If your past month has looked anything like mine, you're no doubt ready to relax.
And if your bank account looks anything like mine, you might be doubting your abilities to ball on a budget this spring break.
2 words: Beach Trip.
Ok, this one is kind of cliche, but we followed suit from everyone else in Tiger Band, and all I gotta say is, I NEEDED it.
If you can hack out a 5 hour drive and 2 tanks of gas, the day trip to Destin and its surrounding areas is 100% worth it. Super clear water, soft sand, and the only worry is if I had enough money for the ice cream truck.
What to bring:
2. Cooler - if everyone in your party is under 21, I would suggest leaving the booze in the boot. I know we all party like the rules don't apply to us in La., but the beach police have really been cracking down on alcohol consumption in Alabama and Florida. [Source: The Advocate: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/article_a3d867a0-3138-11e8-a1c4-bb7f97fd9d19.html]
3. Sunscreen!!! - the sun can be real shady - and that's when it'll get you.
4. Lawn chairs - it's like being an observational soccer mom but everyone wins.
Not only is the beach free, it's such a great way to relieve stress. If your calendar looks anything like mine, you'll be craving some downtime without an itinerary.
1. Cooler: Brady won his free in a raffle but you can find any standard styrofoam cooler from $3-13 at your local superstore.
2. Hotel: split between 3-4 people and depending on if you reserve a room the day of or in advance, $25-50 per person.
3. Gasoline: in Brady's fuel-efficient Honda, it was only $40 for the whole car round trip (split between 3-4 ways, you're looking at about $10-20).
4. FOOD: surprisingly, this is the category that can really hit your wallet depending on where you go. Price: $15-70 for 2-3 meals.
** Options: if you're looking to spend the least, the classic ham sandwiches on the beach are a solid choice.
** If you're a huge foodie like me, some of the seafood places are a little pricey but definitely worth it when you get a taste of the gulf shrimp. Some of the entrees are so large you could split with a friend for half the price and pressure. (I recommend McGuire's & Joe's Crab Shack).
**For a happy medium between the two, there are chain restaurants speckled along the coast.
5. Les bons temps: priceless
The best part about beach trips - to me - is the minimal necessary amount of planning. On Sunday at 10 p.m., Brady and DeShae called and asked if I wanted to tag along and Tuesday at 5:30 a.m., we were on the interstate.
Also - since you'll still be in the South - everyone is still super nice but you'll have things like life guards and clean bathrooms because they actually care about public health.
Everyone deserves some self care and me time, whether that be filled with salt water and sand or just therapeutic spring cleaning and day naps back home.
You have a whole week off, and you deserve it! We all need to recharge our batteries before attacking the last month of the semester. Don't wade around for an opportunity - seize the daycation.
In the words of Nicki Minaj, "let's go to the beach, -each, let's go get away."