10 Affordable Ways Students Can Enjoy Spring Break at Home

Spring break is a time for students to relax and enjoy themselves. However, you might not be able to afford a lavish vacation somewhere warm. Here are some affordable ways to enjoy spring break at home.

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Inexpensive Options for a Great Time

Spring break is a time for you to relax and de-stress from all of your studies, but living on a student's budget can put a kink in any big plans. Without going down to Miami Beach or other spring break hot spots, can you really enjoy your vacation at home? Believe it or not, there are more ways to have fun than sitting on the beach. Consider some of these inexpensive options for a great time!

1. Have a Bonfire

If you have a big yard, there's nothing people love more than a bonfire. Gathering some wood from your yard or forest provides free fire, or buying it from someone who sells untreated chopped wood can provide flames at a low cost. Plus, if you buy a slow-burning variety, like cherry wood, your fire will last longer. Since it may still be cold in your region, a roaring fire should provide enough heat to avoid the need for bundling up - but have hot chocolate and the ingredients for s'mores on hand to round out the good time.

2. Make Your Own Coffee

Everyone has a favorite blend of coffee or specialty drink. The problem is that these drinks can be an expensive habit, especially if you purchase them daily. Make your own drinks by brewing strong coffee and scalding some milk in a pan. With a bottle of your favorite syrup, you can throw together a serving to take with you for a day of spring break fun.

If blended drinks are your poison, make coffee and freeze it in ice cube trays. Blending frozen java cubes prevents your drink from becoming watered down and is quicker than having to brew the coffee that day. Also, by making it at home, you can tweak the coffee with low-fat milk, heavy cream, a dash of nutmeg, chocolate powder - whatever sounds good to you!

3. Go Camping

It can be expensive to camp, even in the off-season. If you have a large backyard, a forest on your property or a friend who has one of these, go camping at home. By doing this, you'll save on expensive lot rental costs, pay showers and extra vehicle fees. Plus, it'll be much nicer to run inside to go to the bathroom than to go to one of those outdoor public toilets. Ugh.

4. Go on a Free Picnic

In the off-season (which includes spring break), most state parks are free. That means you don't need to pay to enter the park like you do during the summer. If you want to pick up some beautiful beach glass, take a hike or picnic, you can do it at no charge to yourself. Most state parks also have a carry-in, carry-out policy, so please do your part - if you bring any food in to the park, take all trash home with you.

5. Go Tanning

No one needs to know that you didn't go to an exotic party location like everyone else. While tanning in beds should be done in limited quantities (it can be just as dangerous to your skin as tanning in the sun), you can get that sun-kissed glow like all the other sun goddesses. Tanning salons are all over the country, and for very little you can get some time to yourself (meditate while you're in there) and make your skin look healthy. In fact, many stores have free trials and coupons to make this experience even cheaper.

6. Have a Themed Night

Whether you want to have a margarita night or a movie night, you can get all your friends together for a party. Who doesn't love a party? To keep costs down, ask your guests to bring a dish to pass. Choose your theme carefully so you pick one that has inexpensive decorations. Decide on the theme with your friends so you can all get pumped about the night.

7. Keep an Eye Open for Free Events

During the summer free events are more popular, but they aren't impossible to find during the winter. If you live in an area where it's warm year round, there may be free concerts or festivals going on. Even in colder climates you may be able to find no-cost events, like free ice skating. Check local newspapers or social media sites to find news of any happenings in your neighborhood.

8. Catch Up on Your Reading

No, it's not a party, but some of us need down time, too. Too much studying leaves our minds burnt out. Take this time to catch up on your pleasure reading. If it's snowing or raining, you may not feel like going out, anyway. Why zombie out in front of the television when you can be whisked away on a fantastic adventure in the pages of a book? Go to your local library to get free books and to see what the week's best-sellers are.

9. Go to the Drive-in

This only works if you live in an area that's always warm. Most drive-ins are only open during the summer, but some cities project movies on the sides of buildings or in venues. Check to see if any of these events are happening in your city and gather your friends for a two-for-one movie night. If these aren't available, make a day of it and catch up on blockbusters that are now at the bargain movie theater. Some of these theaters have special prices on certain days, so make the most of it and catch two, three or even four movies for just a few dollars.

10. Always Make Your Own Food

A trick to keeping expenses down during spring break is to always make your own food - no matter where you go. Sneak in a snack to the movies and skip the seven dollar tub of popcorn. Make your picnic to take to the park instead of swinging into a fast food joint. Even if you do splurge to go somewhere expensive (a theme park open year-round or a concert), take your own food with you, as long as it's permitted. It'll always save you more money than eating out.

If you still insist on going away for vacation, see how you can travel cheaply during the spring break rush.

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