Surprisingly Affordable Summer Vacations for College Students

summer vacation ideas for college students

Most students want to travel but not every student can easily afford to. It’s common to want to find cheap places to travel, either for spring break or summer break.

But it can be hard to find cheap vacations for college students. These locations are some of the best summer vacations and they’re inexpensive. 

Want to Spend Your Summer Vacation Abroad?

Many college students want to travel abroad to experience everything they can in while they’re in college. Some students look for volunteer programs or study abroad opportunities.

You can find student discount on airline tickets that can save you a chunk of change- since the average cost doesn’t count flights only, hotels and meals.


As the capital of the Netherlands known for its artistic tradition. Home of the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Vondelpark, and Rijksmuseum. You should rent a bike or hop on a boat and tour the city. Seeing the Kop van Noord-Holland, the largest flower bulb patch in the world is a must for your visit abroad.

The average cost per day is $130


Going to this part of Europe and not seeing the Eiffel tower is next to impossible. Seeing the world-famous Mona Lisa in person at The Louvre is a must. Other locations you should check out are:

  • Montmartre
  • Sacré-Cœur, Paris
  • Sainte-Chapelle

The average cost per day is $175

San Juan

This is one of the best beaches but other than laying on the beach all day. You could also check out Old San Juan and historical churches. Nearby is the famous Casa Blanca that you can tour, with gorgeous gardens.

The average cost per day is $140

Costa Rica

As a rough rain forest and magnificent coastline on the Caribbean and Pacific, the most popular thing to do would be relaxing on the beaches. You could see the Arenal Volcano, whose last eruption was in 2010. Touring the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum or Museo Nacional de Costa Rica will show how the country has come up.

The average cost per day is $78

Florence, Italy

Being influenced by the Renaissance and Medieval architecture in many buildings such as Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. With the Galleria dell’Accademia containing the famous David sculpture done by Michelangelo Florence is a great destination.

The average cost per day is $118

You Might Be Wondering: Why These Places?

The answer is simple. These locations will make for wonderful summer memories and that’s what college students want: a memorable summer.

San Juan and Costa Rica are tropical destinations which are what most people want their summer vacations.

Italy, Paris, and Amsterdam are full of life and will allow you to explore other cultures. In populated areas like those just explode with so much to do during the summer months.

Maybe you think you can’t afford a summer vacation? Programs such as ef tours and student universe are college student travel programs that will find cheap flights and hotels, plan your trip for you, and will set you up with a tour guide. All at affordable prices.

5 Fun Road Trips in the U.S.

  1. Yellow Stone- Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
  2. Phoenix, Arizona
  3. Charlotte, North Carolina
  4. Big Sur, California
  5. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Though it does depend on where your starting point is every road trip will have different costs. You can calculate an estimate at cost2drive to and from any location.

Cheaper Summer Vacation Ideas That are Perfect for College Students on a Budget

If you’re tight on cash and can’t afford a vacation abroad, there are plenty of cheaper summer vacation options that you can enjoy here in the states.

These vacation ideas are perfect for summer because they focus on activities that occur outside. So don’t stay cooped up indoors and go enjoy the warm weather.


Camping is the perfect summer vacation for college students because it’s very cheap. There’s no need to worry about the cost of airfare or your accommodations

Plus, you’ll be able to spend the majority of your time outdoors enjoying the summer weather.

Here are some of our favorite camping spots in the U.S.

  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve, New York
  • Badlands National Park, South Dakota
  • Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
  • Glacier National Park, Montana

Amusement Parks

Amusement parks are great during the summer cause it’s another opportunity to spend some time outside and enjoy the sunshine.

There are some amusement parks that aren’t too pricey. And riding roller coasters is a thrilling way to de-stress from school.

  • Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
  • LEGOLAND, Carlsbad, California
  • Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virgina


When you think of cruises, you probably don’t think that they are too popular with students. Most often, you think of grandparents playing shuffleboard on the deck of a ship.

But cruise lines have a lot to offer. There are some great fun services and activities depending on what cruise line you choose. And some cruises offer college cruises for summer vacation and spring break.

Final Thoughts on Our Favorite Summer Vacation Ideas for College Students

These ideas would be fun vacations for students. Any location on the list is a cool place to go in summer. If you know of any other cheap vacation destinations or how to find more deals for students, please comment and let us and others know!

Ashley King

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