How to Have a Fun Spring Break

Four Methods:Finding Your Beach Without Breaking the BankFinding Fun Away from the BeachStaying in TownKeeping Younger Kids Entertained at Home

Spring break conjures images of masses of college students partying on tropical beaches. But spring break isn’t just for college students, and there’s a lot more options than heading to the beach. Whether you’re in elementary school, high school, or college, here are some tips to have a fun, affordable break at the beach, on the road, or at home.

Method 1
Finding Your Beach Without Breaking the Bank

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    Look for student discounts. For college students, services like STA travel offer discounts on flights, trains and hotels.[1]
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    Travel as a group. Most airlines and hotels offer discounts to groups of 10 or more.[2] And if you share a room you can cut your rate in half.
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    Travel midweek. Flights and hotels are cheaper if you can travel on the weekend.[3]
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    Consider renting a house instead of a hotel. If traveling in a group or as a family, renting a house is usually much cheaper, and you can also save on food by cooking your own. Try sights like or craigslist to find inexpensive vacation rental properties.[4]
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    Get a fridge and microwave if staying in a hotel. Dining out is one of the major costs of travel. Saving leftovers from restaurants and preparing a couple of easy meals can greatly reduce costs.[5]
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    Go all-inclusive. Staying in a hotel that provides food and lodging for one upfront cost can provide huge savings, particularly at more popular destinations like Cancun, Ixtapa, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. You can book all-inclusive vacation packages through most travel websites.[6]
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    Find a beach you can drive to. Flights can eat up a lot of your vacation budget. Instead, pack your friends or family into a car and drive. There are some great beaches right here in the US. Here are a few that combine inexpensive accommodations and dining with warm weather, beautiful beaches and fun activities.
    • Daytona Beach, Florida – Though perhaps better known for the NASCAR races it hosts, Daytona has beautiful beaches and affordable accommodations.[7]
    • Panama City Beach, Florida – The eastern anchor of a nearly unbroken stretch of white-sand beaches that runs for some 70 miles (110 km) along the Gulf of Mexico to the beach town of Destin.[8]
    • South Padre Island, Texas – Within driving distance of Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, South Padre offers more affordable nightlife and beach fun.[9]
    • Savannah, Georgia – A downtown filled with 18th century southern style can provide you a relatively inexpensive headquarters to venture out to the nearby beach islands of Hilton Head, Tybee, Jekyll, and Saint Simons.[10]
    • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – The laidback capital of South Carolina’s 60 mile long waterfront, Myrtle Beach features hundreds of golf courses and several amusement parks, making it a particularly good place for family vacations.[11]
    • San Diego, California – Miles of beautiful beaches, the trendy Gaslamp Quarter, and Sea World and Fiesta Island Park for kids. San Diego has something for everyone, at an affordable price.[12]
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    Pick one of the less well-known foreign beach destinations. Yes, Cancun and Jamaica are great, but they are also expensive. Try another incredible beach town that won’t break the bank.
    • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Less expensive than nearby Punta Cana, Santo Domingo offers casinos, a vibrant night life, and nearby white-sand beaches Boca Chica and Caribe.[13]
    • Puerto Rico – White sand beaches, buzzing night life, vibrant jungles, and the nearby secluded islands of Vieques and Culebra, all at a good price.[14]
    • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – A tropical paradise and haven for US expats, Puerto Vallarta has somehow remained surprisingly affordable.[15]
    • Costa Rica – Costa Rica has been rising in popularity as a beach destination, which means it has some pricey spots. But particularly on the Pacific Coast, you can still find great deals if you avoid major tourist areas.[16]

