First Person: My $300 Spring Break Vacation

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It may still be winter. However, my family and I already have our spring break planned. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "in 2008, the most recent year for which expenditures data are available, U.S. households spent, on average, a total of $1,415 on transportation, lodging, food and beverage, entertainment, and gifts while on vacation and pleasure trips." In recent years, my family hasn't spent even close to the average amount. In fact, our spring break vacation is only costing us about $300.


Typically, transportation is the most costly expenditure of a family vacation. In fact, the BLS states travel expenses accounted for "44%" of a family's travel costs. However, paying for a flight for four people isn't in our budget right now. Thus, for the time being, we usually take vacations that are only a few hours away to save money on gas. With gas averaging around $4, it will likely cost us about $80 in gas. Since we will be spending most of our time at the beach, we won't be driving around town a lot.


We are staying at a beachfront hotel in La Jolla. Normally, the hotel would be over $200. However, since we signed up for emails, we were lucky enough to learn of a 24 hour sale where the rooms were $129 dollars a night. This was an amazing deal for a nice hotel room that is just steps from the beach. We will be staying one night at the hotel and another night with my in-laws.

Free Fun

On the way down to San Diego, we are planning to go to the Safari Park to see the butterfly exhibit and amazing animals. We received passes for this park for Christmas so it won't cost us anything to go there. The rest of the time, we will be enjoying the surf, sun and sand which are free.


Before we go to our hotel, we will stop to get groceries. We will spend about $50 for the two-day trip. We plan on eating a simple breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. We will eat one meal with my in-laws too. In addition, we are planning to stop at one of our favorite La Jolla eateries, Tender Greens, for dinner one night. This will cost us about $30 to dine out. All in all food will only cost us $80.

A spring break vacation doesn't have to cost a fortune!

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