It’s nearly time for the annual start of Spring Break from college. Hundreds of thousands of students flock to the beaches of Florida, head off for a cruise or even more exotic climes. But, alas, all of these activities cost big bucks. Skipping out on the drunken excess that is Spring Break will save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollar, vicious hangovers and the potential embarrassment of questionable photos of you ending up all over the interwebs. Instead, consider these 5 super cheap alternatives for spring break…
#1 Over the River and Through the Woods…
To Grandma’s house you go. Your parents might hassle you about your grades and try to put you to work on spring cleaning or nag you to study for finals. But the grandparents will cook for you, take you places, blow money on you and treat you like a king or queen. You can always count on G-ma and G-pa for a good time. You’ll head back to school plump, happy and with a suitcase of clean laundry. And if you can’t afford the gas or ticket to get to them, you know they’ll happily send you one.
#2 Binge on Netflix
If you have your own place off-campus or can crash with a buddy, take along your tablet or laptop and binge 24/7 on all those awesome shows you haven’t had time to indulge in. Once you get into a show, you won’t want to leave the house to go drink or party – you’ll be transfixed. Here are some bingeable recommendations: Breaking Bad (will help you prep for your chem final), Dexter (ditto that for your anatomy or abnormal psych final) or Sons of Anarchy (for your poli sci final).
#3 Binge Read
One of the great things about college is the great literature it exposes you to. One of the downsides is that you have so little time for reading as a leisure activity. Consider indulging your literary interests in the same manner as we suggest in #2. Hit the library or download ebooks. Here are some series that are utterly bingeworthy: Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series, the Hunger Games Trilogy or the Divergent Trilogy. And if picture books are more your style, check out the Walking Dead graphic novels.
#4 Learn a Skill
Hunker down with an aunt, uncle, Mom or Dad and learn a hobby or skill that you’ve been wanting to master. Learn to change your oil, knit or to replace the guts of a toilet. Get your mom to teach you how to make her signature mac n’ cheese. This can be the time to learn something new that could help you land a good summer job. If you want to work construction and earn some big bucks, get someone to teach the basic skills you need. And this is the kind of stuff you just can’t learn in a classroom.
Ugh. I know, right? Who wants to work over Spring Break? Your part-time job could likely turn full-time during SB week when everyone else is begging off to head out on vacay. Score the extra hours and spend your evenings doing some of #1-#4 above and you’ll come out of the week with money in your pocket, no shame in your game and no regrets over what you did or didn’t do while revel-making. Summer’s right around the corner and you can party then.
Another way to be smart about money is to keep track of what you’re borrowing for school and to try and minimize your debt. Sign up for Tuition.io’s free student loan tool to keep track of your debt and find out how making payments now can make your debt much more manageable after graduation.