It is easy to spend student loan money on a vacation, but there are other ways to make sure your Spring Break doesn't destroy your savings.
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Spring Break and responsible spending don’t generally go hand-in-hand. We all know that when it comes to vacations it is far too easy to overspend. In fact, 68 percent of people, including millennials, overspend on their vacations. Overspending happens especially where credit is concerned — 58 percent of people surveyed in a study overspent when using their credit cards. However, there are ways to budget your vacation, and rsponsible spending is possible while on vacation. By visiting lesser-known destinations, or pursuing a vacation alternative like participating in volunteer work, you can save money some dough this Spring Break. 

Spending habits while on Spring Break

Responsible spending while on vacation does not have to mean limitation or unendurable sacrifice. Correct and early planning can save you a lot of money. By booking directly with a hotel, you can save money by not using a last-minute booking service. Another way to save is to take a bus rather than a flight to your destination. While it’s not as glamorous, it’s much cheaper.

Some destinations for spring break are not as commercial and therefore not as pricey. Puerto Vallarta, a small resort town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, can boast an average round-trip flight of only $350. Resorts in Puerto Vallarta also offer affordable all-inclusive packages. Prices in this beautiful beach town are cheaper because it’s not a big-name Spring Break destination like Miami Beach or Cancun, Mexico. Those two destinations hike up prices and flights due to their reputation for being huge Spring Break party destinations.

However, responsible spending does not have to mean staying in your town while everyone else flocks to luxurious locations. By budgeting correctly, and starting well in advance, a dream vacation becomes a little more affordable. Be sure to look for destinations not popularized by Spring Break parties as they are sure to be cheaper than locations catering to Spring Breakers.

What does irresponsible spending look like?

In 2017, a study found that many millennial students spent a chunk of their student loans on Spring Break. One freshman student at Miles College went through $1,000 of his student loan money on a trip to New York City. It is easy to do. With the money in your account, it’s tempting to blow some of it on a trip. But the reality of paying that money back after graduation hits sooner than you would think. Spending student loan money on a vacation is absolutely inadvisable, and you should think twice (and then two more times) before doing it.

You can also get away for the break without also breaking your bank through volunteer programs. Most colleges and universities offer a Spring Break community service trip of some kind, and while this may not be your traditional vacation, helping those in need can be every bit as enjoyable as a Pina Colada on the beach. Plus, the memories you will be creating will not involve blowing all of your money.  

Takeaway

Responsible spending while on Spring Break takes time and planning, but the benefits of not blowing your student loan budget make it all worth it. By going to a lesser known Spring Break destination and booking early, you can save big. Additionally, check if your school has a volunteer program over break. Spring Break does not have to rob you blind. Smart planning and vacation alternatives are ways to keep your budget intact.

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Posted 03.07.2018 - 12:00 pm EST