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Cheap Spring Break Ideas and Activities - Alternatives to Travel for College Students

Updated on September 2, 2014
Spring Break is a great time to relax.
Spring Break is a great time to relax. | Source

What are you doing for Spring Break?

It’s that time of year when people start getting spring fever, when high school and college students are taking spring breaks, and when many students and their families are making plans to travel. Many students flock to popular beaches with their friends, places such as Florida or Cancun. Still, there are a number of students—along with their parents—who just can’t afford an expensive spring break getaway. For those students, they might consider some options that, while not as exciting, are just as—or more—rewarding.

At Home for Spring Break

For the frugal student who wants to be smart or cheap about money, the cheapest break of all is just to stay home with the folks for spring break. This option doesn’t have to be a bad one; just think about it. Many of my spring breaks were spent at home eating Mom’s cooking, going out at night with friends, sleeping half the day away, and watching television. I didn’t have to be anywhere, which can really be a relaxing break. It’s a great time to get caught up on rest if there is no schoolwork to do. For the student who is behind in classes, it is also the perfect time to get caught up and feel ready to go back to classes once the week is over.

Check out the Local Sights

For the college students who live in an interesting town, they might think about what visitors do when they come to visit their town. Are there local museums to check out? Historical attractions? Checking with the Chamber of Commerce or an online website might reveal some neat local attractions to visit and pass the time.

A Cheaper Trip with Family or Relatives

Students might forego an expensive spring break vacation with friends and consider instead the possibility of going on the spring break trip that their parents may decide to take. Sure, going on vacation with little brother or sister might not be the most attractive prospect to a college student, but it won’t be all bad. And guess who is going to foot the bill? The parents, of course. Another cheap mini-trip for a college student could be a trip to another town to visit a relative. Again, another cheap break but a small get-away nevertheless.

Spring Break Poll

What are your plans for Spring Break?

See results

Productive Spring Break

A lot of students want to get ahead, have some extra spending money, while many have to pay for their own college tuition, books, or other expenses. They may ask to work extra hours at their part-time job over the break. The folks or other people in town might have odd jobs that need to be done.

Spring Break is also an excellent time to start looking for that summer job. Checking around before summer hits may put you ahead of the competition for local summer employment.

Volunteering is another option that is free, rewarding and even looks good on a resume. Some churches take mission trips locally or even out-of-the-country. This could be an opportunity to do something positive at perhaps a reduced rate financially.

If you can afford a cheaper spring break trip . . .

After considering all these cheaper options, if you still have an itch to go on a traditional spring break trip to some awesome location with your college friends, then at least look at some discounted online vacation packages for students.

Check out, too, this article for additional spring break deals plus tips on how to prepare for your trip. Don't forget your toothpaste and other key items!

Still, if you can't afford a spring break trip with friends, try to find some enjoyable pastimes at home or closeby. Or just relax. When else do you have the opportunity to do nothing and really enjoy it?

Neat Ideas if You're Stuck at Home


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    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, ElleBee, that does sound like a wonderful trip!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes, my school also did New Orleans but I didn't participate in that one (everyone who did loved it). I also did a summer service trip to Mexico, and that was probably my best "Travel deal" of all. Spent 10 days in Mexico, and the total cost paid for the trip was less than the face value of my airline ticket after some subsidizing from the school and our fundraising. Got to be a tourist in Mexico City for a couple days and then spent a week serving in a rural mountain area. After these experiences I don't know how I will ever go on a "regular" vacation - quite frankly, a resort just sounds kind of boring in comparison!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ElleBee--I did that, too, with an organization in college on a couple of my spring breaks. One year we went to inner city Cincinnati and another year to Houston. Too bad I missed the year they went to New Orleans! Anyway, we helped a lot of people and had a lot of fun! I can relate!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love that you suggested volunteering! I went on service trips coordinated by Campus Ministry at my college (also known as mission trips or Alternative Spring break at different schools) during two of my spring breaks and had a great experience! One trip was to Washington DC, and one was to Philadelphia. Paid a grand total of $250 combined for those two trips and had an awesome time on both! Our focus was volunteering but it was also a chance for cheap travel and to see another part of the country - plus we had a lot of fun!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Home is always my favorite place, lucrativedom!

