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Keep Spring Break Affordable With These 5 Tips

Family in a pool

Even if you're not traveling far, these money-saving tips could help you save hundreds of dollars during spring break! Spring break is a popular vacation time for college students, families, and even older adults to take a break from mid-winter weather and relax. Even if you've already booked a cheap spring break trip for your family, these smart ideas could help you extend your trip budget even further.

1. Don't Go Into Debt

Rule number one of keeping spring break affordable is to avoid taking on new debt. Sure, booking a cheap spring break trip is a better alternative to splashing out thousands on a big-budget vacation. But any new debt comes with added costs from the interest you'll pay over time. Use credit cards on spring break for the right reasons, like taking advantage of reward points or travel perks, and then pay them off in full as soon as possible. If you're already stretching your budget, choose a shorter stay or local destination to help control costs and avoid debt.

2. Save On Transportation

Jet-setting off on a spring break trip feels glamorous, but it could mean you’ll have less money available for fun once you arrive. If possible, choose to drive to your vacation destination to save money. Especially for families on spring break, driving is a much more affordable alternative to flying.

Once you've arrived, you can save on transport expenses by skipping pricey Uber or taxi fares and choosing mass transit options instead. Buses and bicycles might take extra time, but your family might even enjoy experiencing your destination like a local instead of a tourist. And don't forget that many hotels and resorts offer inexpensive shuttle services.

3. Leave The Beaten Path

Family vacations aren't complete without visiting a few iconic spots for a photo op, but consider taking the road less traveled in order to score additional savings. Finding things to do away from glitzy tourist areas requires a little research, but you'll find your family members can have just as much fun in an out-of-the-way museum as they would have in the pricey shops on the boardwalk. If you don't have time to do homework before arrival, asking a local resource like desk staff or a restaurant waiter can result in taking an amazing detour.

4. Bring Snacks & More

If you're taking our advice and choosing to drive, this also means you'll have room in the family auto for snacks and meal basics. Instead of filling up on less-than-healthy convenience foods at stops along the way, bring along smart snacks for your family. If your accommodations include a kitchen and allow carry-ins, you might even be able to bring some meal components and cook your own meals. It sounds stressful to cook while on vacation, but making food while away from home can mean major savings compared to a family eating out for two or three meals every day. Even if cooking isn't your thing, checking for meal or happy hour specials around your location can still keep a little more cash in your wallet.

5. Keep It (Really) Local

Sometimes the best things in life are free or cheap! Staycations are still a popular and super-affordable spring break option, especially for large families or tight budgets. Simply pretend you're a tourist in your own town. You'll eliminate the time and expense of traveling to a destination while enjoying nights in your own bed. If you do choose a staycation for your family's spring break, try to set some limits on everyday tasks to make it feel different from an ordinary day. Let laundry and TV watching wait while you spend time at low-cost local attractions with your family!

Hopefully you're able to apply these helpful tips to keep your spring break spending in check. Remember, it's more about taking time together than the destination itself. Choosing a cheap spring break trip for your family doesn’t mean compromising on fun! Lastly, don't forget to let us know about your travel plans if you'll be using your Royal Credit Union debit or credit cards. Enjoy a safe and relaxing spring break!

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