Spring break is right around the corner and if you’re anything like me you want to ship out to somewhere warm as fast as humanly possible right about now. I want to be sipping on a pina colada in the middle of the ocean on an all inclusive cruise but let’s face it, I am in college and I am living on a budget. So this one’s for all of you spring breakers out there that also happen to be on a budget.
Ever heard of Rainbow Springs? Daytona Beach? Miami? Disney World? They’re all in Florida! Last spring break, my roommate and I decided two weeks in advance that we were going to road trip down to florida in my little Hyundai. You’re probably laughing because everybody knows that hotels are already full to the brim or charging $600 a night down there at this point for this epic week of college shenanigans. So we hopped on the internet and did some digging. There’s tons of campgrounds down there, all over the state. Some are even on the water! We picked Shangri-La campground because it was only $17 a night, split two ways, so we each only paid $8.50 a night to stay in the florida sun. Another great thing about camping is cheap meal prep. Buy a case of hamburgers and some beans at Walmart and you’re set for two days. This saves a lot on eating out expenses.
The best part of this budget trip were all of the fun things we got to do because we had driven down rather than flying. Having a car meant that we could travel the whole state, which we did. Featured in the photograph above is us parasailing in Daytona beach (roughly $80 each, but Florida beaches are free to access so you could always just skip the excursions). Neither one of us had done this and the boat boy was cute so we decided why not.
Another great thing to do while you’re down in the sunshine state would be to visit Rainbow Springs State Park. It’s either a $2 or $5 entrance fee, and then there’s kayaking for a minimal fee, free swimming, hiking around waterfalls, and a snack bar all on post. The best part? The water is crystal clear and you can see fish swimming around, your friends underwater, and everything around you. It looks like caribbean blue water minus the caribbean blue cost. There are waterfalls and hiking trails in this park as well, and it was only about a 30 minute drive from the campground we stayed at, and the park itself actually has a campground on site.
Miami gets a little expensive so I won’t even mention that excursion but theres always St. Petersburg which has great beaches and cute restaurants and hotels if you were looking to splurge or just spend the day relaxing on a white sand beach. Pass-A-Grille beach is my favorite; they have the best little ice cream shacks on that strip and free parking!
Finally, we partied and visited friends at FSU on St. Patrick’s day! And surprise! They don’t really have guest lists or small houses like we do up north so even if you don’t know anyone down there at school (which you probably do, or a nearby school) you can still get in and have a great time. There’s also various cheap bars around the college campuses so if you’re looking for that scene without the Miami prices that’s where you’ll find it.
As for the driving down and up? We stayed in a cheap hotel one night and at a friend’s apartment at another university halfway down. The gas wasn’t much in comparison to the cost of a flight, and we jammed out to our favorite songs and made so many incredible memories on the way. Definitely the best spring break I’ve been on so far.
This trip should only cost about $300 or less if you’re truly sticking to budget, however, don’t be afraid to splurge a little bit more if you have the cash and wish to do something. Hope these budget tips helped, and I hope you all have a kick ass spring break no matter what you do!