Ah, Spring Break. A brief – but glorious – reprieve from a hectic life filled with classes, exams, and internships. However, just because you’re not jetting off to an exotic location doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your time off! Whether you’re planning a “stay-cation” with family or building homes with your campus Habitat for Humanity Chapter, check out our exclusive tips & tricks for having your best break yet.
Step One: Figure out what you’re hoping to get out of your break. Do you have R&R on the brain? Are you looking for an adventure? Once you nail down what you want to do, you can begin to plan accordingly.
Step Two: Determine your budget. Are you looking for an exotic adventure, but have limited money to spend? It’s time to get creative (Road Trip, anyone?). Be realistic about what you can and can’t afford – after all, the most important part of break is not where you spend it, but who you spend it with.
Which brings us to…
Step Three: Recruit your “Break Buddies”. Like we said, it’s not where you are, but who you’re with. Spring Break is all about feeling rejuvenated, so think of people who build you up. It could be your roommate, your best friend from home, or even Mom and Dad – it’s entirely up to you.
Now that you have an idea of what you’d like to do, check out our top tips for Spring Break: Three Different Ways.
Break #1: Beach Vacation
Reason to Choose this Trip: Between the sunshine and warm weather, you’ll come back feeling totally refreshed.
Tip 1: Plan. Plan. Plan.
Did we say plan? An all-inclusive beach vacation sounds pretty straightforward, right? You show up, eat when you want, and spend the rest of the time by the ocean. However, having all the details ironed out BEFORE you embark on your adventure leaves a lot less room for error and unwanted stress. Whether it’s arranging a taxi to and from the airport ahead of time, to writing out a detailed packing list – small details matter. Plus, you’ll have more time to focus on what’s important: having fun.
Tip 2: Choose your travel group wisely.
Like we mentioned in Pre-Break Step Three, think of people whose company will help you make the most of this trip. If your roommate panics every time he’s in a new place, he might not be the ideal candidate for this trip. Surrounding yourself with a positive group of people is a great way to ensure a pleasant vacation.
Tip 3: Pack like a pro.
This goes hand in hand with Tip 1. Start planning out your packing list as early as possible and keep a running tab of items to include. If possible, try to plan out what you’ll wear each day in order to gauge how many items of clothing you’ll need. See if you can repeat certain items and mix & match.
A great way to prevent forgetting something important, take yourself through your own daily routine. What items do you use? Tooth paste, tooth brush contact solution, etc. Sometimes the most obvious items are the easiest to forget! Take into account any activities you’ll be doing as well. If you’re sticking to the beach alone, flip flops are a great bet. If you’ll be hiking or doing anything like that, sneakers are a must-pack!
*One item you absolutely can NOT forget? Sunscreen. No matter how much you’d like a nice tan, exposing your skin to the harsh tropical sun can be hazardous to your health. Apply your sunscreen now, thanks us later.
Break #2: Alternative Spring Break
Reason to Choose this Trip: Knowing that you’re doing something good for someone else is the best way to boost your own sense of well-being.
Tip 1: Do your research.
Find out what options you have. Many schools offer Alternative Break programs with organizations like Habitat for Humanity – find out what you’ll need to do in order to participate. Determine costs, locations, and responsibilities in order to see if that sort of trip is for you!
Tip 2: Speak with a veteran.
Do you know someone else who has taken a similar trip? Get the inside scoop! Find out what advice and recommendations they have regarding everything from packing to the actual project. Since they have already gone, they will have a better idea of what you should expect.
Tip 3: Connect with your fellow travelers.
If you’re traveling with a new group of people, make the effort to connect with some of them – both before and during the trip. You’ll have more fun and make some new friends: win-win!
Break #3: Staycation at Home
Reason to Choose this Trip: Not only will you save money on travel expenses, you’ll get to spend time with friends and family!
Tip 1: Check in with your friends from home.
Reach out to friends from your home town to see who else will be home during break. Make plans with those who will be around – or plan to visit someone who won’t be!
Tip 2: Plan some activities with your family.
Whether it’s as simple as making dinner for your parents, plan to spend some time with family while you’re home. Your parents and siblings will appreciate it much more than you realize. Plus, it’s a great way to earn brownie points for the next time you’re home!
Tip 3: Look up events nearby.
Lots of towns host community events, especially when the weather starts to warm up. Check your town calendar and social media to see if anything fun is going on during the week.
How are you spending your spring break? Tweet us #BNCBreak or post a comment below!