Spring Break should be a time for students to go out and have fun with their friends and get a bit of rest in the middle of a hard semester. But embarking on this trip irresponsibly can leave students financially handicapped for the future. It is important to enjoy your time, but it is also important to be able to do so within your budget.
Planning for a spring break vacation should start months before the actual trip. One of the things that students should take advantage of is vacation packages offered by travel agents around this time. The packages are specifically targeted at students and often offer hotel rooms, flights and rental cars together. The hotels should also have deals on dining (two-for-one offers) that would allow travelers to save even more money. Planning ahead also allows students to arrange their finances. Drawing down that pesky credit card debt can keep costs from overwhelming you. In addition, spring breakers can start to set aside cash now to help pay for the later trip.
One travel option that spring breakers will want to avoid, however, is a reliance on last-minute discount travel websites. While their prices might be appetizing, travelers can get the same deals (without the discount service) elsewhere if they plan early enough. Saving a few extra dollars through a discount website is not worth getting stuck at a foreign airport at 3 A.M. on your way home because your connecting flight never arrived.
Students should also remember to place their important papers (plane tickets, passports, etc.) in a safe place as soon as they arrive at their destination. This in good advice in general, but it’s also essential for staying within a budget. Lost plane tickets can lead to hours of hassle as well as a reissue charge that can put a hamper on future plans. Losing your passport will also lead to a loss of time and money. And we have not even considered yet the idea that someone might rob you of these items (as well as your credit card). Spring break locales are havens for petty theft.
As for how students should spend their money, one basic rule applies: use either cash or a single credit card. This will better enable someone to keep track of his or her expenses. Using multiple credit cards can lead to confusion. Switching up credit cards can also leave travelers more at risk for credit card fraud, as they will not be certain which card they used where. if students choose to go with cash for the trip, they should remember not to advertise that fact to strangers or locals. If traveling during spring break means going to a foreign country, then spring breakers need to be aware of the currency exchange. Shopping may seem cheap at first, until travelers understand what each item is really worth.
The best thing that someone can do to stay within a budget is to set aside a certain amount of money for each day. Students won’t be able to spend too much on a single day, and they will still have money left over for the rest of their trip (it also minimizes the loss if you do end up getting stolen from). Spring break is supposed to a time of fun and relaxation, and staying on a budget will maximize that experience and ensure that you still have money to live on when you get home.