Give me a break: Non-traditional vacation ideas that won’t mean going spring broke

Spring break, Memorial Day, summer vacation. All are synonymous with traditional college activities. “Traditional,” however, might not always necessarily mean “best option.”

For millions of students this spring, the warming months won’t mean a trip to Cancun or a cruise around the Bahamas. Instead, it will mean working hard, catching up on paperwork, and trying to squeeze in quick and affordable fun. And that might not be a bad thing.

Here are five ways students might spend their time off this vacation season that give a traditional ease of mind without the traditional price tag.

Become a local tourist

Live in a city long enough, and you’re bound to fall into the line of thinking where local attractions become “things out-of-towners come here to do” rather than “things I can take advantage of.” This spring, change that. Make use of the popular attractions in your area and take solace in knowing you don’t have to spend a fortune on travel or hotels while still reaping the benefits of your local zoo, bike tours, or popular restaurants.


After weeks of fluorescent lights, textbooks, and air-conditioning, one of the most refreshing ways to unwind can be to get back in touch with the natural world. Camping is a cheap alternative for students looking to get away, and gives you the effect better than any hotel-room, foreign city, or airplane can. Check for campsites in America’s extensive national park systems that are close to you.

Tommy-Bahama-striped-beach-coolerTake the cooler approach

The cooler approach, we think, is the best of all the lesser-done vacation options. And that’s because it can be done any day, any where. Load up a cooler with your favorite foods, drinks, and desserts and spend a day at your favorite getaway spot—the beach, a lake, a park, or, since it is spring, a baseball game. Going back to the basics of food and drink is also one of the best ways to bring people together.


What better way to have a fulfilling day than to help out someone else’s. While volunteering may not be at the top of every college student’s list, consider that many volunteer opportunities not only help improve communities around you, they provide you with valuable experience, specifics for resumes and applications, as well as relationships with other like-minded students and hirers.

Get techy

If you still find yourself itching for a last-minute trip, forget hotels, flights, and taxi cabs. Apps like Airbnb can find you cheap room and board in the most desirable locations of virtually any city. The service, which matches travelers with hosts in various places who put up rooms of their own for visitors, is perfect for students. Along with apps like Uber and Lyft, you can get to a city, explore it, and have it all done on a budget within days—right from your phone.

HealthyU_Harry (1)Want more advice? ACI is on Twitter at @ACISpecBenefitsor on facebook,Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034 or email


About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit or call 800.932.0034.
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