Photo: Cosmo Condina Mexico/Alamy Stock Photo

Plus five fab affordable rentals.

By Marisa Spyker

The arrival of March means one important thing: Time to ditch reality in favor of sunshine, beaches, and piña coladas. But spring break, AKA lazing away with a gorgeous view, can come at a cost—how much of one, however, depends on just when and where you choose to go.

According to a report from, the cost of 2018 spring break is 2% more expensive overall, but certain destinations are actually significantly cheaper (as much as 42% in some cities).

To determine the top affordable hot spots, analyzed travel costs to popular spring break destinations throughout the seven-week period (March 17 - April 28). The city they deemed most bargain-friendly throughout spring break? Playa del Carmen, which came in at an average of 20% cheaper compared to last year.

Our Playa del Carmen Rental Pick: A Luxury Studio with a Rooftop Pool, $71 per night (pictured below)


San Diego, with its warm weather, swaying palms, and covetable craft brew scene, also ranked high in terms of affordability throughout the seven-week time frame, costing an average of 17% less than last year.

Our San Diego Rental Pick: A Vintage Airstream in the Heart of town, $69 per night (pictured below)


Related: These Are the Cheapest Places to Travel Each Month of the Year:

In addition to pinpointing select cities for their overall affordability, the report provided week-by-week recommendations for money-saving destinations, with some beach towns costing as much as 29% less than last year during a set week. Check out the entire list of budget getaways (and great budget rentals!), and then get booking.

Week of March 17th - 23rd

Our Ocean City Rental Pick: A Charmingly Decorated Condo Just Steps from the Shore, $73 per night (pictured below)


Week of March 24th - 30th

Week of March 31st - April 6th

Our Virginia Beach Rental Pick: A Family-Friendly Suite with Two Pools, $136 per night (pictured below)


Week of April 7th - 13th

Week of April 14th - 20th  

Week of April 21st - 28th

Our Panama City Beach Rental Pick: A Darling Cottage in a Quiet Part of Town, $84 per night (pictured below)