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10 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Spring Break Travels

The days are longer, the air is warmer, and school is out: spring break is the perfect opportunity to take your family somewhere special. 

For a typical 3-day vacation, families of four pay an average of $3,600 for flights, housing, transportation, and meals. But if you’re trying to save up for important expenses like school tuition and extracurriculars, you might want to bring that number down.

Want to find out how to save money on spring break? Follow these ten tried-and-true money-saving strategies to have an absolute blast—and cut your costs.

1. Fund your travel with gift cards

Imagine earning money towards your child’s tuition or school fees, sports program, or band trip while you’re having fun over spring break. You can make that possible with RaiseRight

Once you enroll in a RaiseRight program, all you have to do is shop gift cards from brands you love and use those to pay for your expenses (instead of cash, credit, or debit). With every gift card purchase, the brand will kick back anywhere from 1 to 20% to the organization or cause you’re fundraising for. It’s that easy! 

Use RaiseRight gift cards to pay for things like: 

Next time you reach for your credit card, consider using RaiseRight gift cards instead to save money every time you spend. You can even download the RaiseRight mobile app and purchase eGift cards on the go that you can use within seconds.

Learn more about how RaiseRight works, or browse our travel partners.

2. Book early

The first step to planning a fun-filled spring break is to decide what kind of trip you want to take. Remember, you don’t always need to hop on a flight to go somewhere amazing. Here are some great spring break ideas for families on a budget:

No matter where you decide to go, book your travel and accommodations as soon as possible. Not only will this give you more options, but prices will likely be much lower. You can also use cost comparison websites to help you find the best deal. 

3. Research your destination ahead of time

Thorough research is the best way to ensure your family has a fun vacation on a budget. Here are some helpful details to look up before you arrive:

  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Fun activities

Compare locations by price, travel distance, and quality. This will save you more time for fun and relaxation when you’re actually there.

4. Always look for deals

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And where there’s an expense, there’s almost always a deal you can find. 

While you’re getting in some much-needed R&R on your spring break trip, keep an eye open for:

  • Meal specials
  • Children and family discounts
  • Weeknight activity specials (karaoke night, couples night, etc.)

If you’re a frequent flier or have a travel credit card, you can use some of your travel points towards various expenses, like flights, meals, or entertainment. You can also cut costs by bundling your hotel room, flight, and car rental.

5. Contact your connections

Your friend and family connections are a great resource for travel information and advice. Ask around and see if anyone you know has the scoop on the best (and most affordable) restaurants and attractions. 

If you’re visiting faraway friends and family on spring break, make the most of your time together by staying with them, if they’re willing to host you. You can repay your hosts with a home-cooked meal or by tidying up their home before you leave.

6. Eat in when you can

Food is a big expense for travelers—the average family’s cost for three days of restaurant meals is $1,200

So, one of the best tips for saving on spring break is to eat in. Instead of going out for every meal, find a place to stay that has a kitchen, or book hotels that have complimentary meals.

7. Walk as much as possible

Another big travel expense is transportation. Rental cars can be pricey, and rideshare costs rack up quickly when you go between your lodging and your destination’s many attractions. 

For this reason, you may want to book your accommodations close to the action so you can walk everywhere you need to go, whether to the beach, an art museum, or a hiking trail.

8. Use public transportation

If walking isn’t an option, use public transportation. Research your options ahead of time so you’re prepared. 

Want to get the lay of the land? Buses and train rides can double as an affordable sightseeing opportunity.

9. Find fun, free activities

If you’re looking for inexpensive ideas for spring break, check out what’s happening in the local area. You can likely find plenty of free and discounted public events, like:

  • Farmer’s markets
  • Concerts
  • Movie nights

Looking for more? Public parks, beaches, and hiking trails are usually open to all and free of charge.

10. Stick to your budget

Navigating spring break on a budget doesn’t work unless you stick to that budget.

Before you plan your trip, do some cost research and set your goal budget. The more planning you do, the easier it will be to stay on track.


Use RaiseRight as an effective strategy for budget management during your spring break getaway. Begin by establishing a comprehensive budget for your trip, then buy RaiseRight gift cards in denominations that align with your predetermined budget. While it's smart to carry some cash for emergencies, commit to using your gift cards on the trip.

Spend smarter year-round with RaiseRight

If you want to save money while earning money, consider partnering with RaiseRight. With a RaiseRight fundraising program, you can earn money for your organization by purchasing gift cards for hundreds of your favorite brands. 

Before you travel, check out some more savvy budgeting tips, or download our Gift Card Fundraising Playbook to learn more about maximizing your fundraising or earning potential. 

unlock your fundraising and earning potential with RaiseRight