It’s Not Too Late To Save On Spring Break Travel

February 26, 2024

There are roughly 55 million kindergarten through twelfth-grade students in the United States, and nearly all have a spring break between mid-March and mid-April. Though exact dates vary by region of the country, the period marks the first significant travel upswing of the year, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

A recent IPX1031 travel trends report shows that more than 90% of Americans plan to travel in 2024, 50% higher than the previous year, and 13% are specifically planning a spring break trip, with an average expense of $2,700.

Travel experts predict this spring break season could see hotel bookings surge, likely driving room rates higher, potentially up 20% to 30% from March 1 to April 15. However, airline tickets are cheaper this year compared to last, depending on where you are heading, according to data from Kayak.

“One option to save money on spring break is to consider booking with a small group travel provider,” says Matt Berna, Intrepid Travel President, The Americas. “Prices are locked in at least a year or two in advance, so you know you are getting the best deals available.”

Home vacation rentals are also lower this year compared to 2023. “So far in 2024, the median nightly price of a vacation rental on HomeToGo.com are 10% lowered compared to the same period last year, offering even more affordable options for travelers,” says Mike Pearce, HomeToGo spokesperson and travel expert.

Whether you’re a college student looking for mid-semester relaxation or a family in desperate need of sun, there’s still time to save on spring break travel.

Save On Domestic Travel

If travelers are flexible with their destination, Baltimore, Maryland, has the cheapest airfare for March vacations, followed closely by Nashville, Tennessee.

The Deep South, Missouri Ozarks, and Panhandle beaches like Destin and Pensacola all have lower rates than Florida’s East Coast cities like Fort Lauderdale or Miami. The Outer Banks, North Carolina; Jekyll Island, Georgia; and Gulf Shores, Alabama, offer competitive pricing compared to other popular beach destinations.

Florida usually tops the spring break destination list, with access to beaches, theme parks, and multiple cruise ports. This year, the average round-trip airfare to Orlando is $299 in March, making it the seventh-cheapest domestic option. Flights to Panama City are 23% lower this year compared to last.

For spring break, many families are headed to “the Happiest Place on Earth.” Located just over one mile from Disney’s doorstep, the newly renovated Caribe Royale Orlando Resort offers deals starting at only $186 per night. Boasting free shuttles to all parks, the Caribe Royal offers budget-friendly pricing at one of the most sought-after spring break locations.

Alternatively, adventure seekers could opt for the slopes over sand. You’ll find one of the cheapest spring break getaways in Lac Le Belle, Michigan, home of Mount Bohemia Ski Resort.

With over 300+ inches of snow each winter and 585 skiable acres, it’s also an accessible road-trip destination for much of the Midwest. Stay in the resort’s hostels for only $45 a night, or splurge on a Yurt for $200.

Mexico and the Caribbean

Those seeking the most budget-friendly airfare for spring break should consider destinations within North and South America. Surprisingly, the cost to fly to major Canadian and Mexican cities, as well as Central American hot spots like San Salvador, can be comparable to domestic U.S. fares.

While booking a few months in advance usually offers the best deals, spontaneous travelers can still unlock savings. Travel expert Yulia Saf says, “Leveraging tools like Google Flights’ price tracker for sudden fare drops, Airbnb for unique accommodation at a fraction of the price, and apps like Hopper for predictive booking times can make a significant difference in cost.”

When heading to popular destinations like Cancun and the Caribbean, consider all-inclusive resorts, which often offer last-minute deals to fill rooms. Hard Rock Hotel Cancun and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Puerta Valla are running an “ Amplift Your Stay ” offer with up to 50% off their all-inclusive properties for stays this March. Travelers can enjoy fresh salsa and margaritas oceanside for the same price as a hotel in most U.S. destinations.

With locations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, Karisma Hotels & Resorts is offering 55% off during their Spring Sale. Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas is offering 20-25% off stays in March and April with their Linger Longer Sale.

Head Overseas

The strength of the dollar, coupled with decreased health concerns and removed COVID-19 restrictions, has increased demand for international destinations.

While Europe has historically been a top choice for summer vacations, it’s also becoming a spring break hot spot. During shoulder seasons, March through May and September through November, travel vendors often offer discounted travel deals on airfare and hotel stays.

Travelers are also finding significant hotel deals in Asia, especially if you can lock in reasonable airfare. 25% of Kayak users found tickets to Asia for $729 round-trip from O’Hare International Airport and $782 from Los Angeles International Airport.

Ashley Connell, founder of Lease Extensions, says, “The average room in Shanghai goes for around $177, although hostels are very affordable at $17 on average. If you want cheaper options, the Hongkou district has rooms on the lower end at $44 nightly. Many properties also offer free cancellations, which gives flexibility if your plans change at the last minute.”

Alexandra Caspero | Wealth of Geeks
This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


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