Let’s face it, there are very few times in your life when you are more broke, and at the same time more eager to travel, than when you are in college.
Wanderlust seems to hit hard once students start living on their own and experiencing things for themselves. Unfortunately, however, their empty pocketbooks never seem to agree with their travel plans. Traveling while in college does not have to be impossible, though, especially when you utilize our budget-friendly options for college students!
These next 10 suggested trips bring you all the best in U.S budget travel, ensuring not to break the bank while also ensuring you have tons of fun. Forget saving up for textbooks and, uh, ‘school supplies’ for a moment and take a look at all of these amazing options for college student trips, each full of exciting adventures, nightlife, and, of course, beachside bliss.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park
Instead of heading to Colorado to hit the snow slopes for summer break this year how about you and your roomies hit the sand slopes, Great Sand Dunes National Park being one of our top choices for budget-friendly college student trips this year. Here the only fees you will encounter are the rental and entrance fees, with reasonably priced options to rent sandboards, sleds, and skis in preparation for a full day (or days) worth of fun. Consider checking out cheap local motels or camping while here!
- Daytona Beach
What group of college students don’t automatically think of Florida when they think of a road trip or spring break? Whether you are heading there for spring break or for a weekend getaway, Daytona Beach, Florida, is actually pretty reasonable, price-wise, if you do it right. This city will offer you sultry hot nights full of free live entertainment and concerts, an exceptional amount of bars and nightclubs with no cover fee, and even a free party bus for easy night time transportation! Hit the local motels and cheap hotels to save an extra buck, too!
- Bourbon Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
Not only is this street a popular gathering spot for thousands upon thousands of broke college kids looking to let loose each February for Mardi Gras, but it is also a fairly cheap, fun, party spot year-round! Enjoy numerous bars, live jazz, and amazingly delicious (and cheap) local food while here. Save extra money by booking lodging in advance, and keep in mind that New Orleans offers the Astor Crowne Plaza for under $100 a night, the perfect way to experience luxury on a budget!
- Havasu Falls
This choice is a personal favorite, an opportunity to get away from all the hustle and bustle with a few of your closest friends (or maybe even your whole frat) and enjoy connecting with nature! Havasu Falls are located within a remote region of the Grand Canyon, the spot itself requiring a 10-mile hike to get to. Once there you will enjoy low-cost camping rates, private surroundings, and one monstrously fun mirage-like waterfall mid desert to keep you cool (and busy!).
- Las Vegas
You already know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so why not consider this as an option for your budget-friendly trip? We know what you’re thinking, isn’t Vegas notoriously expensive? Well, not really anymore, with all the budget motels, all-you-can-eat buffets, and free attractions suitable for the whole family. Bring a limited amount of money if you are gambling, you don’t want to blow all that grocery money for the month, after all, and remember to take advantage of all the free entertainment surrounding you constantly.
- Sixth Street
Austin, Texas, has some seriously fun things to show on it’s famous Sixth Street, the massive roadway known mostly for hosting SXSW in Texas, probably. Any time of the year, however, you can enjoy both iconic and historic attractions and events along this road, the entire stretch perfect for college students not looking to spend a terribly large amount of money. Enjoy the countless bars, clubs, live concerts, and art galleries, and for a budget-friendly room for the night try the popular Firehouse Hostel!
- South Padre Island
Another college student budget-friendly Texas gem we can’t pass up is South Padre Island, the perfect southern spot to find a tropical beach getaway for very little cost. While there are several cheap hotel and camping options, one of the best ways to stay here is to rent a condo with a group of friends, your roommates, or even your greek organization. This makes the lodging really cheap to each of you, plus you get to experience a beachside condo!
- Pacific Coast Highway
This entire roadway, also known as US Rt 1, is a gorgeously scenic, and historic, route along some of California’s finest beaches, cities, and natural attractions. This is the perfect option for students interested in a road trip, with plenty of options along the way for hostels, campsites, rest stops and motels. This route will take you through such iconic cities as San Francisco and Santa Monica, as well, ensuring you will be able to sightsee your heart out, without even spending any money if you don’t want to!
- Lake of the Ozarks
Party Cove, Missouri
Southern Missouri’s lake region has a special budget-friendly treat for you at the Lake of the Ozarks. This man-dammed lake provides some of the best water recreation, camping, nightlife, and shopping opportunities in the area, perfect for having lots of fun and not breaking the bank. Enjoy the gorgeous natural scenery, amazing museums and galleries, and even outrageous party options at Party Cove (Anderson Hollow Cove), the wildest spot on the lake.
One of the most underrated spots for college students to vacation on a budget, in our opinion, would have to be the Poconos, in Pennsylvania. This spot isn’t near the ocean, but it is near gorgeous mountains, lakes, and resorts that fit into most travelers' budgets, not boasting anything too high priced. Enjoy golf courses, spas, shopping, and delicious dining choices, as well as water sports, hiking, climbing, and camping, this entire area the perfect spot to vacation with a larger group of students with a wide variety of interests and budget guidelines.