How to Do Spring Break on a Budget… and Where to Go


If you’re already over the cold winter weather there’s some good news on the horizon: Spring break is almost here. Each year, millions of people pack their bags to head to sunnier, warmer places and live out their vacation dreams. You might think spring break is just for college kids, but guess what?

Not all travelers are 21-years-old and hoping to go to Daytona Beach in April. There are plenty of reasons to travel over spring break. You might be a teacher—whether that’s an elementary school teacher or a college professor—and you can only travel around school breaks. Or maybe you have kids in middle school, and you can only take a vacation during the children’s spring break.

Whatever your reason is for prioritizing a trip this spring, you should know that traveling doesn’t have to mean emptying your wallet. Here are nine places where you can do spring break on a budget.

Washington D.C.

The nation’s capital may not be the first place you think of for a spring break, but hear us out. D.C. is an epicenter of history and culture. In D.C., visitors can visit the White House, the Capitol Building, Mount Vernon, and more.

And, best of all, in the springtime, the area’s greatest attraction is totally free. We are of course speaking of its famed cherry blossoms, which bloom between March and April . And for most east coasters, the destination is just a road trip away.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

If your heart is set on the sun, look no further than Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The beach city in Mexico’s state of Jalisco is filled to the brim with all-inclusive resorts, meaning you’ll likely spend less money upon arrival. And with options starting in the $130 range , spring vacationers can have enough cash left over for sunscreen.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans has long been a favorite U.S. destination, and with good reason. With a stellar food scene and some of the best jazz clubs in the world, it’s a must-see city that, if done right, can also be done on a budget.

For the best way to see and experience everything this city has to offer (hello, alligator boat rides!), find a place to stay other than the French Quarter, which can get very expensive.

Instead, try one of its other neighborhoods or look outside the city limits on home sharing sites like Airbnb. There, you’ll find a number of possibilities , some for under $100 a night. Just be wary of traveling to NOLA around Mardi Gras, when prices will inevitably sky rocket.

South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island sits just off the coast of Texas but feels worlds away. The island is home to delicious restaurants and plenty of bars and nightclubs if you want to dance the night away.

And, because of its southern location just 30 miles north of Mexico, you’re bound to get plenty of sun. Visitors can either fly or drive to the island, which could add up to major savings.

Key West, Florida

Heading to Florida is a natural impulse in the spring, but instead of visiting expensive cities like Miami, why not keep going south? As in really south to Key West. The island is the southernmost point in the continental United States and is simply gorgeous.

With tropical blue waters surrounding it on all sides, a wildly festive bar scene, and enough Key lime pie to fill your belly, it’s more than worth the visit.

Virgin Islands

The area has rebuilt and is hoping to attract visitors once again with some seriously good deals. Because many frequent travelers are staying away from the area, you may still be able to get lower than normal rates on both rooms and airfare. And, best of all, you’ll be helping the area recover, thanks to your tourism dollars.

Las Vegas, Nevada

If you’re looking for a party, then Las Vegas is for you. Home to some of the best casinos on earth, along with residency programs from some of the world’s biggest stars, there’s certainly something for everyone.

Though you could lose money at the blackjack table if you’re not careful, Vegas can still be a good deal for “low rollers” thanks to its rock-bottom hotel deals, all-you-can-eat buffets, and cheap seats to shows. Use sites like Vegas.com to score last-minute deals and discounts before you go.

San Ignacio, Belize

On the banks of the Macal River, visitors to Belize will find the town of San Ignacio. Guests can explore everything the town has to offer and even trek through the medicinal trails. Although this might sound like an expensive trip, the U.S. dollar is worth about double the Belize dollar, making your money rather valuable. And in places like San Ignacio, you could even stay in a gorgeous locale like the San Ignacio Resort for just $200 a night, if you book early enough.

Getting There Without Breaking The Bank

If traveling is on your spring break bucket list, there are ways to make it happen. If you can, try saving up for the trip of your dreams by following a budget for a few months and putting away your extra cash in a trip fund. Or, if you’re willing, look into traveling during a different time of year that may offer more savings.

If you don’t have time to save and you’re dead set on traveling this spring, you could look into applying for a personal loan with SoFi (yes, you really can use a personal loan for that!).

Like we said earlier, if you’re a teacher, or you have school-age children, you really only have time to travel on school breaks and in the summer. And that’s, unfortunately, when prices go up. But that doesn’t have to stop you from traveling!

By taking out a personal loan you may be able to score a loan with a lower interest rate than your current credit cards. That way, you can pay off your vacation over time without potentially paying more in interest, and enjoy that cocktail by the beach, the cherry blossoms blooming, or the sweet sound of jazz without a care in the world.

Want to take the trip of your dreams? Look into a personal loan with SoFi, which could help you get there.
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