March Reading Roundup

It’s the start of spring break season! But for some students looking forward to traveling with friends, and parents striving to create annual family memories, taking a vacation while still experiencing the effects of a pandemic may not seem feasible. Whether it be due to funds or safety concerns, one thing for sure is that spring break plans this year aren’t as clear as in years past. Here are some ideas that may make this year’s spring break trip a little different, but still doable!

Stretching Your Coins

Whether you’re looking to spend your spring break in an igloo hotel or cruising the Bahamas, there are a number of ways you can save money. The savings can start before you even hit the road by simply choosing a less popular location. For instance, if you’re looking for a more traditional spring break vacation without a Miami price tag, consider an alternative Florida destination that provides a similar atmosphere for a fraction of the cost. Vacation payment plans are also an option that can help you with funds, allowing you to enjoy your trip up front and pay it off in the months after.

If you’re looking to be a frugal traveler, you may want to stay in the United States to save the most money. While you still can find cheap flights for some foreign destinations, note that COVID-19 fees may still be charged at some airports. If you do decide to travel internationally, there are some cheap ways to get a passport photo for a renewal, and booking a timeshare or even an Airbnb can help you cut back on lodging.

Looking to extend your trip past the week? Make sure you pack travel essentials such as plug adapters for foreign destinations or medicines as they could be more expensive to purchase at your destination. It may also be worth your while to look into ways to get paid to travel . These options can range from taking remote classes or jobs that make travel possible, such as being a travel blogger or an expatriate.

Keeping Your Distance

There are a ton of cheap travel destinations that are just as fun, and not as crowded as that beach in Mexico. If your preference is to enjoy a trip that’s a bit less congested, avoid the more common “touristy” cities and try exploring some lesser known, and even off-the-grid locales. You’ll enjoy the challenge of discovering something new and you’ll have some unique stories to tell to your loved ones back at home.

Another option for enjoying a more intimate spring break trip is to take a road trip. Queue up your favorite playlists, stock up on snacks and set off to tour a few cities by wheel. Not only will a roadtrip get you some awesome scenic views, but it can also ignite some deep conversations with your travel buddies and result in stronger friendships (or relationships) by the end of the trip. You can even up the ante and rent an RV for a true roadie adventure, but don’t forget to budget for the gas .

Staying Close to Home

If you’re not ready to travel or can’t because of COVID restrictions, you can always have a budget-friendly
. You could explore local hiking trails or go on a camping trip if the outdoors is your cup of tea. And if nature isn’t your thing, try exploring some of the local attractions in your area. You might find a new hobby in disc golf or discover an interesting museum that you may not have visited otherwise. (There’s always that one place that we live near but have never been to.) If you look hard enough, you may learn a few things about your hometown that will surprise you.

Sometimes even the thought of leaving your home is tiresome, but that doesn’t mean your spring break has to go to waste. Take the time to catch up on some shows or movies you’ve been wanting to watch. Sprinkle in some self care with a spa day or a fresh haircut . Tackle a new project, or finish an old one, but do something that you might not otherwise do to make your spring break special and fulfilling. Also, staying occupied indoors is a great way to avoid extra spending .

Fighting Travel FOMO

Naturally, cutting back on travel plans can be a bummer, and having to settle for less in order to meet budget needs and covid requirements can leave lingering feelings of regret, even after experiencing an amazing vacation. But soon the effects of the pandemic will fade and vacation travel will return to a more comfortable degree of normalcy. Instead of focusing on what you may have missed out on, zero in on how you can plan ahead for your dream trip and use the funds you didn’t spend this time around to jumpstart your savings.

Those leftover dollars in your pocket could find some real potential in an investment portfolio. Whether dipping into meme stocks or diving into crypto currency, investing funds ahead of your next trip could be profitable and give you even more spending money by the time you board your next flight. Even with no guarantee of profit, you will definitely gain some valuable investing knowledge.

While you’re planning, you can also use this time between trips to start a side hustle to help fill your vacation fund. Selling items on Amazon or completing paid online surveys are great ways to increase your income. And if you’re short on down time, look at how you might cut down on your spending. Save money on food by buying groceries and cooking at home, and take advantage of sale items and clearance racks for other household expenses.

Around the Web

If you plan on traveling for spring break, you may want to consider what COVID-19 travel safety precautions you may want to take. You can look to the CDC’s travel page for the latest advisories and tips. We also searched the web for more spring break COVID-19 travel advice:

•   Should You Plan Travel as the Pandemic Continues?

•   Rethinking your travel plans? If you go, experts have 4 pieces of advice

•   I’m unvaccinated and immunocompromised. How can I travel safely?

•   Doctors offer some tips for safe travel during COVID-19

•   What to consider if you’re planning a vacation in 2022

The Takeaway

Traveling during spring break doesn’t have to be expensive. And even if you’re staying home, you can use the time to invest and jump start your savings for your next adventure.

While you’re planning, SoFi Relay can help you track your incoming and outgoing finances. You can keep a close eye on your expenses and watch your vacation fund grow all in one single app.

Ready to take a closer look at your finances? SoFi Relay is a great place to start.

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Photo credit: iStock/SeventyFour


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