Since the day you stepped back on campus or into the office after the winter holidays, you’ve been looking forward to spring break. You’ve (hopefully) aced your midterms, logged countless hours at the gym working on your beach body and now it’s time to plan the perfect getaway filled with tropical sun, sand and drinks. Start de-stressing now, because we’ve already outlined how to plan the perfect spring break.
Step #1: Choose an ideal destination
If you’re heading to the beach for spring break (and most people are), remember to factor in travel time and costs into your decision. If you’re on a budget, look for the beach closest to you to minimize gas and ticket costs. If you had your heart set on a road trip to Myrtle or a flight to the Caribbean, remember that the time it takes you to travel to your destination will cut into your trip time. Consider trading hours of time in the car or at the airport for more time lying in the surf under the sun. No matter which beach you choose, as long as the sun is shining and your girlfriends are with you, you will have a great time.
Step #2: Budget
Chances are you don’t have a lot of excess cash to blow, so strategically planning your trip to maximize your money will allow you to do all of the things you want without going bankrupt. If you’re flying, always book economy. You don’t need to fly first class if it means you can spend more of your budget once you arrive at your destination. Also, you probably won’t be spending a lot of time in your hotel room except to sleep and shower, so find a reasonably priced place to stay. Trade in the Hilton for the Best Western—as long as it’s clean and functional, that’s all you need. Decide before you leave how much money you will spend. Once you arrive, it is easy to start spending money on delicious food and drinks and cute souvenirs, but if you set yourself a budget beforehand, you are more likely to stick to it.
Step #3: Make a (tentative) itinerary
We know that the point of spring break is to relax. Making an itinerary is not to keep you on a rigid schedule, but to make sure that you make reservations for popular attractions that may fill up fast. If you want to take in a show or spend an evening at a dinner theatre, go ahead and purchase your tickets now. If you go without a plan, you may be disappointed to find that all of the tourist attractions are full.
Step #4: Choose your travel companions
Traveling together can really be a test of true friendship. While spring break is supposed to be fun and relaxing, being cooped up together with the same group of people in a car or in a hotel room for hours on end can be frustrating. Make sure the group you are traveling with all have the same ideas about what you will be doing on the trip. If you do not have the same vision for your spring break as your friends, you might want to consider going with someone else.
Step #5: Have a safe and responsible trip
Spring break is a great time to meet new people and let loose, but make sure that in the midst of all the fun, you are responsible. Remember that you are not in a familiar area, so if you decide to drink, make a plan. Write down the address of your hotel on a piece of paper and keep it in your pocket in case you need to give it to a cab driver. Choose a designated driver each night, and limit yourself on how many drinks you are going to have.
Photos by Brittany Wood