Affording Spring Break Excursions

By Nami Nagaoka

For students, it may be difficult to spend a lot of money on spring break trips. Between the cost of tickets, hotels and other travel expenses, spring break can become expensive quickly.

This may lead to some students staying home for spring break; however, some students still decide to go on vacation and utilize creative budgeting tools and sites to make it happen.

Tyler-Alexis MacDonald, a senior linguistics major, went to Iceland for seven days with two family members and a friend for spring break and said the trip was fun.

She said her friends found a cheap ticket on the Hopper app in January.

“If we didn’t find people to go with … we couldn’t go because it was too expensive,” she said. “It’s really cheap to travel in groups,” she said.

To plan for the trip, she said she used an Excel Spreadsheet that outlined their budget and listed of all the things they wanted to do in Iceland.

She booked a round-trip ticket for less than $450. To rent a car, buy insurance, secure a place to stay and buy food and other necessities, MacDonald said she spent less than $1,000.

Prior to leaving, she said her group planned their excursions, outfits and other aspects of the trip by using Pinterest.

“We had to find an Airbnb with a kitchen … if we didn’t have a kitchen, it would have been too expensive,” she said. She also said they went out to eat twice; they cooked all the other meals.

David Ottney, a music education major, went to Japan with three other friends for seven days. His friend in Torito went to Japan last year as an exchange student, and he is now seeking to work at a travel agency.

“He knew how to get a cheap ticket,” he said. He got a student discount and got a round trip ticket for less than $400 through StudentUniverse.

Ottney said he started planning for this trip in October and he and his friends worked during the semester and saved to afford the trip.

He said he spent about $300 for public transportation, food and some necessities and spent no more than $1,000 for the trip including the flight.

Since he traveled with three other friends, he said he was able to spread out the cost of staying at hostels, and said he spent $80 for housing on his trip.

Nico Lucarelli, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, went to Orlando and Clearwater in Florida for spring break with his girlfriend. He said they traveled to Orlando via Amtrak and bought two one-way plane tickets for about $300 to get home.

He said he also went to Disney World and stayed at a hotel a mile away. Lucarelli said they started planning for this trip in January, and he began to save his money in the summer.

“I saved it because I knew that I would want to go somewhere over the spring break,” he said.

Lucarelli said he had a paid internship over the past summer and fall semester with Tesla, and he had a commuter card for the transportation. Lucarelli said he didn’t really have to use his money since he was busy with his internship.

“I’m not the generally expensive one,” he said. “I had enough savings, so that wasn’t too much issue,” he said.

Lucarelli is now saving his money for a cruise trip with his girlfriend to Puerto Rico, Barbados and a couple other islands in May.