The Cheapest Spring Break Destinations for Students on a Budget

On a Budget? No Problem. These are the Cheapest Spring Break Destinations

Spring break has a bit of a reputation for being expensive: five-star all-inclusive hotels, all-night drinking and partying, and splurging on fancy dinners out can quickly add up to several thousand dollars over the space of your week away -- a sum that's out of many students' budgets. 

But guess what: spring break doesn't have to be expensive. If you're desperate for an escape from college life, but don't have much money to do so, here are some options in North America that won't break the bank. Enjoy!

  • 01 of 05

    Montreal, Canada

    Lauren Juliff

    Longing for a week spent traveling in Europe but can't justify forking out for the plane tickets? Consider heading north to Montreal instead! This beautiful city in Quebec will have you feeling as if you're wandering the streets of France, not North America! In Montreal, the locals speak French, the architecture is typically European, and the food (especially the bagels!) is delicious! 

    Check out Airbnb for cheap apartment rentals for the week to save on accommodation (typical prices are $50 per night for an entire apartment to yourself), and aim to eat at one of the many markets to save on food. Check out Amtrak if you live in the northeast, as prices may be cheaper than flying. 

  • 02 of 05

    Playa del Carmen, Mexico

    © Lauren Juliff

    Cancun is infamous for its Spring Break parties, but why not head a little further south down the coast to Playa del Carmen? Its got just as much of a party atmosphere, but the hotels are cheaper and street food is plentiful. 

    Look to stay in a hostel a few blocks back from 5th Avenue to save on money, and eat street food for a dollar a piece! Accommodation will run you about $15 a night in a dorm room and relaxing on the beach is free! Mexico is extremely affordable, so you can even squeeze in some activities for $50 a go.

  • 03 of 05

    Portland, Oregon

    The Cheesus.jpg
    Lauren Juliff

    Portland isn't a typical Spring Break destination, but has lots to offer students on a budget. With a thriving food truck scene, you'll be able to save lots of money on food -- and the food in Portland is incredible! 

    The cheapest accommodation option is staying in a hostel in the downtown area, which puts you right in the heart of the action. Aim to pay $20 a night for a hostel stay, $5 per street truck meal, and $30 for a night out on the town.

  • 04 of 05

    Washington D.C.

    Lauren Juliff

     Washington D.C. isn't the first place you think of when it comes to Spring Break, but it has some real bargains to offer travelers. See the memorials, take a look at the White House, or visit dozens of world-class museums -- all for free! 

    Staying in a hostel ($20 a night) is your best bet for saving money in Washington DC, and be on the hunt for street food carts to find delicious food on a budget. 

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Costa Rica

    Volunteer in Costa Rica With Projects Abroad - Volunteer in Costa Rica
    © Projects Abroad

    If you're looking to travel internationally but not spend too much, Central America is a much cheaper option than the Caribbean resorts.

    Costa Rica can be very cheap if you stay away from the tourist spots and has plenty to offer travelers. Trek through the rainforests, sunbathe on black sand beaches, or give back to the community by taking part in a volunteer project.

    The cheapest accommodation available will be guesthouses and hostels, although good deals can sometimes be had on Airbnb. Choose to stay in dorm room in hostels ($7 a night) if you're really looking to travel on a budget.

    Cheap food options include the ubiquitous rice and beans you can find all over the region, available for a few dollars in most places. Look to book your flights six weeks in advance in order to save money on transportation. 

Spring Break doesn't have to be expensive! In fact, it can end up costing you under $500 for the week. Do your research, stay in hostels, eat street food and you'll be having the time of your life while still remaining on budget.

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