5 Budget Travel Tips for Spring Break

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The weather’s getting warmer, the grass is getting greener, and savvy travelers are setting their sights on budget-friendly American adventures. If buying a ticket for a spring break trip is on your to-do list, we get it: It’s time to enjoy the sheer joy of discovering new cities and enjoying new experiences.

Of course, if you can do so without breaking the bank, that’s a major plus. Keep reading for our budget travel tips.

Are This Year's Travel Trends Particularly Affordable?

Eco-conscious, hyperlocal travel experiences are trendy, which might make your wallet sigh with relief. Domestic airfare has dropped in price significantly when compared to last year. If you choose to stay closer to home, you can enjoy the added fun of a traditional road trip in addition to your destination vacation. 

Fortunately, budget travel doesn’t have to be boring—far from it. The United States and the Pacific Northwest, in particular, are full of undiscovered gems that offer unique, budget-friendly experiences far from the tourist crowds.


Budget-Friendly Travel Destinations in the Pacific Northwest

Wondering why you would choose the PNW as your spring break trip location, especially if you already live nearby? We’ve got you covered.

Check out these affordable-yet-incredible PNW travel destinations.

For your spring break, you could fly cross-country to a crowded tourist hot spot. 

  • Oregon's natural beauty, from Crater Lake to the Columbia River Gorge
  • Washington's hidden gems, including the breathtaking vistas of the Olympic Peninsula
  • Northern California’s coastal towns, from Mendocino to Fort Bragg
  • British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, a choice that’s just a short ferry ride away from the mainland but boasts historic cities, coastal trails, and surf towns to explore!

In addition to taking in the region’s unique charm, you’ll net additional perks for traveling locally. The PNW offers numerous eco-friendly lodging options that support local economies, and no matter where you go, you’ll have a range of outdoor adventures to select from. 

Feel like hiking? Want to kayak? Interested in attending a festival? You can do all that and more—at a fraction of the cost of more distant locales.

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Budget Travel Tips for Spring Break Wherever You Land

Embarking on a spring break adventure doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. Here are some budget travel tips to help you enjoy your break without breaking the bank:

1. Save on transportation.

  • Consider using carpooling services if you feel comfortable doing so. This can help you save on your fare and meet fellow travelers at the same time.
  • Don’t shy away from buses and trains, especially in regions known for efficient public transport systems! If you’re going to be in town for a while, buying a weekly or monthly pass may bring your cost per use down to pennies. 
  • If you’re visiting a bike-friendly city, consider renting a bike or using a bike-share program. It’s an immersive and economical way to explore a cool destination!

2. Consider economical ways to eat. 

  • Try to prioritize eating at hyperlocal places that offer high-quality, interesting cuisine at lower costs. Street food vendors and farmers markets may be a great place to start! 
  • Whenever possible, book your accommodations at places that have some kitchen facilities (e.g., pick the Airbnb with the kitchenette or the hotel with the fridge and counter space). Preparing some of your own meals can save you a significant amount in the long run.

3. Maximize credit card benefits.

See if you can use your credit card perks, whether they’re specific travel rewards or cash back, to cover or defray travel expenses. You might find cards that reduce hotel or transportation costs or offer benefits such as free luggage check-ins or access to airport lounges.

4. Budget for adventures and attractions.

Did you know that many cities in the PNW offer free museum days, nature hikes, or free/low-cost walking tours? Whenever possible, fill your days with inexpensive activities to minimize your expenses. Indulge in a memorable big-ticket event if you would like, but balance it out with an itinerary of creative, budget-friendly adventures.

5. Choose the right travel dates.

If you don’t have a specific date in mind to travel, consider traveling during an off-peak time. (Spring break may constrain your options, but you may still be able to fly on a weekday to get a lower-priced ticket).


Excited to Indulge in Travel Without Overspending? 

Choose local adventures, use efficient transportation, eat tasty meals from hole-in-the-wall cafes or markets, and select your events wisely: These and other travel hacks—such as leveraging those credit card perks!—can serve you well. You’ll find that planning and smart budgeting can extend the excitement of your travel and help you enjoy the experience and the memories without the financial strain!

Interested in finding more savvy financial tips? iQ is here to help you transform your travel plans and work toward financial health every day of the year. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Simple Savings to learn more about the best ways to build yourself a nest egg for a rainy day!

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