Don’t go broke over spring break

This burger made from the garden begins with a pretzel roll, beef patty and goat cheese. It features crisp spinach, tomato, caramelized onion, tomato vinaigrette, basil pesto and vinegar relish.

Kelli Fitzpatrick

With spring break fast approaching, students are finalizing plans and scraping together funds to finance their weeklong excursions. Starting Saturday, many Kent State students will be flying or driving to warmer regions or returning home for much-needed relaxation time. If they’re traveling, they must have a financial plan to prevent going broke from a week of fun.

Top 10 spring break destinations



Average Airfare

Average Hotel
Daily Rate






Las Vegas




New York




Fort Lauderdale








Los Angeles








Fort Myers











Source: Orbitz.

Dan Socha, sophomore international relations major, plans to have an inexpensive spring break. He will travel to the Great Smoky Mountains national park in North Carolina with three friends. Socha said their spring break budget is $1,000 for the group, including gas, food and supplies.

“We’ll be on the Appalachian trail, so we hike all day and camp in tents at night,” Socha said, eliminating any hotel costs.

Freshman pre-med major Kali Pfender will also save money on her spring break by staying with family. She and a friend will stay with Pfender’s older sister in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Pfender said she plans to spend less than $200 on spring break by eating meals at home and taking a car with good gas mileage.

If your plans aren’t as financially secure as these students, consider the following tips from local travel agents to put together a spring break budget. Secure a spending plan before leaving to help prevent overspending while still having a fantastic time.

Plan ahead: gas costs

Sample spring break trip: From Kent State to Hilton Head Island, S.C. (746 miles): Totals assume you fill tank when empty.

Driving: 2010 Pontiac G5 with a 13-gallon tank. 25 city and 35 highway mpg; 29 combined. 29 mpg at 13 gallons = 377 miles on one tank of gas.

1. Fill up before departure x $3.69 at South Water Street Kent Clark gas station: $47.97

2. Fill up at 350 miles: $3.58 at Travelcenters of America in Wytheville, Va.: $46.54

3. Fill up at 716 miles, near destination: $3.62 at Exxon in Hardeeville, S.C.: $47.06

Price of gas for trip there and back, excluding gas needed during vacation: $283.14.

Use the trip planner on to map out rest stops and gas stations before your trip.

Save on driving costs

  • Perform a whole car run-down before leaving. Properly inflate tires, change oil if needed, fill windshield wiper fluid, pack a first aid kit and make sure all insurance, registration and car maintenance information are stored in the car. These steps will prevent unplanned costs later on.
  • Don’t speed—really. Driving the speed limit and using cruise control will reduce the amount of gas used.
  • Pack as lightly as possible to prevent weighing down the car.
  • Find the lowest gas prices near a rest stop and during your vacation by using GasBuddy or AAA apps. Be fair and split fuel costs with your travel partners.

Source: AAA press release

Spring break savings tips

According to Donna DiViase, owner of All-A-Board Travel in Kent and Alison O’Neil, AAA Ravenna branch office manager

  • Budget about $100 per day for food and entertainment, “for an extra cushion,” O’Neil said.
  • Pack lightly. Many airlines charge for carry-on luggage, so avoid extra fees by packing smart. Travel sizes of toiletries, light clothing items and some bathing suits should be a good start to your packing.
  • Be aware of fees and deposits needed to book a room. Many hotels require a deposit in case of damage. “Make sure you have a great group of kids to go with,” DiViase said. Avoid causing damage or you will face fines.
  • Use cash for small things like tips, public transportation, movie tickets and small meals. If you’re going out of the country, acquire foreign cash at the airport before leaving the U.S.
  • Use a credit card for hotel bills and expensive meals.

Contact Kelli Fitzpatrick at [email protected].