Even if you haven't planned spring break yet, there's no need to pay a fortune for a last-minute trip. Many vacation spots offer promotions, and travelers can often save money by looking for non-traditional getaways, says Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com, which spotlights travel bargains. The varied timing of spring break means greater pockets of availability. "There are always going to be great deals." She shares some affordable trips with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
The Aloha State seems to be on perpetual sale this year, Banas says. West Coast-based travelers in particular can find incredible bargain airfares. "Hawaii has been crazy. The deals are so great and so consistent. A lot of it is going to Oahu, but it's all over." Offers change constantly, but recently, some air/hotel packages were available for $500. 800-464-2924; gohawaii.com/special-offers
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
This summer beach town has plenty going on in the spring. Plus, room rates are lower. "There are lots of spring packages and getaway deals and hotel discounts and golf packages," Banas says. "You're not going to get a lot of beach days, but there is always dining, spa stuff and fishing excursions." Several discount airlines also serve the city. 800-356-3016; visitmyrtlebeach.com
This Atlantic island has a pricey reputation, but before May, it offers shoulder-season deals, including a free hotel night with a multiple-day stay, Banas says. "It's not in the Caribbean, so it's not super tropical this time of year. But it's time to go for golf and spa and riding around the island on a scooter, which is super fun."800-237-6832; gotobermuda.com/free-night
Panama City Beach, Fla.
Long a favorite for partiers, this Panhandle town has broadened its appeal in recent years. "It's definitely for the college set, but it's for families as well," Banas says. The town offers concerts, parties and hotel deals. And the online planning tool makes it simple to arrange a spring break trip, she says. 800-722-3224; visitpanamacitybeach.com/springbreak
While many spring breakers head south, Banas suggests looking northeast. The Green Mountain State welcomes skiers with deals such as $25 lift tickets and 30% lodging discounts. It also draws visitors with organic farm stays and the chance to experience maple sugaring season, when trees are tapped for their sap. 802-223-2439; skivermont.com
The theme-park capital may not be an unexpected spring break destination, but travelers will be surprised at the availability of discounts. For example, Disney offers price breaks on its hotels during much of March and April, excluding the weeks before and after Easter, Banas says. And with ample service from low-price carriers, airfares are competitive.407-363-5872; visitorlando.com
From microbreweries to coffeehouse bike tours, the country's epicenter of hip has plenty to keep a visitor busy, Banas says. Through March, book a hotel and get a free Portland Passport coupon book with parking, food and other discounts. Plus, with the food-truck scene, dining doesn't have to be expensive. Check out the solar-power waffle cart and vegan taco truck, Banas says. "You can definitely go for a weekend or even a week and not have to spend a ton of money." 800-962-3700; travelportland.com/deals
Whatever you think of its politicians, there's no denying the tourist appeal of the nation's capital. The city has more than 100 free attractions, including the Smithsonian museums, landmark buildings such as the White House and Capitol, and the national monuments. Plus, it's easy to get to: Train travelers can take advantage of Amtrak discounts, and fliers can choose from three area airports. "There are always affordable flights," Banas says. 202-789-7000; washington.org
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
This Caribbean island usually doesn't make bargain lists, but it has been offering great deals all winter, which continue to be extended, Banas says. One bargain, the Fantastic Flight Promotion, provides a $300 airfare rebate with a six-night hotel stay, along with a free hotel night. "No passport's required, so for those who haven't planned ahead, it can be a great option," she says. 800-372-8784; www.visitusvi.com/package_and_promotions