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Cheap spring break destinations

Sunny, end-of-winter getaways that won't break the bank.

Updated

Group of friends on spring break at the beach carrying a cooler for a party

From coast to coast, popular spring break destinations include locations like Orlando, South Padre Island and San Diego. While we’re all for the classics, sometimes veering off the well-beaten bikini path can save you money and provide a more unique experience.

We took into account the average price of accommodations, food, airfare and things to do when compiling this list. These spring break destinations pack a relaxing, fun-filled punch — but generally cost less to visit.

Should I cancel my spring break trip due to coronavirus?

According to experts, it depends where you’re headed. The US government currently recommends that US citizens avoid nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. Older adults and those affected by chronic medical conditions should avoid nonessential travel to Japan as well. And all travelers should be diligent about washing their hands and avoiding anyone who’s sick.

Unless you’re traveling to one of those areas, you may not need to cancel your spring break vacation. The best thing to do is practice precaution by washing your hands and avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose.

When is Spring break 2020?

Spring break in the US ranges from late February through mid-April, depending on the region and school calendar. But March is the most popular month for spring break nationwide.

Top cheap spring break destinations

If you’re looking to save a buck, Savannah, Georgia and Sedona, Arizona are two of our favorite affordable places to visit.

tybee island beach savannah georgia

Savannah

This deep-south town with a hippie twist may have gained mainstream popularity in the last few years, but it’s still possible to find cheap hotels and vacation rentals. Plus, the downtown area is super-walkable, which makes getting from place to place a breeze. You can eat well at its charming bakeries and cafés without needing to splurge.

Pack a picnic and dine in Forsyth Park to watch the locals and Savannah College of Art and Design students commute to and fro. Tybee Island is only a 30-minute drive away for when you want to spend the day at a beach — catch a shuttle for $20 round trip.

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sedona arizona hiking

Sedona

With only 10,000 residents, this town may be small, but glorious red rock formations, pleasant dry heat, local wineries and vibrant art scene offer a fascinating getaway. And it’s possible to book a comfortable Airbnb or hotel room for less than $100 per night.

In the surrounding Coconino National Forest, you’ll find over 400 miles of trails in the Red Rock Ranger District. Combine your Sedona spring break with a sojourn in lovely Pheonix to make the most of your Arizona getaway.

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Spring break destinations for families

What makes an ideal spring break destination for families? Warm weather, activities for the kiddos and a healthy dose of history. Of course, affordability is also key.

st augustine florida bridge

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine has it all — an 18th century fort, a cutesy-quirky old town, uncrowded beaches and a slew of restaurants ranging from fancy to down-home (think fried chicken and biscuits.) It’s an hour’s drive south of Jacksonville. But during spring break season it’s usually cheaper to fly into Orlando — two hours away by car.

Did we mention there’s a pirate ship?

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statehouse richmond virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond is a haven for history buffs, beer lovers, ice cream aficionados and artsy folks. The best part? It’s relatively inexpensive to visit. Check out Jamestown for a colonial experience, then head to the free Richmond Museum of Fine Art. The Monument Avenue Easter Parade is a spectacular street fair celebration complete with a petting zoo. Plenty of beaches are within driving distance. And King’s Dominion — a major amusement park — is a 30-minute drive north.

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punta cana beach

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

This palm-tree paradise is one of the cheapest locations to fly to in the Caribbean. Its all-inclusive resorts are relatively affordable compared to what you’d find in, say, Cancun, and the list of family-friendly activities is practically endless. Snorkel, kayak, zip-line, surf and more.

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Spring break destinations for college students

So you have a brief respite from homework, exams and longs days spent studying. These spring break destinations for college students offer a laid-back vibe, cheap food and high times.

birmingham alabama bbq bar

Birmingham, Alabama

Here’s a bold statement — Birmingham is the next Austin. OK, hear us out…

In this sophisticated southern city, you’ll find the hippest artisanal breweries, the chicest coffee shops and some good ol’ sloppy BBQ. It’s also wonderfully walkable — so college kids can visit without renting a car. Stay in the Avondale, Woodlawn or Crestwood neighborhoods for close proximity to some of the best local digs.

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bourbon st new orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans is one of those cities that can be pricey or cheap, depending on how you play it. At it’s core, it’s a bohemian mash-up of Creole spice, Cajun flair and a dozen other flavorful cultures.

Most museums and attractions have cheap student prices. And you can save money by opting for dive bars and street food instead of fine dining.

Book a walking tour with Free Tours by Foot to get the lay of the land, tipping what you can afford.

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puerto viejo costa rica

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Hoping to add a stamp to your passport? Book a bunk in a hostel for less than $20 per night in Puerto Viejo. Dine like royalty on cheap seafood and enjoy regional dishes at locally-owned cantinas for a fraction of what you’d pay in the US.

Consider renting a bike to save on transportation costs — you can usually do this for around $10 per day.

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Can’t choose just one destination? Consider a cruise.

With cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, it’s possible to book cruises for less than $100 per person, per day — and that includes unlimited amounts of food, entertainment, accommodations and transportation from port to port. Especially for families of four, cruises can be a cost-effective way to escape to the tropics without dropping loads of dough.

Spring break cruise deals

Sandals Resorts Sandals Resorts

Goodbye summer, hello fall sale and get a $250 photo credit

T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Avoya Travel Avoya Travel

Royal Caribbean sale: buy 1 get 1 60% off cruise fares, up to $150 free onboard credit and kids sail free

T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Spring break vacation deals

Priceline Priceline

Up to 50% off highest rated hotels on your next booking

Top rated hotels at great prices. Guaranteed one of 3 hotels shown. Plus, get VIP discounts on future bookings. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Travelocity Travelocity

Vacation packages now under $400

Flight and hotel included for getaways to: Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas, NYC, Honolulu, Los Cabos, and more. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Bottom line

Even if it means you set a budget, spring break trips are a wonderful way to reward yourself for surviving the winter blues. Plus, we’ve never heard of anyone regretting a spring break vacation.

If your sunny sky wardrobe needs a little freshening up, check out our list of top spring break retailers — complete with coupons, discounts and deals.

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