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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

Spring break is quickly approaching, giving us a much-needed reprieve from the stress of school. We’re starting to see warmer days and tufts of green grass start growing, showing that spring is almost on its way. With spring break at the beginning of March for most colleges, there isn’t much time to plan once the semester begins and we’re thrown back into classes. Due to this, it can be hard to budget and plan for spring break when you’re trying adamantly to focus on school. As much as spring break is needed, sometimes it can be stressful to plan or think about finances, so here are my tips and tricks to save some on vacation whether you’re staying at home, in the area, or going abroad.

Plan as early as you can

It isn’t always realistic to plan for spring break early when you have school and other commitments. Sometimes worrying about future finances can hinder early planning since you won’t know what your status will be by the time March rolls around — I’ve dealt with this very often. But, if you can, the earlier you plan either by yourself or with your friends, you can often find early bird spring break deals. Deals on hotels and flights or even travel packages are offered months in advance so if you can plan earlier, it’s one of the biggest helps to saving later.

Save on travel

Similar to planning as early as possible, picking out flights months in advance is very helpful to cut costs. Another way to save on travel is to take the train or drive to your destination. Not only is taking the train more affordable, but it’s more environmentally conscious too (saving the planet and your budget). If you think you’ll need a car where you’re going, drive to your vacation if you can, and save on taxis and rentals while you’re out as you already have a vehicle with you. Staying close (or closer) to home for spring break? Driving is the perfect opportunity to make a trip into a road trip and stop and see some sights on the way to your final spot.

Don’t Always Eat Out

As exciting as it is to grab food out at restaurants in new places, it can be super expensive. Big cities have huge prices and it can be a lot to try and eat out for every meal, especially if you’re staying for a full week. If you’re traveling to somewhere with a kitchen, bring stuff to make meals and you can save on takeout expenses and even split the cost with your friends. Plus, making food all together on a spring break with your friends is another part of the fun. If you’re traveling somewhere that doesn’t have a kitchen, try and pack snacks or quick bites as much as you can (depending on travel restrictions) because you can save on those quick morning runs to a coffee shop or gas station, which add up in the long run.

Find packages or Free Activities

Many spring break destinations or common tourist destinations have packages that cut down costs for activities when you book early or travel with a group. A lot of destinations also offer free activities like museums, parks, or community events that are always fun and interesting to go to in a new location.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Student Discounts

As college students, we are very lucky that we get offered many student discounts. Most people disregard this, but with some research, many places offer student deals for just having your college ID. When searching online for activities, check to see if places you want to go to have student discounts. If you need new luggage, outfits, or general travel gear, many websites let you sign up and give you student deals while registering with your student ID.

Spring break doesn’t always have to be a big blowout event where you spend thousands of dollars. You can always take day trips in your hometown or stay around your college and experience a somewhat empty campus. But, if you do decide you want to take a trip and are worrying about funds, planning early and hunting for deals can help extremely. Don’t break the bank, be thrifty instead.

Sylvia Mack

Virginia Tech '24

Sylvia is a senior at Virginia Tech studying Communication with a double minor in Sociology and Event and Experience Management.