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Cheap spring break trips for every type of traveler
Winter doldrums got you down? It’s the perfect time to think about getting away from it all with cheap spring break trips, whether that means a jaunt to sunnier shores, an exploration of cultural centers and cities, or a road trip to a destination close to home. Even if money is tight, we still want to get away for spring break—and still can! You just have to learn how to travel cheap by choosing a budget-friendly destination. And with this list, you won’t feel like you’re skimping on anything.
Teachers, college students and parents with school-aged kids are most likely to book vacations during spring break, which usually falls sometime between March and April. But after long months of cold weather, just about everyone is feeling restless, so we picked the best spots for every type of traveler, from singles to couples to families. Although some popular spring break spots ramp up their prices during peak travel months, our research uncovered some cheap places to travel that offer reasonable rates and fewer tourists but just as much enjoyment. If you feel like you don’t have the money for a vacation, check out these affordable family vacations, hidden gems in every state and budget airlines that will take you to the best places to travel for spring break.
How we chose the best cheap spring break destinations
To find the cheapest places to go on spring break, we researched tips from travel experts, took online buzz into account and read a whole lot of reviews. Combine that with our personal experiences in discovering off-the-beaten path destinations, and you have a list of some truly great (and affordable!) spring break trips.
So, what types of cheap spring break trips did we include? We considered states that offer cheap travel along with outstanding things to see and do. And we looked at places that are in the cheaper “shoulder season,” the time between the peak season and off-season. We also tried to avoid places where most college kids go for spring break, as these hot spots tend to be more expensive. Finally, we looked outside the box of traditional spring break destinations and included some options that might surprise you.
What, exactly, is “cheap”?
We aimed to keep flights under $500, using New York as a general departure point (obviously, flights differ in cost depending on where you live and how far the destination is from you). We looked at Saturday-to-Saturday travel because, for those who have a week off for spring break, that would likely make the most sense; but if you’re willing to fly midweek, flights will likely be even cheaper than what we’ve cited here. You can also sign up for fare notifications to find the best time to buy flights, and use the best travel credit cards and best travel apps when booking to save extra cash.
For hotels, we aimed to keep them under $300 a night, with under $200 as the ideal—we strove to balance price and quality so you’ll still be lodging somewhere clean, comfortable and convenient.
As hotel and airfare prices vary so much by the specific date you travel and when you book, these are general guidelines; we can’t guarantee a specific fee. Still, the destinations we picked tend to run cheaper than other, more popular or more hyped spots, allowing you to plan a spring break on a budget. Read on to discover the locales we found!
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Best for relaxing vibes
Montego Bay, Jamaica
The infectious rhythm of Jamaica, the birthplace of reggae music, makes the island the perfect antidote for the winter blues. Although Caribbean destinations are always popular, spring is traditionally the cheaper shoulder season, and Jamaica is already an affordable island to begin with. Plus, while U.S. locations like Florida tend to be packed with spring breakers, the islands offer alternative sunny-weather getaways. With its pristine beaches, outdoor activities (including snorkeling and zip-lining), restaurants and beach bars, Jamaica is perfect for families, couples and party-goers alike. Tip: A day or two shift in when you fly could alter your flight cost dramatically, so check before booking.
Where to stay: All-inclusive family resorts in popular Montego Bay offer great package deals along a gorgeous stretch of turquoise water. Stay at the Royal Decameron Montego Beach for around $240 a night.
- Laid-back island feeling
- Gorgeous beaches
- Highs in the ’80s in March and April
- May need to be flexible (within a couple of days) for the best flight prices