Spring Break Without Breaking the Bank: Top 9 Budget Locations

photo of beach with "spring break" written in sand

The average student graduates college with a whopping $33,310 in debt. What’s worse, is that there are currently 2.7 million Americans who owe $100,000 or more!

If your student loan debt is climbing, you may be doing whatever you can to save money now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun too.

By choosing one of the many cheap spring break destinations, you can create memories that will last a lifetime without draining your bank account.

Do you want to know where you should go? Keep reading to discover 9 budget locations that are perfect for spring break!

1. Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach has long been a popular place for spring breakers. And there’s a good reason why!

You can spend your afternoons enjoying the warm weather and gorgeous beaches. But there’s also a boardwalk full of shops and restaurants if you need a break from lounging on the beach.

At night, the boardwalk turns into party central with plenty of opportunities to drink with fellow college students. Plus, there are tons of cheap hotels that will accommodate your budget.

2. Cancun, Mexico

If you have a little extra money to spend, consider going to Cancun. Also thought of as a popular spring break location, Cancun draws in huge crowds from around the world.

There are day parties, live music and, of course, white sand beaches to enjoy. While the all-inclusive hotels may seem fun, they can also get pricey. So, consider staying at one of the cheap hotels off the beach to save some money.

3. Willemstad, Curacao

This Caribbean island has all the beauty of the popular destinations surrounding it without the high costs. Unlike Cancun, where all-inclusive resorts may break your budget, Curacao’s all-inclusive resorts come at a more affordable price.

You can lounge on the beach in front of your resort and enjoy unlimited free drinks and food. There are also great opportunities to go snorkeling or scuba diving if you want to mix things up.

4. Caye Caulker, Belize

If you want to enjoy a laid-back spring break and escape all the crowds, you can’t go wrong with Caye Caulker. This island has some beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and fun beach bars.

You can also enjoy activities like stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing, and snorkeling. In fact, Belize is home to one of the largest coral reefs in the world, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The best part is that Belize is still a relatively unusual vacation destination, so the prices are pretty affordable.

5. Santa Monica, California

It’s no secret that a trip to California can quickly turn expensive. But it is possible to do spring break on a budget in Santa Monica.

You can enjoy surfing or lounging on the beach during the day. The Santa Monica Pier offers tons of things to do, including rides, shops, street performances, and restaurants. At night, the pier becomes a hot spot to drink and enjoy the city’s nightlife.

6. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the ultimate destination for anyone who craves adventure. Whitewater rafting, waterfall rappelling, and zip-lining are just some of the adrenaline-pumping activities you can take part in.

Of course, there are also plenty of beaches if you need a day to relax. Costa Rica can get expensive if you opt to do a lot of activities. So, to keep this trip within your budget, consider limiting the pricey excursions and spending more time on the beach or doing more affordable activities.

7. Montreal, Canada

Who says you have to go to a beach for spring break? If you’ve been dying to go to Europe but can’t scrounge up enough money, Montreal is a good alternative.

Vieux-Montreal has cobblestone streets and amazing architecture that’s reminiscent of what’s found in Europe. La TOHU is a nonprofit organization that brings the famous Cirque du Soleil show to the public by offering free performances and affordable guided tours that will tell you all about the city’s history of circus arts.

8. Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica offers a nice blend of relaxing and adventurous activities. There are white sand beaches with crystal clear water as well as horseback riding to help you experience nature without breaking a sweat.

If you want to get your heart racing, you can rent an ATV or go white river kayaking. At night, head over to Margaritaville, which is a popular hangout for spring breakers looking to enjoy the nightlife.

There are various hotels in Jamaica to accommodate different budgets. Beach hotels and resorts can be on the pricey side, so consider a hotel located a little off the beach to enjoy big savings.

9. New Orleans, Louisiana

You may associate New Orleans with the crazy drinking and partying that takes place during the week-long celebration of Mardi Gras. Although Mardi Gras sometimes lines up with spring break, you’ll find that this is the most expensive time to visit, so it’s best to avoid it if you’re on a budget.

Of course, New Orleans still knows how to party even when Mardi Gras is over. You can bar hop on Bourbon Street where jazz and rock ‘n’ roll music pour into the streets and people drink until the bars close their doors.

During the day, consider going on at least one foodie tour to experience the best Creole and Cajun foods in the city. You could also go on a day tour to learn about the city’s history, visit a voodoo shop, or take an evening ghost tour to see the most haunted locations in New Orleans.

The Best Cheap Spring Break Destinations

You don’t have to spend a ton to enjoy spring break. Just follow this list to find the perfect location for your budget. From Montreal to Puerto Viejo, there are plenty of cheap spring break destinations to choose from.

Are you looking for ways to save money on college expenses? Learn more about how our online courses can help you do just that.

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