With spring break season approaching fast, I've had a lot of readers and colleagues ask me, "Is there any place in the U.S. that won't be infested with college students?" and "How can I save money, spend less and still enjoy my spring break?" Well, I'm not a financial advisor or a travel agent, but I am a frugal traveler and for the past 10 years, I've successfully vacationed without the inconveniences of being surrounded by crazed college students.
Security at Its BestWhether you're leaving for a weekend retreat or traveling abroad for a week, you will want to keep your home, vehicle and valuables secure. Home security and identity protection companies, such as Life Lock, can alert homeowners of break-ins, robberies or vandalism as it occurs in their homes while they are away. As an incentive to travelers, LifeLock offers a 10 percent discount on a standard membership and 5,500 extra miles to American Airlines frequent fliers for new members upon their enrollment. Affordable security for your home and valuables and extra miles? I know it seems too good to be true.
Saving Money & Cutting CostsBusiness2community.com contributor Sam Burgoon offers sound but often forgotten advice for travelers, including plan ahead, research the best deals and go with a group of people who can split the costs of board, food and fun. Remember to learn the laws and customs of the area so you can avert trouble with the locals. Even if you travel domestically, certain state laws are different from New York to Louisiana. Burgoon warns readers that it only takes one slip up to turn your vacation upside down and cost you exponentially in time, money and safety.
Spring Break SpotsKelli B. Grant, of the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch, recommends the following top locations for a vacation free of spring break college crowds:
- Fort Myers, Florida - Students who flock to Florida during spring typically visit Miami and Panama City Beach, says Grant. Spring breakers seem to steer clear of Fort Myers, despite its gorgeous beach and affordable luxury hotels. For baseball fans, Grant suggests visiting this city because Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins host fun spring training games. Vacationing in this city is definitely a home run!
- Atlantic City, New Jersey - Since March and April are colder off-season months on the boardwalk, vacationers can get incredible rates at casino hotels and won't have to deal with the crazy spring breakers. Rates at four-star Harrah's hotels start as low as $30 a night. This city needs lots of love since the damage it suffered from Hurricane Sandy. You'll be pleasantly surprised with your good time.
- Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, California - While these tourist spots are known for their vineyards and wine, the intoxicated crowds are more sippers, than slammers. Even though spring is a fine season to go to a wine tasting, most crowds tend to go on the tours during the summer, Grant says.