The unbearable lightness of break

Spring break can weigh heavy on backs and bank accounts. A&E is working to lighten the load.

Spring break is a full week to toss obligations to the wind (and toss back as many piña coladas as that poor stomach can handle). Spring break should not be centered on lugging enormous baggage through the hotel lobby or racking up debt that wonâÄôt be paid until next December, but these nasty side effects have been seemingly assigned to spring break as much as topless girls and tequila shots. These simple tips can help this spring break feel less like a hangover waiting to happen and more like the anticipated banging beach-bod party. Lightweight luggage With airlines beginning to charge $20 or $30 to check luggage, try to limit luggage to carry-on only. When packing, color-coordinate everything. That way, each piece pulled from the suitcase will match, allowing for multiple outfits. Save space by waving away the extra shoes needed for each new color scheme. Remember to play it safe when packing. This isnâÄôt the time to cram in never-worn dresses in hopes that the opportunity for their debut will arise. If spring break will be in Mexico, it is a great idea to bring dressy clothes and a pair of dapper black shoes in case something formal arises, but packing for every hypothetical situation is a stressful waste of space. Make sure to check the airlineâÄôs weight and dimension guidelines for carry-ons. It might be a good time to look at exactly which cosmetics are really necessary. The key to packing light is forgetting about âÄújust in caseâÄù and nabbing only whatâÄôs important. Keep that wallet heavy Spring Break ainâÄôt cheap, but cutting out some laziness is the key to keeping cash in wallets, come April. Do the legwork beforehand. Shop around. Check out discount airfare options at Priceline and Expedia , websites that search through enormous databases of flight prices to match you to the cheapest option, but donâÄôt trust a single website to do the bidding. An hour of dedicated scouring could save hundreds of bucks. Gas prices are still falling. Think about taking a carload of people down to Arizona and split the cost. Half the fun is getting to the destination, and a 23-hour drive is perfect to power through a few games of Never-Have-I-Ever and 70 rounds of Catch Phrase. Taking up residence in expensive lodging is a major misstep many college kids make. Toss out all those preconceived notions of hostels from that low-budget horror flick and look at the prices. One night in Korea for $18, Chicago for $20: both are possible. Most of the rooms have two or three beds and are perfect to share with a couple of friends. Make sure to reserve your spots early! Another way to save a little dough is to assess what actually deserves your hard-earned dinero once you arrive. Those cheapy-cheap shell bracelets and janky Señor FrogâÄôs shot glasses are oh-so-charming souvenirs for the less-traveled friends, but they are ultimately a dust-collecting waste of money. Whether it be Indonesia or Iowa, shopping through the local market or grocery store is a great way to experience new cultural foods instead of hitting T.G.I. FridayâÄôs for the same overpriced chicken fingers. Restaurants by tourist hot-spots are a few price points above normal and a lot less creative. Venture away from tourist traps and find some authentic food for at prices the locals pay. Finally, for those less adventurous, there is the all-inclusive resort. The price tags might cause a few cringes, but remember that this large number is for an entire week at a resort, and all of the cards are on the table. It wonâÄôt be a rude awakening come your April credit card statement.