Spring Break: Cheap Trips and Travel Tips

Look at it as a five-day jaunt beginning on Tuesday and you'll save money.

— -- Attention, procrastinators: Thinking about a trip for spring break? Want to find something remotely resembling a deal? Buy your tickets now.

Otherwise, another wasted vacation, binge-watching on the couch.

Look, I'm a procrastinator, too. But I've learned some painful lessons so you don't have to. Allow me to share five ways to save on spring break, which include Disney, ski and beach excursions.

1. Make It a Five-Day Trip

Most people look at spring break as a week off. Wrong! Look at it as a five-day jaunt beginning on Tuesday and you'll save money. Take a look at these airfare prices for early March trips and see what a difference a few days can make.

Dallas to Orlando Flights

  • Week-long trip, Sunday to Sunday: $479
  • Five-day trip, Tuesday to Saturday: $353
  • Make it your mantra: Take off Tuesday, return on Saturday. You still get a wonderful break and your wallet gets one, too.

    2. Don't Fly Non-Stop

    Forget the convenient direct flight. When possible, add a stop and you can usually save money. Take a look.

    Dallas to Aspen Flights

  • Non-stop flight: $1,283
  • Connecting flight: $581
  • You don't have to be a math major to see the savings here.

    3. Cheap Destinations

    Skiing: Skiers can usually find decent deals to Denver and Boston thanks to strong competition at these airports. Denver is surrounded by excellent ski areas while the Berkshires of Massachusetts with those quaint country inns are so beautiful, you may not care about hitting the slopes. If you do or seek more of a challenge, Vermont and New Hampshire are just across the state line.

    Beaches: Compare fares to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami; the two cities are just 25 miles apart and trade off on which has cheaper fares throughout the year. Other warm-weather cities to check out are New Orleans (often cheap from Texas) and Southern California where we've been seeing more and more good deals to San Diego.

    4. Cheaper Disney Trips

    Going to Disney World in Orlando? Driving distance between Tampa and Orlando is only 84 miles, so check out prices to both airports. Tampa may be cheap enough to make the longer drive worth it.

    Going to Disneyland in Anaheim? The closest airport is in Santa Ana, California, (named for actor John Wayne) but Los Angeles' LAX hub is only 34 miles away and often has cheaper flights. Another option is Long Beach, just 24 miles away; this JetBlue focus city frequently offers cheap fares depending on departure city.

    Disney discounts: Check with Orlando's Visitor Center for discounts to local hotels and attractions, and see MouseSavers for lists of cheap or free things to do at all of Mickey's properties.

    (Editor's note: Disney is the parent company of ABC News.)

    5. Shop Now

    The closer we get to spring break, the more expensive the fares. Airlines know how popular spring break has become (it's not just for college kids anymore) and hike their prices accordingly. And keep hiking them. Buy now so you don't pay more than you have to.

    The opinions expressed by Rick Seaney in this column are his alone and do not reflect the views of ABC News.