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Spring Break 2013!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hey everyone! I am back from spring break! I know you’re expecting a really awesome story about a wild trip to some extravagant location. The problem is, I didn't really do anything extravagant or exciting. What I did do was spend some time at home with family and enjoy some good R&R. I have been trying to raise money for a mission trip I’m going on this summer, so I am saving every penny I can. Thus, no big trip this year. Last year, however, I did go on a fun trip—so in this post, I am going to break down what to expect during spring break at YHC.

Midway through the spring semester, all students except athletes have to leave campus for the week. Students often go on road trips and come back to school with some fun stories. I’m going to tell you my story and hopefully dole out some good advice in the process…

Last year, a group of friends and I went down to Destin, Fla., for six days. We stayed at a State Park and camped in tents and hammocks. We played on the beach, shopped and roamed around town. All in all, we had a blast. A lot of things we did fell perfectly into place. However, if I had to do it again, I would do some things differently.

We took two cars, which worked out perfectly as we had six people. The only problem was we had car trouble the night before we left and were delayed by one day. It actually worked out because it became a monsoon at the beach the day we were supposed to show up. However, my advice is to always have a backup car and driver in case something like that happens. We took one Jeep and one small car so the gas costs weren’t terrible—and it’s always smart to pick vehicles with the best gas mileage on a road trip.

I am treasurer of Alpha Omega and pretty good with money, so I did some intense budgeting and think that worked out perfectly. I calculated how much the gas would cost using miles per gallon of our vehicles and did some fairly accurate estimation for a week of expenses and food. There are a lot of things to factor in: cost of the accommodations, gas to get there and back, gas to get around once you are there, three meals for each day and, of course, spending money. After all of my calculations, I estimated it would cost around $200 for each person not including spending money—and it’s always good to factor in some extra money for things that may come up once you are there.

One of the most important parts about planning a trip is knowing people may bail on you last minute—so ask everyone to pay the full price up front. If you want to book a place at the beach, you have to do it pretty early in the year because places fill up. Never book a location or pay a deposit before collecting some money from everyone to pay for it.

We stayed in a State Park at a campground, which I highly recommend because they are $25-40 per night and will rent to people under 25—unlike many hotels across the U.S. In Florida, State Parks have the cleanest beaches, very good customer service and most amenities you may need like firewood and ice. Our campsite was only 50 feet from a very nice bathroom facility as well.

The biggest thing to remember before taking off on a spring break trip is to plan accordingly. You need to convince many friends to make plans and begin saving money at Christmas in order to get a big enough group together. It’s also important to plan a trip with friends you know you can spend a full week with and get along well. Also ask around—lots of students’ parents have condos, houses or cabins at the beach or on the lake. No matter what, go with a cheerful heart and a positive and helpful attitude. This will make the trip better for you and for everyone else. A trip is a lot of work to plan, but it’s definitely worth it and you will make some unforgettable memories with your friends.

Peace,

Corey Helton