Is it ever too early to start thinking about spring break? It's actually not as far off as it might seem, and it's certainly time to start planning, especially if you want to get a break on the cost. Here's WalletPop's list of 10 of the hottest spring break locations, along with ways to stay on budget:
For those looking to spend as little as possible, remain in the states. Flights are cheaper within the U.S. and road trips are always an option. Vacationers don't have to travel far to have a memorable break:
1. Port Aransas: Every year, students from all over the South flock to Port Aransas, Texas to shake off the stress of school. With temperatures averaging in the 60s and 70s throughout March and April, the weather's perfect for renting a boat and fishing at what many think of as the fishing capital of Texas. Although it may be too chilly to swim, those who brave the beaches can relax on an 18-mile stretch of the world's longest barrier island.
-Split a house with friends, such as the Sea Parrot Beach Home, at $595 per night for five bedrooms.
-Go parasailing at $65 per person through Woody's Sports Center.
-Rent jet skis at $95 an hour at Bay Riders Jet Ski Rentals.2. Disney World: Embrace your inner child. No one's ever too old for roller coasters or Splash Mountain. Enjoy the thrill of the rides and the warm sun of Orlando, Fla. Book early to take advantage of price cuts.
-In early March, rooms at Disney Value Resorts start at $90 per night.
-The longer the length of the park visit, the more cash saved. For example, a five-day pass averages at about $47 per day, a two-day pass costs $81 per day.
3. Park City, Utah: For those who would rather hit the slopes than the sun, plan a ski or snowboarding trip in Park City, Utah. The town is home to the Canyons, Utah's largest ski resort and one of the five biggest in the country. Although the resort caters mostly to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders, beginners are still welcome and 10% of the slopes are green circles. Also, Park City Ice Arena is open to skaters and hockey players.
-Lift tickets at the Canyons Resort or Park City Mountain Resort both cost about $90 per day.
-Depending on the location, dates and number of guests, hotel prices vary dramatically, but expect to pay around $100 each, per night
4. Lake Tahoe: Although another skiing and snowboarding hotspot, Lake Tahoe also offers opportunities to fish, mountain bike and hike. The meeting place of California and Nevada provides the ideal spring break for active students who love the outdoors. If you're not planning on hitting the mountains and want to save a chunk of dough, consider camping or renting a cabin rather than staying at a hotel.
-Cabin rental at Camp Richardson is $165-$210 per night for a cabin that sleeps six guests.
-Lift tickets average around $70, depending on the resort.
5. Las Vegas: No one throws a party like MTV and this year, the infamous MTV Spring Break will be hosted in the City of Sin. Get your gamble on, soak up some sun and embrace the chaos that comes with the territory when MTV hosts a spring break party. Use Student City to book discount flights.
-Although hotels on the strip may cost more than a full semester of textbooks, hunt a little farther away using websites such as Visit Las Vegas. Some go for around $60 per night.
6. Ocean Beach: For those interested in a relaxing vacation, head to the little beach town near San Diego called Ocean Beach. The beautiful area has a welcoming, open-door feel and a vibrant down town. Buy fresh produce at the weekly farmers market or spend time at the tidepools and the pier.
-Stay at the Ocean Beach International Hostel for cheap. Beds start at $20 per night.
-Save money by driving and use the AAA Fuel Cost Calculator to find out the exact cost.
Spend a Little More and Travel Abroad
For students who have the cash to travel out of the country this spring break, hop on a plane to hit some of the best college vacation spots:
7. Ibiza, Spain: Ibiza has been dubbed the main party spot of Europe, as well as the European Cancun. The Mediterranean island provides a mix of beautiful beaches and a wild nightlife, not to mention a popular getaway for celebrities. Book flights through student discount sites, such as Student Universe, and fly on off-days to get the lowest prices.
-Check out Hostel World or Hostels.com, where Ibiza beds start at 14 euros per night.
-Expect to pay anywhere between 10 and 50 euros for the cover charge at an average nightclub. Check Ibiza Spotlight for details.
-Horseback riding costs 30 euros per hour ride at North Ride Ibiza.
8. Corfu, Greece: Breathtaking beaches and a hot pink hotel stuffed with college kids make Corfu, Greece an ideal location for spring break. Stay at the Pink Palace and party like the ancient Greeks did, wearing togas. Walk around and see the sites of the tiny town or rent a kayak and paddle along the island's shore. For the cheapest way to travel, fly into a main, European airport and take a ferry to the island.
-Stay: Beds start at 18 euro per night at the Pink Palace.
-Volleyball and basketball are free at the Pink Palace.
-Kayaks: Rent for under 30 euro.
9. Cancun: The classic spring break destination for college students provides sun, water, music and margaritas. Look for all-inclusive packages to save cash. Traveling in large groups also helps cut prices.
-All inclusive: Check sites, such as Expedia, that hunt for the best inclusive deals starting at $848 per person.
10. Lend a helping hand over break: Instead of spending hard-earned cash on beaches and booze, why not put it toward a good cause? Devote your break to helping build houses in a country in need or schools in a place recently struck by disaster. Check with your college or church to see if they already have programs set up. Websites such as Cross Cultural Solutions and STA Travel offer opportunities to help those in need.
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