When you don’t want Spring Break season to look like Spring Broke season, the persistence of properly planning goes up a notch. Some may plan their trips by saving money and budgeting, others may receive financial assistance from family members, take out a personal loan, collect donations, or use a credit card. Whether you are a college student or a single parent with kids off for the week, these plans may be beneficial or detrimental to your credit score.
For those of you who fit the description above, Spring Break is practically here, are you ready for it?
Have you properly prepared, budgeted, and scheduled for it?
Depending on what your ideas are; whether it is to take a big trip or just stay at home, there is some planning that most certainly needs to be happening. Today, we are going to look at funding spring break from two views: the college student and the single parent with school-aged children. So, let’s dive into some tips.
1. Look for Pocket-Friendly Destinations
For many college students, spring break is considered a “monumental rite of passage” (Student City). It’s the one week each year that every college student looks forward to experiencing. The only problem is the costs! If there is no plan in place, no budget, or money saved to make it happen, it’s going to be hard to get to the top destinations such as Cancun, Punta Cana, and Miami. However, if you have funds from campus jobs, work studies, or mom and dad have been a little generous with the financial assistance, then the world is your runway!
It is important to do research on destinations so that you know exactly how much the trip will cost...and if you can actually afford it. Student Universe shares incredible tips on how to properly plan your trip costs, from hotel booking and road tripping to grocery shopping and discount card programs. Oh, and let’s be honest, don’t forget the alcohol – that expense adds up quickly. They also provide affordable destination spots for road trips and air travel.
As for single parents with a student in college and perhaps a kid still at home, the day-to-day activities of being a single parent are already challenging enough. Each day you deal with taking your kids to school, taking them to extracurricular activities, cooking dinner, and putting them to bed, only to wake up and press repeat. Even the thought of planning (and paying for) a trip for spring break can be exhausting, however, there are some creative ways to provide a memorable trip for your young scholars. It’s no secret that for most single parents, extra money isn’t just laying around for trips, so visiting local attractions may be the most cost-efficient. However, if your student attends school in a cold climate, they’ll most likely want to venture off to somewhere warm. If that’s the case, consider researching the hotel and cruise programs that offer single parent family discounts or find great family friendly spring break destinations that are much more affordable and accommodating for your kids.
2. Create a Budget that Works.
For many college students, saving every red cent continues to be a major priority. The thought of spring break is both dreamy and scary at the same time. Dreamy because…well…who wouldn’t like a fun-filled break? Scary because as a college student your pockets often aren’t as deep you would like them to be. Planning for the perfect spring break destination can be challenging, especially when there’s no sufficient stream of income. If you save the money that you get occasionally and properly budget your campus activities, you can potentially go somewhere nice. The best way to start saving money is to begin budgeting on a monthly basis. With this, you can see exactly where your money is going and avoid frivolous spending habits. Other recommendations include cutting back on campus extracurricular activities, unnecessary purchases and begin participating in student discount programs throughout the year.
Single Parents: part of your planning may include scaling back on major purchases during the year, selling some household items, extreme couponing, or finding a side job to give your kids the world during spring break. Well maybe not the world, but at least show them a good time because it’s the memories that count, right?! By saving, generating some extra cash, and budgeting you’ll be well on your way to providing an enjoyable experience for your family.
3. If Using Credit Cards, Be Responsible
With the national credit card debt hitting over $1 trillion dollars in recent months, it is important to be cautious about utilizing your credit cards responsibly. No matter who you are, if your credit card spending habits are not properly monitored, it can adversely affect your credit score. For instance, if you use your credit card(s) for your trip, knowing that you are not in a financial position to make the proper payoffs, it can yield a high balance and a lowered credit score. If you are properly using your cards, paying them off as you are using them, and gaining reward points, you are on the right track to building your credit and planning for future trips. Rewards programs can save on travel expenses such as hotel accommodations, rental cars, airfare and more. An easier, less risky alternative to using credit cards for your trip would be to use SoLo. SoLo allows users to borrow an interest-free loan up to $1,000 from a fellow peer without the high-interest rates of a payday loan or the dangers of irresponsible spending on a credit card. So, as you plan your trip, this may be a more affordable solution for you.