Spring Broke

Danielle Toth

Rec center offers low-price getaways

Credit: Andrew popik

In just a few days, Kim Relihan and four of her friends will be traveling to Tampa for spring break.

But blue skies and tanning on the beach come with a high price tag.

A four-night stay in Tampa at the Holiday Inn Tampa-Busch Gardens, which includes only flight and hotel stay is $644, according to Yahoo! Travel.

This figure is pricey for college students on a budget.

However, Relihan, sophomore finance major, and her friends found a way to travel on a budget.

“We’re staying with someone who lives there to avoid paying for a hotel,” Relihan said. “We only chose Tampa because we had somewhere to stay.”

Another way to avoid high hotel costs while out of the country is to check out youth hostels. Hostels are popular in many European countries, and most have no age restrictions and no curfews, according to an article on youngmoney.com. A majority of hostel clientele are students in their 20s. Hostels are similar to college dormitories, and most offer kitchen access and travel information.

There are many airfare options, and Relihan and her friends shopped around and selected expedia.com, she said.

Other airfare sites include orbitz.com, cheaptickets.com and priceline.com.

Many travel agencies and Web sites offer spring break packages designed specifically for college students.

Springbreakdiscounts.com offers a price calculator to some of the most popular spring break destinations. Springbreakdirect.com offers specials for large groups and special discounts for booking with them.

Students looking to save money and planning time can also look into options at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

The center offers several spring break trips for students to take this year, including a trip to the Everglades, a trip to the Bahamas and a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Trips include most meals and activities.

“You get out of it what you want to get out of it,” said Adam Matisko, leader of the Everglades trip. “It’s a really laid back atmosphere. The trips are designed to be relaxing — you do what you want.”

The Everglades trip is $599 for students and includes transportation, lodging, most meals and kayaking. Students will spend three nights camping in the Everglades and spend the remaining three nights at a resort in Key West.

The Bahamas trip is $999 for students and includes snorkeling and sailing. Students will spend six nights cruising around the Bahamas, with opportunities to visit the mainland and scuba dive at an additional cost.

“It (the trip) is an experience of a lifetime,” said Jonathan Messer, leader of the Bahamas trip. “It’s not something everyone gets to do. It is a great way to meet new students and see how diverse the student body is.”

The Smoky Mountains trip is $350 for students and includes all equipment and transportation and most meals. Students will spend three days backpacking, three days base camping and one night at Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Spaces are still available on the trips, and students should contact the rec center at (330) 672-4REC or e-mail Adam Matisko at [email protected] for the Everglades trip, Jonathan Messer at [email protected] for the Bahamas trip, or Chris Wing at [email protected] for the Smoky Mountains trip.

Contact features reporter Danielle Toth at [email protected].