1. Score Deals On Flights With Hopper
If you haven’t booked your flight already, download the Hopper app. It tells you when tickets will be the cheapest for your destination, without spamming you with ads or popups.
Hopper forecasts prices for tickets using an algorithm that analyzes tons of real-time flight prices, and sends you a notification when it’s time to buy at the lowest price.
2. Find The Cheapest Gas Price
The GasBuddy app is a must-have for road trips. It shows you all the gas prices near you, and can even help you plan the cost of your entire trip.
All the pricing information is crowdsourced in real time from other drivers, so you know the info is current. GasBuddy also tells you which gas station has the best service, cleanest bathrooms and most delicious coffee.
3. Book A Last-Minute Room With HotelTonight
When hotels have empty rooms, they load them onto this app at a deeply discounted rate. Maybe your Airbnb wasn’t as private as you expected, or maybe you prefer booking hotels last minute. Either way, download the HotelTonight app and book a room for the very same day.
While browsing local deals, I saw a popular beach resort for $153 per night, instead of the normal rate of $304. Even if you are good at planning, you can still use it to book a room about a week in advance. HotelTonight’s prices can be as low as half the normal price -- hotels would rather sell you a room for a super-low price than let it sit completely empty.
4. Earn Cash Back On Alcohol Purchases
Download Ibotta and earn cashback on alcohol you purchase, whether you’re buying a 12-pack from the grocery store or ordering a drink at the bar.
Last time I checked out deals for a local liquor store, Ibotta was offering $5 back if you purchased Absolut Vodka. For restaurants, they were giving $3 back on any pitcher of Budweiser or Bud Light. It’s not a ton of money, but it adds up. Especially when you’re on spring break.
5. Take Advantage Of Someone Else’s Costco Card
Have a friend or family member with a Costco card? Book your trip through Costco Travel. Yep, Costco actually has a travel planning site with discounted rates to some of the world’s top destinations.
Costco touts that its team of expert travel-buyers provide the best value on trips, the same way they do with the food stocked in their warehouses. You can use Costco Travel to book a hotel room, cruise, rental car or even an entire vacation package.
6. Score Student Discounts
Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Waffle House, Burger King and Taco Bell all offer 10% off for students. Note: make sure the location is participating in this discount.
7. Ditch The Plastic, Only Use Cash
Instead of mindlessly swiping your credit card and going into debt for every drink, meal and impulse buy, only allow yourself to use cash.
Before you go out, take however much cash you’re comfortable spending. When you see you’re running low on cash, it’s time to dial back the purchases. If you used your debit or credit card, you might not even realize how much you spent until you look at your bank account the next day and get hit with immediate regret.
8. Let A Robo-Advisor Tell You How Much You’ve Spent
If No. 7 just won’t work for you and you have to use a card, download a robo-advisor app such as Trim to keep track of what you’ve spent.
It can tell you how much you spent at Starbucks last week, and help you manage your money better overall.
9. Find Free Entertainment
This one might seem like a given, but it does require a bit of research beforehand if you really want to do it right. Look up nearby parks, free events you could attend and local museums to see if there’s a day without admission fees.
Knowing all the awesome free places and events going on upfront will help you plan your trip out and keep it budget-friendly. Plus, if you plan some free entertainment you’ll have more money to do other fun stuff.
10. Don’t Get Stuck With The Bill
Make sure you and all your friends download Splitwise. This app helps you keep better track of who owes who what, and will even send them reminders if they aren’t paid up. It’s a bit more involved than Venmo or Paypal, but for good reason.
Sometimes just splitting the bill four ways can be a little unfair -- you didn’t even want those mozzarella sticks anyways. If most of the bills you’re splitting involve food download Plates, which is also from Splitwise. This helps you split every part of the bill, including appetizers, tax and the tip.
Bonus: If you’re short on cash and need a little extra spending money, try these 11 ways to make money fast. Hopefully these tips will help you have an amazing spring break without going broke in the process.