Spring Break on a Budget


Nora Villegas Pineda

Chicago – Theatre District

Karla Villegas Pineda, News Correspondent

With spring break right around the corner, students must be itching for a chance to remove themselves from school entirely. Here are some ideas for how to spend your spring break without breaking the bank.

Day Trips

Chicago ($50)

Spend the day in the city and be sure to hit up plenty of free attractions, such as the Chicago Cultural Center, or the Botanic Gardens. Enjoy delicious and inexpensive meals in the ethnic communities, like Pilsen, Greektown or Chinatown. Metra trains running from nearby Lisle, Downers Grove or Naperville run at $6.25 for a one-way adult weekday ticket, or you can drive and find reduced parking prices using apps like SpotHero.

Hiking ($25-30)

Explore the great outdoors by spending the day hiking. Pack a picnic, and grab some friends. Offering 11 miles of hiking trails and plenty of beautiful scenery, Waterfall Glen is just a 20-minute drive from campus.

If you want to make a road trip out of the day, head an hour and a half downstate to Starved Rock State Park, where the view is just as beautiful, and the variety of terrain is a little more complex.

Weekend Trips

St. Louis ($150-200)

Check out St. Louis for the weekend. Book a hotel for around $120 a night and make the drive down with a handful of friends. With St. Louis University located in the heart of downtown St. Louis, the nightlife is sure to offer great food and entertainment.

Camping ($75-100)

Weather permitting, take the outdoors a step further by going camping. Camp Sullivan in Oak Forest, just 40 minutes from COD, offers great amenities and campsites. Nonresidents of Cook County pay between $30 per night for a tent site, or $51 per night for a small cabin.  If you don’t own camping gear, the campground office offers rental equipment.

Weeklong trips


Book a round trip economy flight and stay in a hostel to maximize your spending money. Popular destinations are Daytona Beach or the Keys in Florida, but if the beach isn’t your scene, check out New Orleans or Denver. Hostels charge anywhere from $35 to $60 per adult per night, but some offer discounted student rates. If you decide to bring some friends, consider splitting the price of an Airbnb for a bit more comfort. Spirit Airlines offers famously cheap airfare for around $100 round trip.