It is that time of the year again. In just a few weeks every college and university will shut down for a week, while their students turn up for a spring break that they will never forget. Whether it be the classic Panama City Beach trip, Punta Cana, Daytona Beach or Myrtle Beach, every college student should experience this week of debauchery at least once in their lives. As for myself, in just 10 days I will be leaving for Panama City and here are my tips on how to budget this adventure:
1. Plan it ahead of time because if you choose to fly (which I would suggest not) flights are always cheaper ahead of time. In addition, you will have your pick of the litter on rental housing or resort deals before everyone else gets their act together
2. Depending on where you are coming from and what kind of shape your car is in, just drive! I am taking a 2004 Mazda 6 and according to Gasbuddy.com, the round trip cost of gas when leaving from Virginia (15 hour drive) to Panama City Beach is $125 compared to a flight leaving from Baltimore-Washington Airport (known airport for cheap flights) is $350 (Expedia.com), which is almost half the price. In addition, a car can hold upwards of 5 people and $125 split between 5 people is only $25 a person. Driving is your cheapest means of travel to PCB
3. This goes without being said but go with a huge group of people (hopefully friends) ! The bigger the group the cheaper your rental condo, resort apartment, beach house will be!
4. Once at your spring break destination, don’t waste your money on never ending buffets that are overpriced and often leave you with heartburn and indigestion. Plan out a grocery list split between your whole group and focus on bulk products that you make group meals out of (pancake mix, burgers, sausages, cake mixes etc.)
5. Many of the desired more traditional spring break locations have deals on their beach clubs and bars where you can purchase a discounted card that gets you free access and free drinks in clubs. Take advantage of this! For example, in Panama City Beach, the tourism board offers a panamaniac card for $50 that gives you free access to popular bars and clubs, and for a couple hours out of the day, free drinks!
6. The final tip is purchase your alcohol before you leave in your college town and bring it with you wherever you are going. Touristy destinations overprice their liquor and beer because they know that college students are going to run out or not think ahead at all and have to buy their booze at the closest liquor store. Many liquor stores are independently owned in Florida and this means that the owner can price the store’s alcohol however they want.
I hope these tips will help you guys on wherever your spring break may take you. Stay safe and remember to always stay thrifty!
Check out these other websites about spring break trips on a budget: