12 Cheap Spring Break Vacation Ideas

cheap_spring_break_1Spring break! It brings to mind the azure sea of Mykonos, or the savannah of Kilimanjaro, or the noisy market of Bangkok. Well, the United States of America will do considering a lot of factors, notably, the family budget? Fret not. We are a country of points-of-interest, historical, heritage, culinary and even cultural if you just look closer that it may take a hundred spring breaks to see all. Yet it’s not even the sights that matter. It’s the journey with your kids that you really crave, right? They’re growing and they’re getting the idea that hanging out with mom and dad sounds uncool. Sigh. But not yet. Because this spring break you have some cheap but great ideas up your sleeve for the whole family.

Road trips

If the journey is the destination, what better way to spend it than on a road trip. An interstate trip may open a lot of surprises and memories as you drive through small towns and cities away from home. It’s a hands-on experience to learn America’s history and heartbeat, and we’re talking for you, not your kid. Do you really know what’s going on in the states around you?  Do they have the same concerns or taste for a good time? You discovering these things is good; you discovering it with your family is great. The costs are expectedly much lower when you plan ahead, identifying the inns, parks, museums, local eateries to check out once you hit the road. You can check these sites for more road trip ideas:

  • America’s Best Road Trips (Yahoo! Travel) – California, Virginia, North Carolina, Montana, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, Georgia, Alaska and more road trip routes.
  • 10 Stress-free Road Trip Ideas (howstuffworks) – preventive maintenance, breakdown preparation, organizing baggage, route planning and more to get you going.
  • America’s Iconic Drives (Travel and Leisure) – scenic routes from desserts to mountain ranges, glaciers to winding roads, the sights can match any European trip.
  • Road Trips Down South (Travel South USA) –  you are invited to check the itineraries on your way down south.

Camp out

It’s not just a father-and-son stuff. Camping can be a real family bonding time, perhaps the only time the family is face-to-face for the longest time. It’s a good idea to keep the iPad and iPhone away, tucked inside the bag for good measure, while you enjoy roasting smores and hotdogs around the fire. Consider packing not only clothes and emergency kit, but loads of stories to keep your kids around the fire.  Here are some helpful resources for camping:

  • Find the best camping sites (Reserve America) – the best camp sites across the country and an online booking to reserve a lodge
  • Camping tips (Love the Outdoors) – Equipment and materials to bring and some more budgeting tips before you go camping
  • Video on camping tips ( – to help you visualize some more useful tips when outdoors
  • Cooking outdoors (sportsmanguide) – perhaps this is the most helpful camping site out there. Teaching you how to cook outdoors, the stuff you can impress your kids and the wife with when they start to miss home.


What better way to teach the kids the values they’ll carry with them throughout life than bring them on a volunteer break. It can be just around the neighborhood or across the country. The exposure you  will get from doing the good work is worth even more than the best leisure trip. A volunteer break can involve the whole family or just the kids looking for ways to make a difference.

  • Help preserve national parks’ trails (American Hiking Society) – a tedious but fulfilling idea to spend spring break. National parks are wide and encompassing and they’ll need added hands to maintain their trails. Check this site to find the trails nearest you.
  • Find a place to volunteer in (Volunteer March)- check the nearest or best place in the US to do volunteer work. Use their database of programs from health to nature’s preservation and to children’s welfare.
  • Yosemite Volunteer Vacation (REI Adventures) – Help restore this national treasure from trail restoration to park beautification. Enjoy also the camaraderie that’s waiting once you start volunteering with a group.
  • A Good Resource Read (Amazon) – Over 200 volunteer vacation destinations across the United States with tips on logistics, profiles of places and photographs among others.


James Anthony

By James Anthony

A senior FinancesOnline writer on SaaS and B2B topics, James Anthony passion is keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge practices (other than writing personal blog posts on why Firefly needs to be renewed). He has written extensively on these two subjects, being a firm believer in SaaS to PaaS migration and how this inevitable transition would impact economies of scale. With reviews and analyses spanning a breadth of topics from software to learning models, James is one of FinancesOnline’s most creative resources on and off the office.

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