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Spring break 2015 planning guide

Spring break is only a few short weeks away, and now is the perfect time to get a head start on planning your weeklong getaway. Think about what kind of memories you want to make and use these tips and tools to maximize your time and money while you put down the books for a week.

Skip the hotel

Youth hostels are typical lodging options for those traveling throughout Europe because they’re inexpensive. However, it might be surprising to know that these alternative housing options are fairly common throughout major cities in the U.S. as well. For those unfamiliar, youth hostels are generally a more economic choice commonly featuring community style living, bunk beds and shared bathrooms. A prime benefit of hostel-living is location; depending on your destination, your hostel can be close to major public transportation hubs, or high up in the mountains for the outdoorsy types. Staying in a hostel doesn’t always mean a grungy dorm atmosphere either. There are dozens of quirky lodging options, such as the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel in Pescadero, California, where guests sleep in the actual lighthouse and can soak in the rooftop hot tub. For any spring breaker, a hostel is an interesting experience that will add some uniqueness to any trip.

Map it out

Spring break is only a limited amount of time and it’s important to pack the most into every day. Use to plan your vacation. While it doesn’t help you plan your flights or hotels, it will help you to find all of the local dining and attractions at your destination. If you’re eating Chipotle in a city you’ve never been to — you’re doing spring break wrong. This free and simple website lets users plan trips, big and small, making it a perfect tool for spring breakers. Once you build your “wish list” of things to do while at your destination, you can share it via social media and your friends and family can add suggestions to your trip based on their experiences. The site also makes suggestions based on other users who have traveled to those cities as well, and you can view the trips that others have planned and give tips and tricks for their excursions. 

Hit the road the right way

Obviously traveling to your destination is a critical aspect of spring breaking. Whether you choose to fly, drive or travel by train, do it smartly with the endless numbers of apps and websites available to anyone. For those taking to the skies, GateGuru is a handy app that will help master any airport in the nation. This app provides you with a map of the airport and each specific terminal, a list of amenities and restaurants, tips for navigating the airport and an active list of incoming and outgoing flights. If you’re taking the road, make sure to keep GasBuddy at hand, an app that will help you find the cheapest gas near your current location. As for the land rovers that choose not to drive, HopStop is another app that will get you where you need to be. It uses your current location to find the nearest transit hubs and gives accurate arrival times for trains, buses or subways in nearly every major city in the world.