Spring Break Vacation Price Wars

East Coast vs. West Coast: The Best Spring Break Trips For Your Buck

The year has just started, but Spring breakers are already booking their ideal week-long trips! For travelers looking to spend less, it can be tricky to know where to go. Some cities may have cheap accommodations, but expensive transportation, food, and drinks. Where should you go for Spring Break?

As the world’s largest vacation rental search engine, we decided to dig into our data to find out. Using HomeToGo’s booking data, we discovered how much a Spring Break week costs in 22 popular destinations to discover if one part of the country takes the cake for the cheapest Spring Break destination. What we found was pretty surprising (and busted some Spring Break mythology!).


Find out where you should book your Spring Break trip for less. Here is our breakdown for 2018:

The 11 Best East Coast Cities for Spring Break

Renowned for its world-class beaches, vibrant cities, and wide-range of activities, the East Coast offers plenty of top choices for Spring Breakers.

East Coast Hits & Party-Poopers

The 11 Best West Coast Cities for Spring Break

From Las Vegas (aka Sin City) for party-goers to Jackson Hole for ski fanatics, the West Coast offers a bit of everything for Spring Breakers. With beaches, mountains, lakes, and cities, the Western United States truly has a destination for any type of trip.

West Coast Hits & Party-Poopers

So, Which is Best, East or West?


Well that depends what you’re looking for!

On average, East Coast cities are cheaper. A week in an East Coast Spring Break destination costs $788, on average, and vacation rentals are 32% more economical.

The best East Coast cities to consider if you’re on a budget: Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Myrtle Beach.

The West is, on average, more expensive than the East Coast. However, two out of five of the cheapest US Spring Break destinations on our ranking are located in the Western US! Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas are the perfect fit for budget travelers.

The 4 Cheapest Destinations

The four cheapest popular destinations to spend Spring Break in 2018 are listed below. The total cost takes into account the required weekly budget for transportation, lodging, food & drinks.

Picture of Orlando, one of the cheapest destinations for spring break
black plane icon illustrating the costs of transportation to Lake Tahoe, one of the cheapest spring break destinations for 2018

$186.60

Black home icon illustration the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in Lake Tahoe

$164.50

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in Lake Tahoe

$88.50

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will need to spend during a spring break week in Lake Tahoe

$64.66

$501.26

Picture of Daytona Beach, one of the cheapest destinations for spring break
black plane icon illustrating the costs of transportation to San Diego, one of the cheapest spring break destinations for 2018

$196.80

Black home icon illustration the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in San Diego

$189.00

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in San Diego

$77.00

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will need to spend during a spring break week in San Diego

$64.42

$527.22

Picture of Lake Tahoe, one of the cheapest destinations for spring break
black plane icon

$110.36

Black home icon illustration the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in Los Angeles

$315.00

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in Los Angeles

$56.00

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will need to spend during a spring break week in Los Angeles

$53.69

$535.05

Picture of Myrtle Beach, one of the cheapest destinations for spring break
black plane icon illustrating the costs of transportation to Orlando, one of the cheapest spring break destinations for 2018

$238.71

Black home icon illustration the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in Orlando

$252.00

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in Orlando

$73.50

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will need to spend during a spring break week in Orlando

$63.84

$628.05

The 4 Most Expensive Destinations

The four most expensive popular destinations to spend Spring Break in 2018 are listed below. The total cost takes into account the required weekly budget for transport, lodging, food & drinks.

black plane icon illustrating the costs of transportation to Jackson Hole, one of the most expensive spring break destinations for 2018

$592.20

Black home icon illustrating the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in Jackson Hole

$770.00

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in Jackson Hole

$70.00

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will spend during a spring break week in Jackson Hole

$64.19

$1,496.39

black plane icon illustrating the costs of transportation to Maui, one of the most expensive spring break destinations for 2018

$566.70

Black home icon illustrating the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in Maui

$519.75

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in Maui

$112.00

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will spend during a spring break week in Jackson Hole

$55.86

$1,254.81

black plane icon illustrating the costs of transportation to Honolulu, one of the most expensive spring break destinations for 2018

$240.40

Black home icon illustrating the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in Honolulu

$869.50

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in Honolulu

$63.00

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will spend during a spring break week in Jackson Hole

$58.59

$1,231.49

black plane icon illustrating the costs of transportation to Key West, one of the most expensive spring break destinations for 2018

$482.40

Black home icon illustrating the cost to rent a vacation rental price during spring break in Key West

$413.00

A fork and knife icon introducing our forecasted food budget for a spring break week in Key West

$98.00

A drink icon introducing the forecasted drink budget vacationers will spend during a spring break week in Jackson Hole

$63.98

$1,057.38


Whether traveling on the East Coast or West Coast, there are plenty of affordable Spring Break Destinations to choose from. Wherever you decide to spend your week this year, have fun, relax, and enjoy!

You can see the full ranking with all cities here.


Methodology


Total Costs = Transportation Costs + Rental Costs + Food Budget + Drink Budget

Transportation:

To calculate the transportation cost, we selected ten of the largest cities from each coast and calculated the cost to go from each of the cities to the spring break destinations on the same coast.

For destinations that take less than 5 hours to drive to, and where the arrival airport was more than 50 miles away from the final destination, we calculated the cost of driving (including gas and tolls, not including car rental) for a return trip using a 2016 Toyota Camry, 6-speed 3.5L. We used leading online applications to calculate the cost of each journey, based upon gas and toll prices as of January 2nd, 2017.

For journeys that take more than 5 hours to drive, we calculated the cost of a return flight to and from the spring break destination. A leading online flight price aggregator that compares the price of flying with all major US airlines was used to calculate the flight prices. Direct flights were selected when available. The prices were calculated on January 2nd, 2018 for a seven day period from March 11 to March 18.

Vacation Rental:

The accommodation price is the average price per person to stay in a 4 person vacation rental found on HomeToGo for each destination, between the dates of March 1, 2018 and April 29, 2018. Our own meta search data provided this information.

Drinks:

The drink prices consist of the price of seven six packs of Heineken beers.The data was provided using local leading supermarket prices.

Food:

The food price includes a daily hamburger with fries at an affordable restaurant in the city center. The data was provided by online menus.