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Spring Brake Travel On A Budget

Updated on March 17, 2009
Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach

Have fun while pinching pennies...

If there is ANYTHING I learned in college, it’s how to party. Spring break, oh, yeah, we had that COVERED. And we were BROKE, I mean, nothing to our names. So how did we go to the AMAZING beaches of Florida? Well, let me remind everyone that back when we did this, it was over $4 a gallon for gas so we took my 2002 Pontiac and hauled booty to the nearest coast. Being that we were pretty much afraid of Louisiana (that’s another story) we headed to the beaches of Florida. WHEW! Talk about humid. I was wet for days and I wasn’t in the water that much.

This is how the trip went- we left on a Tuesday afternoon drove all night and all day. We got to Florida really late Wednesday night- got a hotel (we really needed it). Thursday afternoon we found the beach we wanted and STAYED. We camped two nights and stayed in a hotel that Saturday night. When Sunday rolled around, we headed back home.

So how did we pull this off? Well, fill up the car and split the price. There were 5 of us. We each brought around $30 of food and about $50 of beer- more or less. Myself, personally, I bought $30 worth of food to eat in the car or microwave at the hotel, and I had more than enough, but I don’t eat a lot. As for alcohol- less than $15 for the entire trip- I bought a big bottle of cheap vodka and mixed it with random flavors. NEVER be picky when you’re broke (By the way, it only tastes bad when you drink it straight, and by the time you drink it straight, you don’t care).

We split gas 5 ways. The entire trip for gas was a little over $400- now divide that by 5, not bad.

The hotel, well, that was an experience… again, can’t be picky. Some nights, we actually camped out (had camping gear, we’re all from the Midwest so it’s what we do best), and the hotel wasn’t bad; it just added to the experience. The first motel we stayed in when we finally got to Florida was a crappy drive in. We really didn’t care how nice anything was at that point; we all just wanted a bed- smelled kind of funny though. The hotel we got was a little over $50, split by 5, still, not bad.

You can find camp grounds in Florida at recreational parks and such. Surf the net.  We actually had a small tent with sleeping bags.  I just made a small camp fire and started cooking hot dogs.  Remember, always buy this stuff ahead of time.

The beach we were at was awesome. Nothing fancy but it was free parking and open to the public. It was the Siesta Key Public beach, and it was about 15 minutes from downtown Sarasota. The water is pretty shallow but the beach attracts heavy crowds and not to mention complimentary eye candy. If you really want to party and meet new people, check out Ft. Myers Beach in Lynn Hall Memorial Park. That beach is made for tourists but you pay for it too. Venders are expensive, not to mention parking is 1.25 an hour and even then, it’s tough to find a spot.

The key thing to remember is to bring everything before you get there. Prices are so jacked up down there so hit up your local Wal-mart first to get your SPF on (By the way, get the highest you can get, it’s bad down there) and your suit and flip flops. Don’t worry about your hair because it will NEVER look good down there. I wore my Budweiser hat the entire time.

Just surf the net; really, you would be surprised by what you can find.

As for our trip, it ended well. We were all tiered and still broke but as a safety net, never leave your home empty handed. Always budget over and have a credit card. Bad things do happen and it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.



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