Who doesn’t look forward to one free week away from school? Seven days where students can kick their shoes off and relax during the middle of a hectic semester. If you are anything like me, all you would like to do is spend this time on an awesome spring break adventure with some of your closest friends. Unfortunately, I am a broke college kid who is not able to stay at a five-star resort. So, is it even possible to go on a fun spring break? Absolutely! There are many alternatives to breaking the bank while still cherishing a great memory, and I will share just one of the great possibilities.
Many hotels, like the 4-star Palms by Suite at the Beach located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offer rooms as low as $75 a night. This specific hotel room has two queen size beds and a pull-out couch, sleeping six comfortably. If a group of six spend seven nights at this hotel, each would pay an affordable $87.50 not including tax. If the room cost goes up to $100 per night for the same scenario as above, each person would pay approximately $117 not including tax. It is also an added benefit that this hotel is located directly on the ocean front.
Concerned about transportation costs? Driving is the most cost effective way of getting to this specific destination for two main reasons. Airline tickets are expensive, and transportation fees can be pricy whether you rent a car or use a service like Uber. Per google maps, Myrtle Beach is a mere 750 miles (about 12.5 hours) away from Marion, Indiana. Averaging 20 mpg with today’s gas prices ($2.50), it would be safe to budget $33.33 a person ($200 total) round trip. A good airline ticket round trip from Indianapolis to Myrtle Beach comes in around $300. This is far more expensive than driving, and you would still need to find a way to get around the Myrtle Beach area.
Food is one of the most important factors to keep the costs minimal over the course of a week. Spending $5 a meal vs $10 a meal could result in over $100 more by the end of the week if you eat more expensive meals frequently. Rather than going out every night, it may be advantageous to go to the grocery store and purchase food to cook since the hotel does provide a stove and other cooking appliances. You might even be able to go out to eat a few nights during your stay!
Yes, vacationing on a budget does take some effort to plan, but it is worth it! You may have to live in close quarters with your friends for a week or say no to a few extra expenses like entertainment. But if you are willing to stick to your budget, you will likely have a great, stress-free, week off from school without coming back with the anxiety of having spent more than you could afford. Enjoy your spring break!!!