15 Spring Break Rentals to Save You Money on a Hotel

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HOME ROOMS

Spring break conjures visions of 24/7 booze-filled partying in warm, sandy climes. But the cost! Flights and hotels can eat up a poor student's budget. On the other hand, renting an apartment or condo with friends can save a bundle, especially if you use the kitchen instead of eating every meal out. These 15 competitively priced spring break rentals in popular destinations charge nightly rates that divide out to no more than $50 a person, before taxes and fees. Rates were checked for a minimum three-night stay (March 11-14) during spring break week for most U.S. colleges. Some listings may be booked by press time, but these are good representations of the offerings in each area.

Related: 11 Budget Trips to Shake the Winter Blues

Photo credit: Courtesy of airbnb.com

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO

Playa del Carmen is a popular spot for spring breakers, offering miles of sandy beaches lined with palm trees. At night, dance clubs, restaurants, and bars beckon. Visitors can stay for $101 a night (plus a $37 Airbnb service fee) in a condo located two blocks away from the resort town. It's also close to tourist shops and even a Walmart. Total cost per night: About $23/person, 5 people

Photo credit: Courtesy of airbnb.com

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS

On the southern tip of Texas, South Padre Island offers toasty tropical weather and 34 miles of white sand beaches. For $80 a night, plus a $40 cleaning fee and $34 Airbnb service fee, you can stay three nights or more in a cozy beach trailer. This is a highly rated bargain compared with other homestays on the island. It sleeps two comfortably and includes an array of amenities in a gated community. Total cost per night: About $52/person, 2 people

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LAS VEGAS

The lack of a beach doesn't diminish the spring break appeal of Vegas, with its nightclubs, DJ parties, and round-the-clock casino action. Hotel suites go for a couple hundred dollars a night, but you can rent a two-bedroom apartment for $171 a night, invite a few friends, and split the cost. The unit is a few minutes' walk from the Strip. Total cost per night: About $51/person, 6 people

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CANCUN, MEXICO

Travelers looking to avoid the touristy areas of Cancun can book a two-bedroom apartment. For $62 a night (plus a $23 Airbnb service fee), visitors can live like locals in downtown Cancun. It's a quick bus ride to the nearby public beach, Playa Las Perlas (five minutes away), and Tulum and Playa del Carmen are also within reach by bus. Total cost per night: About $17/person, 4 people

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS

Many all-inclusive resorts and hotels in the Bahamas offer attractive packages, but visitors can book a vacation rental for far less. A two-bedroom, one-bath villa in Nassau goes for $130 a night, plus a $100 cleaning fee (and refundable $250 damage deposit). This spring break rental abuts a botanical garden and is located in a quiet neighborhood a short walk to the beach and local restaurants. Total cost per night: About $44/person, 4 people

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PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO

For $89 a night, a $30 cleaning fee, and $35 tax (plus a refundable $200 damage deposit), you get a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Playa del Carmen (minimum four-night stay). It's a two-minute drive to the beach or a five-minute ride with complimentary bikes. Nightlife is a quick drive away. Total cost per night: About $26/person, 4 people

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LAS VEGAS

For a group of 10 to 12 heading to Vegas, a newly remodeled family home offers four bedrooms and two full bathrooms for $300 a night (plus a $150 cleaning fee, $78 tax, and a $54 service fee). Note: Rates vary depending on the size of the group. Located a few minutes from downtown, this rental features a full deck and patio with a barbecue grill. Total cost per night: About $43/person, 10 people

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS

The Bahamas boast warm weather, bustling tourist areas, and miles of sandy beaches for sunbathers. If you're looking for a home base away from downtown and crowds of tourists, consider the New Providence area. For $74 a night, a group of four can get their own beds in a home near Yamacraw Beach. It's less than 10 minutes away from Paradise Island and downtown. Total cost per night: About $28/person, 4 people

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ACAPULCO, MEXICO

This famous spring break hot spot offers booze cruises, pool parties, and huge clubs that blast music all day. Instead of hanging out with hungover partygoers all day at an all-inclusive resort, save some money by staying at a spring break rental for $66 a night, plus a $24 service fee to Airbnb. The unit features three bedrooms, three baths, balcony views, and pool access. Total cost per night: About $12/person, 6 people

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MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Everyone knows about Santa Monica and Venice Beach, but this quaint beach town insulates visitors from the craziness of Los Angeles and positions them in the middle of shops, bars, and boutiques, not to mention restaurants dishing out fish tacos and other Mexican delights. The rate for a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment is $100 a night, plus a $20 cleaning fee and $39 Airbnb service fee. Total cost per night: About $30/person, 4 people

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MIAMI

With its warm beaches, lively nightclub scene, plentiful bars, and hordes of spring breakers, Florida is the place to be. Hotels and even homestays are expensive in Miami, but consider a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with sweeping views of Biscayne Bay from the balcony. For $199 a night (plus a $150 cleaning fee and $97 tax), a group of six can enjoy modern design, floor-to-ceiling windows, and jetted bathtubs. Total cost per night: About $51/person, 6 people

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DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

Daytona Beach is another Florida spot that draws thousands of students. For those who just want quiet beach time, a three-bedroom, one-bath home goes for $128 a night, plus $130 in fees and taxes. It's 10 minutes southeast of busy Daytona and a quick drive to the local frozen custard shop, restaurants, shops, and the beach. There's also a movie theater and a bustling city center area. Total cost per night: About $29/person, 6 people

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TYBEE ISLAND, GEORGIA

Georgia's Tybee Island is "Orange Crush" territory, where thousands of Savannah State University students gather every year for spring break. For $115 a night, plus a $100 cleaning fee and $54 Airbnb service fee, you can stay right on the beach in a cozy two-bed condo. The pool is newly refurbished, too. Total cost per night: About $42/person, 4 people

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MIAMI

Miami can get expensive with its glamorous restaurants and dawn-breaking nightlife, but there are plenty of free and cheap things to do. And for $149 a night (plus a $100 cleaning fee and $38 tax), spring breakers can stay in a spacious 1.5-bath condo in the heart of downtown Miami. After a long day of partying, guests can relax in the communal pool, sauna, or hot tub. Total cost per night: About $53/person, 4 people

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA

Think outside the Miami/South Beach box and consider Panama City Beach on the west coast of Florida for a spring break trip. There are plenty of concerts and tiki bars for partygoers and miles of beach along the Gulf of Mexico. A beachfront condo with a balcony view of the water goes for $123 a night (not including taxes or cleaning and service fees). Total cost per night: About $38/person, 6 people