10 Budget-Friendly Spring Break Destinations for College Students
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think “spring break,” images of Miami Beach, the Bahamas, and Cancun pop into my head. Destinations like these are fun, tropical, and, sadly, not exactly cheap. But there’s no need to worry if you’re the typical broke college student (like most of us), because you can still have an awesome break at these budget-friendly places!
1. San Diego, CA
If you’re on the West Coast, and looking to get away for a bit, San Diego is a great place to visit. In March and April, the weather is mild (60’s and 70’s), there’s sunshine, and, best of all, beaches! Finding a hotel downtown, instead of on the beach, will definitely save you some money. You can also look into splitting the cost of an Airbnb if you’re set on being ocean-side 24/7. The city’s small-town feel can relax you by day, and the thriving party scene can get you energized by night. What more could you ask for?
2. Atlantic City, NJ
For all of the East Coast people, you don’t need to make a trip to Florida or the Caribbean to find a nice beach. Atlantic City, New Jersey has it all- beach, shops, live music, and…CASINOS! Atlantic City is also a mere two hour drive to New York City, if you want to visit the beach and the big city, without spending big bucks on trendy hotels.
3. Austin, TX
If your spring break doesn’t need to include a beach, then Austin, Texas could be a great pick for you. There’s sunshine, live music everywhere, a hippie/hipster vibe, and yummy food (that is also really cheap!). Popular music festivals like SXSW and the Urban Music Festival attract tons of tourists during the month of March. Airfare rates to Austin are usually relatively low, and it’s easy to find inexpensive hotels if you search ahead of time.
4. Seattle, WA
For a seaside destination that’s a little bit different, Seattle is worth a visit. It’s is one of the most modern cities in the country, with an edgy culinary scene, Pike Place Market, The Space Needle, museums, and thriving nightlife. Since Seattle is well-known for being a rainy city, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see much sunshine on this trip. However, with smart searching on hotel deals, and taking advantage of Seattle’s public transportation, you can find plenty of ways to have fun in this bustling city.
5. Myrtle Beach, SC
If you want your spring break to include beautiful beaches and parties, Myrtle Beach could be the place for you. Just a two hour drive from Charleston, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a popular place for spring breakers in the South. This destination’s beaches are perfect for water sports, and it offers more than 100 golf courses for when you get tired of sitting on the beach and partying. Cheap hotel rates can be found in March and April, but be sure to book quickly because Myrtle Beach fills up fast with college students.
6. Montreal, Quebec, Canada
A week-long trip to Europe for spring break may be a little out of reach, but Montreal is the next best thing. The European-style cobblestone streets and architecture are breathtaking, and for the younger spring breakers, the legal drinking age in Quebec is 18. Montreal offers nightlife and a booming foodie scene. If you’re looking to go on an international trip this spring, without breaking the bank, head to Canada. Just remember your passport!
7. Daytona Beach, FL
If you really want to experience the party scene in Florida without spending way too much, head to Daytona Beach. The city offers daily parties for spring breakers, and with a proper search, you can find plenty of discount hotels. Airfare rates are relatively low, or, if you go to school on the East Coast, you can fit in a mini road trip on the drive down! With sunshine, the beach, and parties every day, you can get the classic spring break experience on a Ramen budget.
8. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
If Cancun isn’t in your budget right now, but you still want to visit Mexico, check out Playa Del Carmen. This location is a bit more refined than nearby Cancun, but still offers beautiful beaches and a world class club and bar scene. Apartment or condo rentals can be a budget-friendly option for groups, and most food and entertainment should be within walking distance, so there won’t be much need for a rental car or an Uber.
9. Portland, OR
If you live on or near the West Coast, and don’t want to splurge this spring break, a trip to Portland could be a nice pick. Portland is a well-known destination for foodies, and it’s easy to embrace its hippie “keep Portland weird” vibe. If you want to take a break from the city, Multnomah Falls are less than an hour away, or you can head to the Oregon Coast for breathtaking views of the ocean (and, more importantly, plenty of Instagram opportunities).
10. Cruise to the Bahamas
While this may be the most expensive option of all of the destinations, it can actually be the most budget-friendly. On a cruise, you pay for everything in advance (except for alcohol and some quality food items). This means that if you stick to the ship’s own restaurants and limit your drinking, you could spend a week eating whatever you want (whenever you want), lounging at the pool, watching live shows, and visiting various islands. Plus, a cruise is a safe option for spring breakers, because if you get drunk, you don’t have to worry about how you’ll get home. Your room is always nearby. For a three or four-day cruise to the Bahamas, it’s possible to find deals on cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival.