April 10, 2018
The Impact of Spring Break on the Economy
Each spring, families and college students look forward to taking a break from work and school to relax and do something fun outside of their normal routine. During the annual Spring Break vacation time, many businessesーincluding airlines, hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and retail storesーexperience a substantial increase in demand for their products and services.
The pie chart below shows the breakdown of a trip for 2 people to Costa Rica, a popular Spring Break destination. A little more than half of the total cost is for travel and lodging, with food and drink being a close second.
According to Free Enterprise, a website presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce featuring stories about American businesses, “depending on the location...business growth between 2001 and 2005 posted positive gains in every year, increasing from 634 to 779 total businesses.” Successful businesses lead to a better economy, which then increases gross domestic product. The money families and college students spend on travel, lodging, food and entertainment during Spring Break proves how our economy is doing by money transferring from individuals’ bank accounts into liquid cash which shows the flow of money that helps boost the economy. A better money flow creates an environment that will eventually increase production, sales, wages and employment.
College students preparing for Spring Break tend to not think so much about their opportunity costs as they are packing for warm beaches. Students do not want to “waste” time worrying about their units of account or the future value of their money, and would rather purchase whatever attracts their attention while on Spring Break, even if it means they spend more money than they should. Typical impulse buys often include apparel and souvenirs, food and drinks, and fun activities and excursions.
I believe that families, and especially college students, should look at their commercial bank accounts, create a budget for vacation and work to control their spending impulses during Spring Break. Ali Garland, an experienced world traveler who gives advice on her blog Travel Made Simple, says it is important to track your spending throughout your vacation and create budgets for every category that revolves around a vacation (Garland).
Spring Break vacationers create an amazing revenue boost to many local economies each March and April. By planning ahead, it is possible to have a fun and exciting vacation without returning home feeling like you overspent. The key is to be realistic about your spending, make sure that you have enough money to last your entire trip and if you have money left over to invest for next year’s vacation, then that’s a bonus.
Works CitedFree Enterprise Staff. “Why Florida and Texas Don’t Have Any Spring Break Regrets.” Free Enterprise, 14, March 2016, Washington, DC. https://www.freeenterprise.com/spring-break/ .
Garland, Ali. “How To Make A Travel Budget.” Travel Made Simple ,16, January 2013, https://travel-made-simple.com/how-to-make-a-travel-budget/
Joanna, Tim. “Budget For Travel.” Gen X Gypsies, 10, April 2018, http://www.abroaddreams.com/2013/02/24/budget-for-travel-to-costa-rica/