Spring break requires planning, not procrastination

by Bridget Chapman

Waiting until the night before a paper is due to begin writing it can occasionally be acceptable. Waiting the night before to plan a spring break trip is not. It’s essential to begin the planning process of Spring Break early to insure an enjoyable and affordable trip.

The easiest method to break this planning process down is through examples. To encompass readers seeking various types of enjoyment, the destinations of Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Anza-Borrego will be used.

Las Vegas provides the party atmosphere, leaving its visitors with an unforgettable time consisting of hazy memories and perhaps a new tattoo. Palm Springs offers relaxation, a mellow mood and sun-kissed skin. Anza-Borrego is ideal for people searching to be submerged into wilderness with fitness options right outside the tent door.

First step: budget

Avoid post-spring break empty pockets and ramen noodle diets by setting a budget. Prioritize which expenses are necessary and which are luxuries. Don’t forget to factor in all parts of the trip that will cost money, such as gas, food and tips.

San Diego State kinesiology freshman Lauren Zubick said students should put aside money to do a unique activity while on spring break.

“If somewhere tropical, I’d want to go scuba diving,” Zubick said.

The budget can have wiggle room, but should remain set in stone for the most part. The trip should work with the budget and not the other way around. A great way to stay on track is to use finite cash to avoid overspending with credit cards.


Second step: sleeping accommodations

While in Las Vegas and Palm Springs, a hotel is the best option. Anza-Borrego is ideal for camping. Waiting until the last minute to book a room can result in squishing into a car overnight or shuddering in the corner of a cheesy motel, fearing an encounter with a cockroach.

To maintain frugality, it’s important to overlook the popular appeal of most resorts. For example, people often boast about the amenities the Bellagio offers. Instead of staying somewhere with excessive features you likely won’t use, stay at a lesser-known hotel in close proximity. This way, everyone can sleep soundly at an affordable price.

When searching for a hotel, look at a map of all of the options. Examine all the rooms each hotel offers, as well as the pricing. Be sure to check for deals and call the hotel clerks to see if they can help. If traveling in a group of 10 or more, it’s worth the call to the front desk to inquire about group rates. Most of the time, newer hotels have deals so they can attract customers. Check hotel reviews on websites such as tripadvisor.com.

SDSU business sophomore Shelby Manning said the hotel is the most important part of a trip.

“You need to know if the area you’re staying in is safe or not,” Manning said.

She also recommended travelers to research hotel amenities so they know what to pack.


Third step: traveling methods

Anza-Borrego and Palm Springs are each about two hours away from San Diego, so driving is the easiest transportation. Maximize the passenger-to-car ratio so gas money can be divided. Also account for traffic and rest stops.

As for Las Vegas, flying and driving are both viable options. CheapOair.com offers competitive flight rates. According to FareCompare.com Wednesday is the cheapest day for domestic flights and Tuesday is the best day to purchase tickets.

SDSU nursing junior Tim Boehr said students should purchase plane tickets during the fall semester so they can get better deals and save spending money during the spring. He said it’s important to be prepared for all potential situations if driving.

The drive to Las Vegas from San Diego is about five hours, so it’s definitely accomplishable. If the vehicle driven gets about 30 miles to the gallon, the round trip will cost about $100. Base the decision to drive or fly off of the number of people in the car, the trip budget and personal value of time.


Fourth step: activities

Las Vegas offers more than getting drunk and roaming the strip. Palm Springs doesn’t end with its pool lounging. Anza-Borrego doesn’t revolve solely around hiking sprees. Set an agenda for each day. Of course you can improvise a little, but having plans will prevent you from impulse spending.

Visitors should take advantage of both tourist and local attractions. Groups should discuss desired activities and financial priorities.

Las Vegas has Fremont Street, a plethora of shows, a night tour of the strip, a shark dive, a cluster of night clubs and much more.

Palm Springs offers museums, Palm Canyon, breathtaking golf resorts, various scenic canyons to hike, Moorten Botanical Garden, Smoke Tree Stables and excellent shopping.

Anza-Borrego has miles of hiking trails and plenty of space for all-terrain vehicles and biking. The area is also close to Julian, which offers wine tours and the famous Julian apple pie.


Fifth step: enjoy

A plan helps guide the activities and the budget, but don’t feel too restricted. Spring break is a reward for working hard. Let loose, relax and have fun.

“I think it’s important to enjoy yourself so it gives you energy for the rest of the semester,” Boehr said.