6 Thrifty Ways to Enjoy Summer Break

With May came graduations, the end of final exams, packing up, and moving on to the next chapter of this year: summer break. There is finally time to relax and spend time with family and friends, but as a college student or recent graduate, many of us are still on tight budgets. Here are some low cost (or free!) ways to enjoy this summer without breaking the bank.

1. Go to a public beach Beach_Public

If you live on a coast or by the Great Lakes, this can be a perfect option for you! Many beaches are free and have free parking for residents. You can also pack your own lunch and bring things to do such as a Frisbee or a volleyball.



Picnic2. Have a Picnic

If you don’t have any beaches nearby, find a park in your area and have a picnic. Bring a few friends and make it a potluck and you’ll cut costs even more.



Hiking3. Go Hiking

Take advantage of the sunshine and head out on a hiking trail in your area. The best part about it is it’s absolutely free! Spending time outdoors can really make you appreciate the beauty around you: no wifi required.



Museum4. Visit a Museum on a Free Day

During the summer months, many museums and aquariums have free days on the weekends. These places will usually advertise events such as these on their websites and in local newspapers.



Movies5. Go to the movies

When summer heat gets too intense, take advantage of air conditioning and catch a movie. After all, it’s time for summer blockbusters!



Concert6. Catch a Free Concert or Theatre Production

Keep an eye out for advertisements for local free concerts. Many parks and small theatres have shows for upcoming bands or community theatre productions. These ticket prices are usually very low (or free!) and you can support local artists at the same time. It’s a win-win!



Share your thrifty summer plans in the comments below!

How to Pack for Spring Break

Spring break is approaching and although you’ve got the perfect location planned, booked your hotel, and requested off work for the week, you still need to pack! Packing can be either stressful or fun. Let’s start Spring Break 2012 off right with an enjoyable packing session. Obviously, the type of clothing you need will vary depending on your location. Beachside or mountaintop, I’m here to help you plan exactly what to pack for your vacation.

Beginning with beachside, boogie boards are a must! Boogie boards will ensure you a great time on the water. I found two great website where you can order boogie boards. If you’re a last minute shopper like me, try: This website has same day shipping which is great for late planning! Also, they guarantee a 30 day return policy if you aren’t happy with your purchase. Another site to try is: This website will provide you with free shipping if you spend over $100. Nothing would be more fun this spring break than absorbing a good tan while soaking up the waves.

Beachside, we will need sun protection! offers a range of sunhats that are all approved by the American Academy of Dermatology, the Skin Cancer Association, and the Melanoma International Foundation. They create these hats to be both fashionable and safe. Hats are made for both men and women and come in a variety of styles. The website even has a section specifically for packable hats that are made for suitcases! Hats range in a variety of colors to match any style.

Now it’s time to turn our focus to mountaintop spring break 2012! The temperature during springtime in the mountains can vary throughout one day. According to, “The temperature could start in the single digits when the sun rises could have you in jeans and a long sleeve tee by mid-afternoon!” We need layers! If you are a Victoria’s Secret Pink fan, you know that layers can be easy and fun! Pink has yoga pants, sweatpants, matching sweatshirts, matching under t-shirts, matching shorts, and even tanks. It’s so much fun to layer up at Victoria’s Secret!

If you’re going to the mountains, you need mountain mix! Mountain trail mix is fun, quick, and easy to make. This mix will be great to take along on your road trip, or on a hike! The recipe I like to use is from

Ingredients: 1/2 cup cashews, 1/4 cup peanuts, 1/4 cup almonds (optional),  1/2 cup raisins, 1 (1.69 ounce) package candy-coated milk chocolate pieces (such as M&M’s®)

Directions: Combine the cashews, peanuts, almonds, raisins, and chocolate in a bowl. Store in an airtight container to store.

This festive mix is great for your trip if you will be on the go and want a healthy treat.

So, whether you’re Beachside or Mountaintop, you are sure to be prepared for spring Break 2012! Have a great time, be safe, and don’t forget to pack for a good time!

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Celebrating Sacraments

How to Stay Safe on Spring Break

Spring Break is right around the corner and while it is a lot of fun in the sun, safety is key.  Here are some important safety tips to remember!

-If you plan on driving to your SB destination, make sure you buckle up! Police are very strict about seatbelts, especially on interstates and highways, and won’t hesitate giving you a ticket. You don’t want to start your spring break off with a ticket! Also, take turns driving. These road trips can be pretty long, and as much as we all like to sleep during car rides, you need to let your friends sleep too! And if you are riding shot gun, stay up and keep your friend company, you don’t want them falling asleep at the wheel!

-Once you get to the beach: drinking + sun= sunburn and bad hangover. The sun can increase the effects of alcohol. So, take it slow, and stay hydrated (with water, not just alcohol). Also, don’t spend the entire week of SB in pain because you got burnt on the first day, WEAR SUNSCREEN.

-When drinking.. drink smart. I know spring break is all about partying and having fun, but BE RESPONSIBLE. Pace yourself, especially with hard alcohol. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. And if you decide to drink on the beach, know the liquor laws. You don’t want to get arrested just for trying to have fun. Last but not least, have a plan on how you will be getting back to your hotel/resort. NO DRINKING AND DRIVING!

-While swimming: Don’t be an idiot. First off, no drinking while you are in the water. Secondly, pay attention to the flags on the beach. Red= stay out of the water because of strong undertow and rip tides. This is dangerous because even the most qualified swimmers can get caught in and undertow. Yellow= use caution in the water because of a possibility of an undertow and ripples. Blue= calm water and you can swim safely.

-If you plan on drinking and sitting in the hot tub at the same time, think again. This might seem like a good idea, but drinking in a hot tub can cause the alcohol to dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure a lot faster than usual. This can lead to unconsciousness and drowning. So, just scratch that idea.

-When going out: use the buddy system! It’s the safest way to be. You can look out for each other and help get each other home. Also, be aware of drugs in drinks. Don’t take drinks from people you have just met. Watch the bartender the whole time they are making your drink. Some symptoms of being drugged are: dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, and difficulty standing. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or your friends, get your group together and get out of there! If the symptoms seem to be severe, go to a hospital ASAP!

Have a blast and remember stay safe!

This is a guest post from our wonderful intern Haeli Denton. Many thanks to her!