By Noah Henry • February 24, 2014
In the months of February, March and April, hordes of students and twenty-somethings pack their bags and head south for Spring Break. Popular destinations like Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean Isles roll out the welcome mat for millions looking for cheap thrills, sandy beaches and sunshine. While this time of the year is synonymous with irresponsible decision-making and general debauchery, it’s also a great occasion to flex your budgeting prowess and look for the best Spring Break travel deals.
Case in point: You can get up to $15 off Spring Break trips through CheapOair—a maneuver as simple as making just a few clicks to put some doe in your margarita fund. So before you whisk off into travels unknown, do as your mother used to say: “Do your homework first.”
Cancun, the Mecca of Spring Break
In these months, thousands of young people will head to Cancun to celebrate their days off in ecstasy. With turquoise waters, reasonably priced airfare, and well, a liberal drinking age, Cancun is the go-to spot for many looking for a healthy mix of youthful activities and inexpensive party scenes. Before you excitedly leap into booking your travels, see what kinds of discounted Mexico vacation packages there are out there, like these:
CheapCaribbean.com: Get $100 off select Cancun beach vacations of three nights or more
Travelocity: Receive up to 40% off Cancun vacation packages
Florida, the Most Popular U.S. Spring Break Destination
With the Florida Keys, Daytona Beach and Miami along the coast of the Sunshine State, it’s safe to say Florida was built for Spring Break partying. For value hotels situated right near the beach and beehive-like swarming of college kids and young adults, you won’t just get a sunbaked memory of a lifetime, you might just get a budget-friendly trip. Whether you’re a family destined for the amusement park or part of a party-going clan, we’ve got just the recipe for a cheaper trip. Just keep in mind you will often save more when you bundle your flight and hotel.
Southwest Vacations: $150 off Orlando vacation packages
JetBlue: Up to 30% off Disney Resort hotels
Funjet Vacations: $25 off reservations of $850 to $1599 w/ 3-night stay
The Caribbean, the Adventurous Alternative
You could jolt down to the hotspots of the Dominican Republic, the no-passport-needed destination of Puerto Rico, or the reggae-filled clubs and “no problem, mon” attitude of Jamaica. Likewise, you can get more affordable rates on Caribbean vacation packages and friendly tourist prices if you know where to look for them.
CheapCaribbean.com: $100 off select Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Aruba vacations
Expedia: $250 off 4-night vacation packages on select Nassau resorts
When you get there, don’t think we’re letting you off the hook without saving further. Renting a car (and put down the Piña Colada when you do) is a walk in the park with coupons like these:
Hertz: 15% off Latin America and the Caribbean
Priceline: Up to 40% off select car rentals
Budget: 20% off off-airport locations
Dollar: 10% off all online rentals
Hotwire: $25 off orders over $100
General Spring Break Travel Tips:
1. Fly on days no one else does. Weeklong international trips departing Tuesday and returning the very next Wednesday are 21 percent cheaper on average. Generally, flying out on in the middle of the week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is scores less expensive than peak travel times. Saturday afternoon also hits the sweet spot. Further, those who fly out during these times will spend less time waiting in lines and less time wading in crowds.
2. Check going rates. Often, lower rates will spring out of nowhere after you book your reservations. It’s always better to have a refundable reservation so that you can rebook when something cheaper pops up. You can keep an eye on these last-minute price drops by using Airfarewatchdog.com or Yapta.com, which alert you of better prices.
3. Keep it flexible. This the golden rule when traveling. The more flexibility you have—whether it’s for the destination or the time you travel—you’re going to find a better deal if you’re less stringent on the specifics. Resting your laurels solely on the price might take you to places you’ve never been, and sometimes it’s best to see where your budget takes you.
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!