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7 Best Spring Break Vacation Ideas for the Broke College Student

Updated on October 30, 2012

Spring break is just about upon us and that usually means that college kids are packing their bags and heading off to party together on the beach. However, the economy is so tight that some college kids are thinking twice about whether or not they should be splurging on Spring Break travel.

The usual solution for college kids in this position has traditionally been to do a Mexican Spring Break trip. However, with safety warnings issued for that area because of social and political unrest throughout the country, that’s certainly not the way to go for your 2009 Spring Break. So what do you do?

If you’re in the position of wanting to take a Spring Break trip with friends but not wanting to spend a lot of money then you still have some options. Here are seven Spring Break ideas that should be affordable:

1. Bahamas. People who were planning to go to Mexico for Spring Break but who have been warned away are turning their sights towards the Bahamas. There are some great last minute hotel and flight package deals that make it a really affordable place to travel for Spring Break. You’ll want to do a lot of shopping around to make sure that you’re getting a good deal but once you get that taken care of you’ll be able to just enjoy your Spring Break vacation on those beautiful beaches.

2. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Another place that people are heading instead of Mexico this year is Buenos Aires. There’s a lot to see and do here and it’s not all that expensive. If you’re looking for an active vacation with a lot of guided tours for your group then this is probably one of the most affordable options out there. Do some shopping around to find the cheapest places to stay and things to do, of course, but rest easy knowing that this is one of the most affordable Spring Break vacations available this year.

3. South Padre Island, Texas. This has always been a big Spring Break destination and this year is no exception. Traveling to this area tends to be easy for a lot of people in the United States because it’s kind of centralized down south. You’ve got the warm water beaches that you’d get in Mexico but you’re still in the U.S. so you don’t have all of that political unrest to worry about. This is definitely a favorite place for broke college kids seeking to stay in America for their Spring Break this year.

4. San Diego. Depending on where you’re coming from, a trip to San Diego can be really affordable. The beaches here are great and the weather is already warm in early spring so you can have that traditional beach vacation without having to go to Mexico. You’ll want to shop around for the best deals on airfare and hotels, limit your spending on drinking by doing most of it as pre-drinking at your hotel and focus on doing free activities like the beach, window shopping in the Gaslamp and wandering through Balboa Park.

5. Vegas. This one is one that you should be careful with because it’s really easy to spend a whole lot more money than you planned on spending in Vegas. It’s not just the gambling tables that will get you either. Spending money on tickets to see big shows like Cirque de Soleil, paying too much to get into some of the nicer clubs and choosing a fancy hotel are all quick ways that college kids end up losing money in Vegas. This one is also tough because it’s really not a good place to go if you’ve got people in your group who are under 21. However, for those of-age groups that are able to be responsible with their spending on a trip, a Vegas Spring Break can actually be really affordable and a lot of fun. You can get good deals on airline and hotel packages if you shop around, especially if you’re willing to stay somewhere off of The Strip. Commit to going to the cheapest clubs, doing most of your drinking for free while playing penny slots and spending a lot of time just lounging by the pool of your hotel and you should find that this is a good Spring Break trip that’s still affordable.

6. Ski vacations. Not everyone thinks of Spring Break and thinks of the beach. It’s still really cold in some parts of the United States which means that it’s a great time to get in one last big ski vacation before the ski season comes to an end. People who like winter sports will find that there are some good deals on ski packages at various resort destinations throughout the United States because it is getting close to the end of the season. Look around and see what’s out there in ski destinations that are cheap to get to near you.

7. Road trips. Sometimes the college Spring Break isn’t really about where you go or what you do. It’s just about getting some good friends together to get away from home and do some adventuring together. This means that the road trip is a great option for people who don’t have a lot of money and don’t really care too much what you’re doing together. Pool your resources, hit the road and see where it takes you before you’ve got to come back to school. The adventure of cheap travel is where the fun is really at!

Those aren’t the only options for the college student who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, of course. Getting away on a camping trip, playing tourist with your friends in your own hometown or getting a cheap ticket to Europe or Asia are all other options that you might look into for an affordable and fun 2009 Spring Break trip. Whatever you end up doing, be safe while you’re having your Spring Break fun!


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  • profile image

    Really,, 3 years ago

    You must have made a mistake your title says spring break ideas for the broke college students you must have meant spring break vacation where the broke college students won't be. What broke person can afford the Bahamas. OMGEESH, you're seriously out of touch with the meaning of broke.

