Spring break signals the beginning of life, summer, and freedom from school. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. However, many of us are filled with toxic amounts of ramen and sprite to ease the pain of student loans. By the time spring break rolls around, the last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars that you don’t have.
But never fear — I’m here to show you the light. Whether you’re going with your family or just looking for some spring break love, here’s a list with some of the cheapest spring break destinations that still provide tons of fun:
- Daytona, Florida
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- South Padre Island, Texas
- Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
If you’re close enough to drive, do it. But if not, you can find a good deal on one of the hundreds of travel sites floating around the internet.
These cheap spring break destinations are on beautiful, sandy beaches because where else would you like to spend your time off? I’ve never seen Zac Efron spending his break in Alaska! Some of the party scenes at these beaches are so lit that you might catch him there, too.
1. Daytona, Florida
Daytona Beach in sunny Florida is 80 degrees in March and April is loaded with cheap hotels and Airbnbs. Add to that, it has a Big Red Party Bus that carries drunk beachgoers along the coast.
The streets and beaches are filled with students and party people, so fun is always just a block away.
If you want a cheap night out, you can find some cool nightclubs that offer drink specials. (Especially for the ladies — you can get deals with no cover charge!)
Check out Kayak — which offers hotel rooms starting in the $40 range — and Airbnb, where you can find rooms for $20-plus. A round-trip from 1,500 miles away costs about $80, so this spring break spot is sure to provide a big bang for your buck.
2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
South Carolina is a haven for spring break-goers and is more accessible if you live on in the Northeast. Myrtle Beach features sandy white beaches, hordes of spring breakers, and DJs playing live music along the beach. It also has a Señor Frogs, as well as the Family Kingdom Amusement Park with lots of rides for adrenaline-seekers.
You can find nearby hotels offering $80 to $100 nights and ocean-front motels starting at around $50.
3. South Padre Island, Texas
If you want a really lit vacation filled with debauchery and hedonism, then this is the spot for you. During spring break, South Padre Island is filled with “funky hotels and bars that emphasize character” rather than class, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Plus, rappers like T-Pain and Nelly have performed there!
On top of all that, lodging is a steal. You can book a room at the Ramada for $55 or at Super 8 for $41. But as always, you’ll want to check out Airbnbs in the area. You can sacrifice quality this time — you won’t be in your room for too long, anyway.
4. Atlantic City, New Jersey
If you’re not looking for extreme tanning or beach frolicking, then Atlantic City is still a good option. This place is always alive. It’s easy to get a room with a water view, and the casinos can keep you occupied for hours. On top of that, there’s a boardwalk and awesome nightlife with live music shows.
Plus, you can find lodging for less than $100 with a hotel chain. Or check out Airbnbs and other hotel alternatives in the area for even cheaper fares.
5. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
After my friend told me about his spring studying abroad in Costa Rica, I was sold. It’s gorgeous, tropical, and cheap for an international destination. And if you live in the Southwest or the South, it’s just a couple of hours away.
Puerto Viejo is considered the place to be. It features the beach, a waterfall rappel, white water rafting, and zip lining. This city is always bursting with new faces — both tourists and locals — and is one of the most popular destinations in the world. If you book ahead of time, tickets could come in under $500.
How to Take Advantage of the Cheapest Spring Break Destinations
Any of these spring break destinations are sure to be a blast for you without blasting a hole in your wallet.
You can also keep costs low by making sure that you use affordable travel options. That could mean driving, catching a Megabus, or looking for good flight deals. These sites also help you find great deals on hotels, so make sure you take full advantage of them.
Once you arrive at your destination of choice, you can get discounts at restaurants, clubs, and more by using couponing options. You might even discover new ideas for what to do while you're there! So what are you waiting for?