plenty of people that need house sitting, especially along the coast.  You might need to walk the dog or water their garden, but that’s a pretty nice trade off for staying somewhere for free, or even being paid to do it!   For just $30, you can register with the well-rated HouseSittersAmerica to find suitable accommodations.

Stay in hostels

If Quentin Tarantino didn’t scare you away from hostels forever with his movies by the same name,  hostels are a very economical  way to go.  However, hostels vary greatly in quality, so reading reviews at sites like is essential.

Couch Surfing!couch surfing during spring break

Believe it or not, there is a site,, where you can connect with people all over the world looking or offering an available couch to crash on.  Hey, it’s spring break, you’ll more than likely be crashing rather than sleeping anyways!

Rent accomodations with kitchens or kitchenettes

You might pay a little more for a condo or hotel suite with kitchens, but you’ll save a TON eating in!  And these places usually accomodate more people, and that helps lower the cost for everyone.

Load up on coupons and gift cardsgift cards

Scour the web for coupons and gift certificates. offers great promotions all the time to get a $25 gift certificate for $2 instead of the normal $10. Stock up on these, and you can still eat out and drink for cheap.  Discount travel gift cards can be purchased at sites like to save on such expenses as airfare, hotels and gas. They feature cards from popular companies including American Airlines and Shell, so you can save money wherever your travels take you.

Check out the area’s Social Media pages

There are many places that will offer special deals just for their Facebook fans or Twitter followers.  This is also a good place to find out daily deals, happy hour specials, bands playing, etc.


College Spring Break

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