By Aimee Heckel
Spring break and road trip go together like “National Lampoon” and “Animal House.” If you’re strapped for cash, planning your vacation last minute or if you believe the best part of the journey is the destination, a spring break road trip may be your answer.
Here are three of our favorite road trips for college students:
1. Vegas, duh. If you live in the midwest, or west, or anywhere within a reasonable day or two drive from Sin City, chances are you’ve done this trek before.
- If you’re heading from Arizona, avoid the Hoover Dam, with its traffic backlog (especially midday) — unless you want to make a special stop to view the Colorado River. If you’re looking for a straight, quick shot to Vegas, take the Hoover Dam bypass bridge instead.
- A short road trip northeast of Las Vegas is the Valley of Fire state park, with beautiful red rock spires. This area is considered one of the most photogenic areas in the west, according to roadtripamerica.com.
- Instead of putting the wear and tear on your own car, we highly recommend renting a car. With rates as low as $11.95 per day from Hotwire.com, you’d be crazy not to. Book through ShopAtHome.com and get 2 percent cash back, too.
2. Lake Powell, Utah. When thinking of a wild vacation, Utah might not be the first state to pop in your head, but Lake Powell is like its own little oasis of fun. Plus, it’s cheap — at just $15 per car per night. Bring your own tent and camp at Lone Rock Beach, advises Lake-Powell-Guide.com. Enjoy the sandy beaches or rent a jet ski or boat from the marina during the day.
- If you’re traveling with a group of friends, consider renting a houseboat and splitting the cost. Right now Travelzoo.com is offering a houseboat for three days for $809 — half off. Split that between 10 and you have a three-day vacation for $80 per person, or just $27 per day.
- If you’re not the camping type and you prefer a warm, squishy bed at night, check the Lake Powell hotel deals on Kayak.com, such as the Lake Powell Resort starting at $91 per night. Unfortunately, you can’t split that deal between 10 friends (or at least we don’t condone trying).
3. Do the East Coast tour: New York to Miami. The 1,200-mile journey will bring you through New York, Philly, Baltimore, D.C., Savannah, Richmond — OK, maybe you won’t be able to visit them all in one week, but pick your favorites and explore. Or go as far as you have time for, depending on your starting point.
- Consider taking the Historic Route One, the East Coast’s oldest highway from Maine to Florida. Unlike congested roads, like Interstate 95, this historical road will bring you back to the ‘50s — the “road-trip era.” On this path, you will find plenty of landmarks: the Bronx Zoo, the Okefenokee Swamp, the charming New England coast.
You might also enjoy:
Tips, ideas and ways to save money on spring break vacation
Three best road trips in the USA
Top low-cost vacations
Seven ways to save money for your 2013 vacation