How to Plan the Perfect College Spring Break!

2016 is officially upon us, and if you are like any other college student, you are probably thinking about what you should do for spring break.  Trying to manage the lodging, transportation, and budget seems super intimidating, but I am here to save the day with this easy guide on how to plan the perfect spring break! Are you ready? Let's go!!

1. Budget

I know you want to figure out where you want to go, but first you have to calculate how much money you are dealing with. Hopefully you have been planning for this expense and saving up for a while, but if you haven't, START NOW!!  Estimate how much money you will put towards your vacation and stick to it. Trust me, you don't wanna end up racking up credit cards. You also don't want to end up on day 3 calling mom and dad for help when you realized you have spent all of your money.  

2. Destination

Now that you have your budget together, it is time to start looking into places you want to go.  So far I have traveled to New York City and Disney World/Universal Studios and I highly recommend both! Other popular spring break destinations include Miami, Las Vegas, Panama City Beach, Puerto Rico, and New Orleans. Please be cautious about the weather wherever you decide to go, most people would like to soak up in the sun for their vacation. Also, be aware of your budget when choosing your vaycay spot.

Tayo and I at Magic Kingdom

3. Transportation

So you know where you are going, but how are you going to get there? It would be wise to look into all options: flying, driving, taking a bus, taking a train, or even taking a boat! For the cheapest flights, I always check the Matrix Airfare Search first. Expedia and Priceline are okay, but this website finds flights that the others don't! I also like way that it shows prices for a various amount of day ranges all on one page. This way you don't have to go through hundreds of searches of different dates, its all there in one place!

4. Lodging

For me, this is the most time consuming step.  Where you will be residing over the course of your break can really make or break your experience. Airbnb is becoming my go to spot for reserving accommodations.  Airbnb is a trusted online marketplace for people to browse, list, and book accommodations around the world.  You have a choice of renting an entire apartment or house, a private room, or a shared room for half the price than a hotel.  Reviews are available on each listing where you can read about other's experiences there.  If you're not down with the Airbnb, I also recommend Expedia. The thing that I love the most about Expedia is that you get points to travel that could add up to discounts off of your next trips.  Expedia also has good packaged deals for even more discounts on flights and hotels.  When deciding a place to stay, consider how far your room is from the activities you want to do. Is everything walking distance or do you need public transportation or Uber to get from place to place? Also, if you pick a room with a kitchen, this could save you loads of cash from eating out.  Look into your hotel or Airbnb to see if they have any perks like free breakfast, laundry, and a swimming pool. Like I said earlier, this may sound like it is a lot of work, but trust me, it is oh so worth it!

5. Activities

Are you excited yet? You're almost all set to a the best spring break trip ever!! Now all you have to decide is what do you want to do when you get there. Do you want to lay out in the beach all day and soak up the sun? Any attractions or museums that you must visit in you area of interest. What about the city's main attractions.  Definitely make a list of all the top things you just have to do during your trip along with how much they would cost. If you have no idea where to start, TripAdvisor is a great tool to use. All you have to do is type in your destination and reviews from real people with come up. Yelp is also another great tool to look up restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, and more!

6. Back to the budget.

Now that you have your destination, transportation, accommodations, and activities, it's time to go back to your budget and make sure you will be able to afford everything. Either do it the old fashion way on pen and paper or create an excel sheet of everything. Make sure you include food and leave room for things like souvenirs and emergencies.  Make sure you send your prospective budget to all of your friends joining the trip, so everyone could be financial responsible for themselves.  It would be such a bummer if you had to spend some of your fun money on someone else because they didn't plan well.  It would also be nice to send them your activity list as well as ask them for any suggestions.

7. Be safe and have fun!!
You're all set to have an amazing spring break! If you decide to drink, make sure you do it responsibly and make sure that none of your friends go anywhere alone.  Now that you have planned everything out, you can relax completely.  

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