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Exciting and Affordable: The Best Spring Break Ideas For College Students

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Tue, 02/21/2017 - 4:53pm

Beach-based spring break vacations get all the attention, but there's more to a school break than getting a tan. From connecting with nature to pursuing your passion for volunteering or music, use this time off for personal enrichment. The following are a few of the most exciting and affordable spring break ideas:

Road Trip Adventures

Who needs an itinerary? Pack four students and whatever luggage you can fit into the car and hit the road. Whether you explore local small towns or travel across the country, you'll gain a new appreciation for previously overlooked landmarks. Take an ordinary road trip to the next level with the help of affordable and useful apps such as Roadside America, which helps you find the most scenic route and the best off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Volunteer Vacations

Combine the thrill of travel with the joy of helping those in need. International volunteer trips allow you to go abroad for a fraction of the typical out-of-country experience, but if you're particularly in need of travel savings, opt for domestic volunteerism. Popular volunteer options include Habitat For Humanity's Global Village and Student United Way Alternative Spring Break. Depending on where you travel and the organization hosting your trip, you may spend your time building homes, maintaining hiking trails, or assisting in national disaster cleanup. Along the way, you'll forge close friendships and gain a greater appreciation for the many blessings in your daily life.


Let the stress of student life melt away as you backpack America's finest wilderness areas. Keep the weather in mind; top summer backpacking destinations may be too cold or precipitation-prone for spring break. Arizona hotspots such as the Grand Canyon and Aravaipa Canyon boast exceptional scenery and comfortable weather conditions. Other great options include Zion and Yosemite National Parks. Unable to spring for gas or plane tickets? Take advantage of numerous state and regional parks close to home.

Free Attractions In Washington D.C.

If you can splurge for plane tickets and find a decently-priced suburban Airbnb with easy access to the Metro, you can enjoy a cheap, yet exciting spring break extravaganza in the nation's capital. A wide array of D.C. museums and attractions are completely free of charge. Be sure to hit up the United States Botanical Garden, the Library of Congress, the National Museum of American History, and, of course, the White House. If you have a little extra cash, spring for the Newseum -- a great destination for students interested in journalism and broadcast media.

Music Vacations In Nashville

The goal during spring break shouldn't necessarily be to spend as little money as possible, but rather, to allocate limited funds towards valuable experiences you'll look back on fondly. If you're a music lover, that means hitting up a few concerts. Nashville is definitely the place to go; stop in at the Grand Ole Opry or the Country Music Hall of Fame, and, if possible, check out the local talent at Mercy Lounge or the Bluebird Cafe. Live music opportunities also abound in Memphis, Austin, and New Orleans.

Alternative Beaches

If you are absolutely determined to spend your break tanning on the beach, opt for hidden gems with minimal crowds. Cheap spring break destinations flourish; try Padre Island, Jalama Beach County Park, Hunting Island State Park, or Apalachicola. Save money by camping, or rent a modest beachside bungalow with fellow students.

Remember, whatever you choose -- from the beach to exploring the outdoors to volunteering -- it should be something that helps recharge your energy. University of the Cumberlands wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable spring break.