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Spring break deals: How to save the most on travel

Spring break deals can be hard to come by between February and April, but there are savings to be had. Booking at the right time and being willing to take a layover can lead to great spring break deals. 

Lara Cerri/The Tampa Bay Times/AP/File
Two people lounge with with a view of the Gulf of Mexico from Pass-a-Grille in St. Pete Beach, Fla. Spring break deals can be hard to come by, but you can maximize your savings by booking air travel at the right time.

The time to finalize your spring break plans is drawing nigh, but this popular travel season can put you in the red faster than a student loan if you're not careful. Hopper, a travel website, recently studied the prices of February to April travel to popular spring break destinations. The site's data revealed that choosing the right time to book and the right time to travel are the key components of scoring awesome spring break deals.

Buying your ticket at the right time can save you a ton of money. "Book your ticket at least 15 days in advance," the site advises. A "4 to 14 day advance purchase will increase your ticket price by 29% and a last minute purchase (0-3 days) will increase the price by 62%." Importantly, opting for the convenience of a non-stop flight won't save you a lot of money over a multi-stop flight. Because spring break destinations are so popular during this time of year, the site found that "including a Saturday night stay, which often has a large impact on price, did not offer additional savings."

When you travel can also have a huge impact on the price of your ticket, especially if you're traveling in mid-March. According to Hopper, the weeks of March 16 and March 23 will see a 34% and 33% jump in airfare rates, respectively. No matter when you travel, try to avoid peak days: "A Thursday departure, on average, will add 12% to your ticket price. A Friday departure will add 22% and a Saturday departure will add 18%."

Traveling to a popular spring break destination doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. For more ideas on when and where to travel for spring break, check out the full results of the study at Hopper. And don't forget to check out our travel deals for even more savings!

Readers, have you made your spring break travel plans yet? Do you have any tips for saving big on travel? Share your thoughts below!

Marcy Bonebright is a feature writer for, where this article first appeared:

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