After a long, snowy winter and a grueling first block of spring semester, the anticipation of spring break can be almost too much to bear. There are trips to plan, paychecks to blow and assignments to procrastinate.

At least, that is the dream that runs through most students’ minds in the weeks leading up to spring break. Truthfully, while most of us would love to be able to drop everything and go on an exciting (and likely pricey) adventure, reality can squash our sunny, beachside dreams. So how, then, does one get the full spring break experience without sacrificing both career and cash? Here are some ideas:

Adventure Awaits

If you’ve fallen victim to wanderlust, then you have probably realized by now how expensive the travel bug can be. Rather than spending next semester’s tuition on a week in Paris, capitalize on Utah’s own adventure spots.

Take in the incredible views while hiking in Bryce Canyon. Photo credit: Timothy Harris

Zion National Park, Lava Hot Springs and Salt Lake City are all close and affordable gems. You can camp, hike, swim and explore museums without sacrificing your precious time and money on cross-Atlantic trips. Another option is to house sit. You’ll be able to get that vacation feel and maybe even a little extra cash.

Take Time Out

While the allure of spring break is nice, paying the bills is necessary. If work has you bogged down this week, sit down and make a plan to optimize your free time. Catch up on sleep, read your favorite novel for the nth time or learn a new hobby.

Make note of which days or nights you are free and invite friends over for games. Whether you are an Apples to Apples fanatic or a beer pong champion, taking a night to kick back with friends will allow you to take a break from the daily grind.

Break Out the Bucket List

With a whole week free from the grips of higher education, spring break is the perfect time to dust off the old bucket list and check some things off. Embrace your inner explorer and brave Angel’s Landing.

Set up an appointment in advance and finally get the tattoo you’ve been designing for months. Spend a day re-watching all of the “Harry Potter” movies.

Whatever your idea of a dream spring break vacation is, go after it this year. With a little imagination, the sky is the limit.

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