Method 2
Finding Fun Away from the Beach

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    Go skiing. Most of the Colorado ski resorts are open into mid-April. For even better deals, try an East Coast resort where you can often get late season discount rates.[17]
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    Head to Florida or Arizona for Spring Training. Nothing says spring like the return of baseball. Florida and Arizona both offer warm weather, and you can watch games for a fraction of what a regular season game costs. This makes a great family vacation.
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    Try your luck in Vegas. Beaches aren’t the only place to go for warm weather, water and vibrant nightlife. Vegas offers spectacular hotels with group rates, pools to lounge in the sun, and of course, gambling (for those 21 and over), at a lower cost than most beach resorts.[18] And it's not just for adults. Attractions like theme parks, roller coasters and chocolate factory tours – not too mention the elaborate hotels – will keep kids entertained, too.[19]
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    Take a road trip. Grab your family or friends, pile into the car and go. Whether it’s small town America or big city’s you want to see, a road trip is a great way to do it. You can save money by staying in inexpensive motels, or for the truly budget conscious, by camping along the way.[20]
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    Head into the great outdoors. Wherever you live, there is likely a great campground within driving distance.[21] For only the cost of a tent, camp stove, food and park pass, you can enjoy a week of camping than you would for a single night out at some beach resorts.[22]
    • Many campground have the added bonus of being located close to popular city’s like New Orleans and Los Angeles.[23]
    • Be sure to reserve your campground reservation in advance to make sure you find a spot.
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    Visit a big city. Flights to big cities in the US tend to be relatively inexpensive, or better yet, try a bus if the city is nearby. Cheap lodgings can usually be had, too. And while they may not have beaches (for the most part), big cities do offer nightlife, museums and sporting attractions for kids, live theatre and music, and more. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New Orleans, Nashville and Austin are particularly popular destinations.[24]
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    Volunteer. Whether you are building houses for the poor, working in conservation, or providing medical care, volunteering abroad is a great way to do some good and see a few sites. Look for volunteer opportunities for you or your entire family through your school, church or online.[25]

Method 3
Staying in Town

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    Check into a hotel. Just because you aren’t leaving town, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the vacation experience. Check into a hotel with some friends or your family and explore your town as if you were tourists.[26]
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    Grab some friends and hit an amusement park. Most theme parks have extended hours during spring break.[27]
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    Create your own film festival. Get together with your friends or family and pick out a dozen or so movies to watch in the theater and at home. Don’t forget the popcorn!
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    Get outside. Take advantage of spring weather with friends or family. Take a trip to a nearby beach. Go hiking in the wood or mountains. Rent a canoe or go tubing. Or simply take a long walk to enjoy spring.[28]
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    Take a day trip. Even though you might not have headed to some exotic locale, you can still get out of town. Plan a day trip to a small town or big city. Visit an historic site. The options are endless.[29]
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    Read a book for fun. Now is your chance to put aside your schoolbooks and dig into that best-seller you’ve been meaning to read. Or to try a classic that you haven’t had time for. A great book can be a vacation in itself.[30]
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    Catch up on TV. If school work has been keeping you away from your favorite shows, Spring Break is the perfect time to catch up with a little binge watching.[31]

Method 4
Keeping Younger Kids Entertained at Home

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    Sign your kids up for a spring break camp or class. Most cities and museums have art classes that run over the length of spring break. Community centers also often offer camps or classes where you can learn things that aren't school related. Classes might include how to do scrapbooking, leather craft, folklore, or beginners genealogy or even how to play golf.
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    Start a puzzle. A 500 or 1,000 piece puzzle can take all break and provide hours of entertainment.[32]
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    Turn your own backyard into a vacation spot. With a little ingenuity, you can make your backyard an exciting destination for your kids. Here are a few activities to try:[33]
    • Camp out.
    • Turn the backyard into a water park. A sprinklers all you really need. Add a plastic wading pool and a few water toys, and you have your own water park.
    • Plant a garden.
    • Make a backyard treasure hunt.
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    Take advantage of nearby playgrounds and parks. With a little planning, you can turn a trip to the park into an adventure. Bring bread to feed the ducks. Float a toy boat. Fly a kite. Shoot off a rocket. Kids love anything new.
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    Turn everyday tasks into adventures. These may sound like chores to you, but young kids in particular love helping out with “grown up” jobs.[34]
    • Have the kids cook. Make your own pizza night and baking cookies are always winners.
    • Involve the kids in spring cleaning. Kids might not be super-efficient, but they will enjoy things like shaking out carpets and packing or unpacking boxes.
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    Take day trips to fun locations. The advice under Staying in Town isn’t just for older kids. Spring break is a great opportunity to get kids out of the house.[35]
    • Get outdoors. Kids love canoeing, tubing and fishing.
    • Visit a local farm where they can pet the animals.
    • Go to your local zoo.

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Categories: Teen Holidays