Simple tips for keeping your spring break trip on time and under budget

Even though spring break may still be a while away, students should consider saving money now for a week of relaxation. (Archive photo by George Walker | Collegian Media Group)

There are countless things to consider when planning a spring break trip: costs, transportation, location and so on. While you can’t account for everything, here are a few tips to make your life a little easier while you prepare for the trip of a lifetime.

1. Budget, budget, budget

Working out your budget should always be the first step in planning a trip. The amount you are able to spend will greatly impact where you go and what you do, and vacations can become very expensive very quickly.

Anticipate this by creating and sticking to a budget, making sure to consider gas and/or air fare, Uber costs, meals, souvenirs and emergency purchases. If you need to go over in one category, skimp on another. While you’re on the trip, chances are you’re going to have to make adjustments on the fly, so it’s best to be sure to plan ahead for unexpected expenses.

2. Make reservations early

The closer it gets to spring break, the more travelers will be staking claim to rooms and bungalows, narrowing the options for you. That means prices may skyrocket, especially if you plan on traveling to a spring break hotspot like South Padre Island or anywhere else in the Gulf Coast.

It’s just simple supply and demand — when a lot of people are trying to purchase the same thing at the same time, prices will rise. Make it easier on yourself and get it done early.

3. Download travel apps

Mobile apps were made to make your life easier, and there are tons of apps you can use to ease your travel headaches.

If you’re going on a road trip, download GasBuddy so you can find the cheapest gas as you go. It also allows you to filter nearby gas stations by brand, amenities and services. In-app reviews help you ensure you never find yourself at a sketchy truck stop.

The Skyscanner app is another helpful tool for planning your vacation, as it helps you find cheap flights, rent cars, explore deals on hotels and find travel inspiration.

Google Trips will help you keep all your reservation information in one place. Beyond that, it suggests day plans, activities and restaurants. If internet access is spotty where you’re going, this app has offline access to information and maps.

However, if you can’t survive without internet, you’ll want to download the WiFi Map app to help you find a connection anywhere you go.

Don’t forget about the apps you may already have, like Uber, Lyft and Venmo, which can all come in handy on any trip.

4. Pack and prep

Some vacations require special purchases. If you’re going to the coast, for instance, you might want to purchase a new swimming suit.

There are also apps that can help you stay organized while you pack. PackPoint is easy to use and creates a suggested packing list based on factors like the length of your stay, destination and weather forecasts.

Hopefully these suggestions will help make planning a spring break trip a little easier if you do your research and stay safe.

Hey, hi, hello! I’m Rachel Hogan, the copy chief for The Collegian. I’m a senior in journalism from Olathe, Kansas. When I’m not at work in the newsroom, I like to spend my time cuddling with my dog, working as a barista and laughing with my friends.