Cutting costs: How CSU students afford spring break


Collegian | Tri Duong

Southwests Airlines’ Boeing 737 undergoing snow clear-off maintenance during a winter storm at the Denver International Airport Feb. 15.

Katherine Borsting, Staff Reporter

Spring semester at Colorado State University does not necessarily feel like spring. The months of January, February and even March often bring snow, heavy winds and ice.

Going to class can sometimes be a chore when having to face rough weather. The majority of students and staff look forward to spring break, and many college students plan fun trips that take them somewhere warmer than Fort Collins. 


CSU has its spring break during the week of March 12, and many students are excited for the anticipated and well-deserved break after midterms. While it can be expensive to travel, many students have found a way to save some cash. 

So what is there to do as a college spring-breaker on a budget?

Cooper Nangle, a sophomore at CSU, plans to spend his spring break skiing, something many students love to do. 

“I am hoping to head up to some of the resorts around here like Winter Park and Copper (Mountain),” Nangle said. “Hopefully, with everyone gone, it won’t be as crowded.”

Nangle went on to say it’s a cheaper option than anywhere that requires flying. 

“We also might head down to Salt Lake City, but we plan to stay with a friend and pack our own food to save money,” Nangle said. 

Colorado has some great spots to ski, and if you are an Ikon Pass or Epic Pass holder, it can be a great option to save some money rather than going on a cost-prohibitive trip. 

“The college spring break experience is often displayed in pop culture to be a wild week of beaches and alcohol. Often, this is just not practical for the average college student due to high prices.”

Students who want to go somewhere warmer have also found inexpensive ways to do so. 

Bella Bailey, a CSU sophomore, is planning on spending her week off with her friends at Lake Havasu City, Arizona. 


“We’re going to drive down there because plane tickets were ridiculous,” Bailey said. “We rented a place, but between the ten people who are going, it only ended up being about $150 for the week.”

For college students, $150 is not necessarily a small amount of money; however, for a multiple-night stay somewhere, it is definitely on the cheaper end.

Although the drive is around 15 1/2 hours to get to Lake Havasu City, which is located on the border of Arizona and California, driving is a much better option than flying for Bailey. 

“Plane tickets were like $700, and if we fit five people in a car and split gas, it will save everyone a ton,” Bailey said.

Many airlines’ prices are higher for the week of March 13 depending on where the destination is, and some spring break destinations require a flight.

Leah Van Note, a senior at CSU, wanted to go big for her last spring break, so she decided to go to Mexico with some friends. They planned the trip months in advance to save money. 

“We knew it was gonna be expensive, so we booked our tickets in November,” Van Note said. “That saved us some money on our flight.”

Van Note found a deal on the resort they will be staying at. They were able to get a discount if they only stayed until the Thursday of spring break rather than the whole week.

“It’s only a five-day trip, but I work at a dress shop, and minimum wage doesn’t support nine days in another country,” Van Note joked.

The college spring break experience is often displayed in pop culture to be a wild week of beaches and alcohol. Often, this is just not practical for the average college student due to the high prices. Despite this, many CSU students have found ways to enjoy their week off while staying within their budgets, allowing them to have fun on their own financial terms. 

Reach Katherine Borsting at or on Twitter @katbor2025