Student seeks ways to enjoy spring break on budget

Every college student lives for the special seven days that occur every spring semester. These seven days provide freedom, tan lines, and memories worth telling future grandchildren. This is the magic of spring break.

While the highly anticipated holiday is right around the corner, many students find their hair turning grey over the lack of money in the bank. This does not have to be! Spring break trip does not have to be compromised due to lack of funds. With just a few tips, spring break can be spent at a favorite destination instead of reliving parents’ weekend and sleeping in your high school bedroom.

First, never pay for housing. Renting a house, condo or hotel is one of the first and largest budget suckers of a trip. While lodging is obviously necessary, there are ways to get creative to fulfill the primal need.

Depending where the group is visiting, find a friend, family member, or your grandma’s best friend’s second cousin twice removed to stay with. It is surprising how connected people are; there should be at least one person in the group who has a tie to someone in the area. Even if the host is nearly a stranger, bring a sleeping bag, crash on the floor and be out of the house before they leave for work. It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.

If, by some strange luck, no one in the group knows someone residing in the destination spot chosen, there are still options. Camping is one of the best ways to truly experience the environment around you; it also forces a slower pace of life. Campsites normally cost between five and 25 dollars a day. If the cost is split between all involved, the fresh air and tough ground becomes the cheapest hotel in recent history.

Another place to pinch a few pennies is the food budget. Eating poorly is not a new concept for college students. This is the generation that owes all physical growth to the makers of Ramen Noodles. A week of simple eating will not harm anyone, even though your taste buds might disagree. Stick with simple meals like hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta or sandwiches and snacks like chips and salsa, granola bars and pretzels. Avoid meals that involve many ingredients or many condiments. The easier the meal, the less time and money wasted on feeding yourself.

Lastly, avoid one of the biggest money suckers of all, souvenirs. Let’s be honest, no one likes them. While you may feel better about yourself after buying an over priced shot glass for your roommate back at home, it will only take them about five seconds after opening the present to realize they are on covenant and drinking water out of a shot glass is stupid. Do not give in to the black hole of tourism. Keep your money in your pocket and walk past the gift shop with confidence.