  • profile image

    goofball 4 years ago

    San Diego is cool but no clubs. So Vegas it is

  • profile image

    igriuwer 4 years ago


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    eyewatcher 5 years ago

    I'd just like to find a DECENT educational tour for a Moral young lady and hopefully she would NOT get mugged, raped or taunted...just enjoy herself and learn something. Where does one find this?

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    wacko 5 years ago

    If you are REALLY actually broke like I am at this point in the semester, I suggest camping! I live by a lot of forests, and it would be a great prelude to summer camping trips. If you already have the gear, all you have to do is buy food, bring a bunch of people, and maybe some alcohol if you're of age.

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    RobN 5 years ago

    Forreal?! These are terrible ideas for BROKE college kids! It even has BROKE in the title. Im insulted

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    AwareNyc 5 years ago

    A real deal spring break idea for less than $400---MLB Spring training! I saw all the things in this list too and thought what the heck how can I afford that? If I could I wouldn't be looking for cheap vacations lol.

  • Courtney L J profile image

    Courtney L J 6 years ago

    Love this--- Always ready for a good spring break idea... check out my hub ( for another great spot. Gulf Shores, Alabama. Best place I've ever been, in my opinion, but I will use these ideas for next year.

  • CondoLux Rentals profile image

    CondoLux Rentals 6 years ago from North Myrtle Beach,South Carolina

    Don't forget Myrtle Beach! We have quite a few spring breakers every year coming to the area! Nice beaches, plenty of things to do, places to go, even on a budget.

  • emilybee profile image

    emilybee 6 years ago

    You have some cool suggestions on this list. Thanks a lot for the info, great hub!

  • Entourage_007 profile image

    Stuart 6 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

    ahh, this hub has me dreaming for a spring break vacation.

  • cressinia profile image

    cressinia 7 years ago

    Skiing! Bahamas! Buenos Aires! You must be a relative of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc to consider these suitable for someone broke!

  • jeremysharon profile image

    jeremysharon 7 years ago

    Bahamas , Vegas and Road trip I wanna visit it bt bahamas and vegas are too expensive so btr i will try for othe remaining one!

    \thanx great informative hub!

    Like it!


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    Cheap suite Austell GA 7 years ago

    I would love to spent a night on is awesome!

  • t2webnetwork profile image

    t2webnetwork 7 years ago from Oxford, MI

    South Padre Island is an amazing place, but man, when it's college season, you can't even move around! I enjoyed it way more when it wasn't peak season.

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    kefalonia holidays 7 years ago

    Bahamas?? i wish i could afford that.

  • MelissaWood profile image

    MelissaWood 7 years ago

    Isn't the problem that we are BROKE college students? I can't afford to travel to other places! Cheaper trips!

  • kidsklamotten profile image

    kidsklamotten 7 years ago

    I am looking forward to the next spring break!

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    Thomas Anderton 7 years ago

    I would say a Hollywood vacation can be very affordable. Checking out a site like can really help you plan.

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    Kyle 7 years ago

    College Fest in Tremblant Canada. 5 days 4 nites from $299

  • jamesmoralde profile image

    jamesmoralde 7 years ago from Florida, USA

    thanks for the tip!!!

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    Mikey  7 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I agree with Twin XL. I thought this was for the broke, getting to the Bahamas won't be cheaper.

  • beckykolacki profile image

    beckykolacki 8 years ago from Bethlehem, PA

    Yeah haha I agree with Twin XL, I'm more broke than that for spring break! But, from saving up I am taking a cruise to the Bahamas after I graduate. So I would agree that you can find some really great deals if you book far enough in advance (or at the last minute!), especially if you are near a cruise port and don't have to fly as well.

  • Bob Ratcliff profile image

    Bob Ratcliff 8 years ago from Florida

    Where were you when I was going to Spring Break? It would of made my life easier, lol..

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    8 years ago

    I think a 5 day cruise gives the best bang for the buck food and parties included

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    Inertia Chad 8 years ago

    Inertia Tours has (4) road trips (no airfare) for under $500 per person with a condo, meals, & parties during college spring break.

    South Padre Island TX, Panama City Beach, FL, Breckenridge Ski or Mazatlan Mexico

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    Twin XL 8 years ago

    Wait.... Buenos Aires, Bahamas, Vegas? I thought this was for the broke? Yeah... I'm a LOT broker than that!