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Alternative Break

Explore Your Alternatives

Want to do something different on your academic break?  Join a UNLV Alternative Break Trip!

Alternative break trips are student-led, university-sponsored trips for a week or a weekend. They’re a great way to experience a different community and explore social justice issues through service alongside communities.  While you travel for a week or a weekend, you can plan to do service, learn about social issues, live simply, and get to know your fellow travelers and host community. Administrative or academic faculty will be present on trips to support the learning experience and maintain administrative aspects. These trips are subsidized by the University to be affordable to students, but still have some financial commitment from participants (cost is dependent on the trip).

Program Principles

Our trips are designed around the following 5 principles.

  • Live simply
    Our trips are crafted to be affordable and different from the everyday, which means everything from sleeping on floors, cooking shared meals, sharing in chores… and turning your cell phone off.
  • Seek justice, find hope
    It is important that we do service, but also learn about issues on a deeper level to understand why structural inequity exists and how we can work for change. While social change is often slow and challenging, we try to find hope along the way.
  • Be in community
    Our teams should get to know each other, as well as the local community hosting us.
  • Learn and serve with
    We strive to work alongside communities, finding nonprofit co-educators that are deeply connected in the community and working in partnership for social change.
  • Share the story
    After our trips return, we need to take time to share our experiences so we better understand our own experiences, but also to bring others in to explore social justice.

Our trips might be different than other trips you’ve been on, but that is exactly what we think makes them great. To create an effective and impactful learning and service experience, participants must commit to a drug- and alcohol-free experience. We make sure to include some recreation time as a group to experience the local culture, but that looks very different for every trip.

Trip Descriptions

Application Process

Our trips are open to all students—whatever your major, background or experience (undergraduates take priority).

  • Apply online—click the trip below to access application:
  • Head to the Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity (OCED) in the Student Union 316 to make your initial deposit. (If you awarded a space but decline it, your deposit is nonrefundable.)
  • We will give final confirmations for travelers by the Monday prior (for weekend trips) OR within 3 weeks of the trip (for weeklong).


In advance of trips, we ask participants to attend pre-trip meetings where to help prepare travelers for trip logistics, start to get to know each other, and begin to explore some of the complex issues they may encounter while traveling on an alternative break trip.

Weekend trip participants must attend the 1 mandatory pre-trip meeting beforehand; weeklong travelers must commit to the 2 mandatory pre-trip meetings for their site.


Participant fees in Alternative Break trips cover transportation, lodging, meals, and any program fees while traveling with the group. The University heavily subsidizes the costs per student, so timely deposits and student payments ensure successful and affordable trips.

For more information about specific trip costs, please see trip information since there are variations on cost based on trip distance, length, etc. Deposit/payments can be made in the Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity starting immediately on the 3rd floor of the Student Union in 316 at the front desk).

Payment Schedule for (Spring Break) Trips

Trip Name Date Payment Schedule
    Payment 1
(Feb. 28)
Payment 2
(Mar. 7)
Payment 3
Total Cost
Spring Break - Desert Mar. 16-22
$50 ($25 refunded after trip)
$25 Total
Spring Break - LA Mar. 16-22
$150 Total
Spring Break - SD Mar. 16-22
$150 Total
April Farm Trip Apr. 25-27
$50 Total
Catalina Island May 27-30
$200 Total

If you cannot make the trip payment schedule or cannot afford the trip cost, please email to discuss scholarship options or payment plans with Alternative Break staff!