Spring break season is upon us, and Texas’ Gulf Coast beaches are already beckoning students from all over the country. Springtime in Texas is appealing enough on its own with its mild weather, clear skies and fields of blooming bluebonnets, but it’s also an opportunity to take a wild vacation on a college student’s budget.
Nobody appreciates a bargain like the spring break crowd, and Texas’ hospitality industry has taken notice. Whether you’re looking for a quiet escape or a nonstop party scene, cheap spring break trips in Texas are plentiful.
South Padre Island
Texas is home to a perennial favorite among spring break destinations: South Padre Island. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea — it’s well known as a hotspot for all-night partying and debauchery — but penny-pinchers seeking this scene will not be disappointed.
The real party is on the beach, where live bands and DJs attract huge crowds to beachfront bars and hotels. Since you won’t be spending much time in your hotel room, you can go low-frills with accommodations, favoring the area’s numerous budget chain hotels.
And while you’re exploring South Padre Island’s massive party scene, you’ll encounter plenty of promoters pushing cheap spring break packages for their exclusive events. Many of these packages include live music, drink tickets, contests and access to the beach’s hottest venues, so if you know what you want and take time to confirm the fine print, you can score a great deal on an action-packed night out.
From the Coastline to the Hill Country and Beyond
If South Padre Island isn’t what you’re looking for, try these other thrifty destinations:
- Corpus Christi: For spring breakers seeking beautiful beaches and outdoor activities without the hordes of college students, Corpus Christi offers a nice balance. Swimming, fishing, and excellent attractions offer opportunities to spend a lot of memorable time without breaking the bank. Be sure to check out the USS Lexington, the Texas State Aquarium and the South Texas Botanical Gardens.
- Lake Texoma: Up north, straddling Texas’ border with Oklahoma, is the enormous Lake Texoma. The lake’s size means there’s plenty of room for variety, so you’ll find deals on everything from South Padre-style party scenes to family-friendly getaways. If you’re into water sports, this is the place for you — the lakefront is dotted with dozens of marinas and resorts that offer rentals on all sorts of watercraft.
- Austin: Looking for something more metropolitan? Austin has you covered with world-class nightlife and restaurants that have patrons lined up around the block. The SXSW festival takes over the city every March, and while tickets to the main event can be expensive, the festival brings loads of free and cheap live music performances to venues all over the area.
Cheap Spring Break Cruises
If you’d rather kick back on the high seas, be sure to do some price comparisons on cruises departing from the port city of Galveston. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and other major cruise lines all depart from there, so price competition can be fierce.
If you’re looking for truly cheap spring break cruises, you may also want to browse cruises departing from Florida. Deals on Florida cruises can sometimes be so good that they’re worth the road trip from Texas — which would also give you an opportunity to stay a night in other Gulf Coast spring break destinations like New Orleans or Pensacola Beach.
Cheap Spring Break Flights
Since spring break season is already in full swing, the ship has sailed on early bird flight deals. But lucky, travelers can also find cheap spring break flights by waiting until the last minute.
If you’re willing to take a little risk, you can pack your bag first and shop for deals last. Set up fare alerts with your favorite online travel price comparison tools, and look for deals that combine airfare with hotel accommodations to stretch your budget even further.
Spring break only comes once a year, so start bargain hunting now and let Texas show you a good time!