    • lucrativedom profile image

      Ubechu Dominic 

      7 years ago from FCT Abuja

      Home, sweet home

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      So true, truthfornow. I usually went home to my mom's for spring break, but worked at the local McDonald's, a job I had since I was 15 years old. They were good to let me work on my time off from college. :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      True, Crystal! I generally prefer a stay-at-home vacation, anyway! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      CC, I was a homebody and just wanted to spend time with my mom! I had a slumber party with my college buddies once who were from the same town. Lots of fun! Yeah, we're sisters!

    • truthfornow profile image

      Marie Hurt 

      8 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I know some college students who are using their spring breaks to catch up on their community service hours. I stayed home a lot of my spring breaks to save money and to be lazy. Nothing is better than your parents taking care of you and footing the bill.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Great tips for anyone to save money on vacation!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      8 years ago from Western NC

      Great tips here, Vicki. :) I stayed home for a lot of my spring breaks, too, and LOVED staying up half the night and getting up late, maybe going out for a game of tennis with friends and watching movies with my college buddies who stayed in town. Once again, are we like sisters or something?

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      pstraubie--I love the pajama night with the picnic!!! How very cool!!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      8 years ago from North Central Florida

      Hi Victoria

      Some of the BEST spring breaks we ever had when I was a child and when my daughter and grandson were younger (and even now) have been when we took day trips and/or had lots of special, unusual events at home. One of our favorites was pajama night when we had picnic dinner on the living room floor, blanket and picnic basket and all, then played board games and told ghost stories.

      Thank you for sharing this with us. These ideas can make spring break really special.

      Sending Angels to you this morning :) ps

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Tycoon Sam--Yes, there's plenty your daughter can do! Spring Break is a great time to do some simple things--like relax!!

    • TycoonSam profile image


      8 years ago from Washington, MI

      Very useful Hub! My daughter just posted on her Facebook page how much she dis likes spring break because she never does anything. I will have to show her this hub.

      Voted Useful

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ImKarn--LOL, how funny! So U.S. students are crazier on spring break? Well, I never was one of those, either. I worked on my spring breaks. I loved your comments--very funny. :-)

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      8 years ago

      Victoria, being Canadian - it absolutely, totally and completely BLEW MY MIND when i happened to spend several 'spring breaks' in the states..

      i don't even understand how these..'students' (stupids?) can AFFORD these 'vacations' they take - never mind the damage they do..(lol?)..

      i've seen cruise ships and hotels pretty much destroyed from all the, er, 'fun' these children seem to think they're entitled to..

      i saw put 'em on lockdown for the week - or yes - a JOB (novel do the rest of the world a favor...haha..

      (only half kidding here...)


      voting up and sharing, my friend (and smiling too..)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      alocsin--I'm not surprised that you chose working to earn more money in college; I did, too! Many students will appreciate your forwarding this info to them, though! Thanks! Much appreciated!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Aw, Mhatter, that sounds heavenly!

      Eddy, thanks again! Hope you're weekend is going well!

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Good advice -- I'll forward this to some student friends of mine. Because I was working during college, I never had a spring break. Always took the opportunity to work extra hours at the job to earn more money for college. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Rosemay--That's neat! A different experience! Thanks for the input! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ruchira--I'm glad you liked the video. I thought it had some neat ideas. :-)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Another great hub Victoria;again I vote up and share.

      Here's wishing you a great weekend.


    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. With the ocean only 16 blocks away, 1 knoll,3 lakes and more... all within walking distance from my house, there is plenty to do. I live in SF!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      8 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Awesome suggestions Vicky. In my college days 3 of us would go and board on a farm, help out, learn a little and meet interesting people in return for good home cooking, fresh air and fun. Bit past that now though Lol.

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      We are staying plans yet :(

      But, I loved your video, Vicki. Will be doing some of it. Thank you :)

      voted upas Awesome!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great idea, Debbie, about looking for a summer job. The thought had crossed my mind but then I forgot about it. I should add that, huh? Students could get a headstart that way on the pool of summer jobs available. Thanks for the input!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bill--sorry about the poll. They don't always fit everyone, huh? We work year 'round regardless of the holiday, don't we? You have a great weekend, too!

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 

      8 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      These are great ideas Vicki! Also some students might want to take advantage of Spring Break to apply for summer jobs in their hometown.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I couldn't decide how to vote on your poll...we are staying home of course because we are poor, but I'm not sure if I'll be dying or boredom or loving it. It depends on the weather and if I can get out in the garden.

      Good suggestions, Vicki! Have a great weekend.


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