While there are certainly package deals that might save you a buck or two, the reality is that big beach vacations aren’t cheap! If you are looking to escape to the beach with your family and not melt your budget, there are ways that you can enjoy a beach front vacation without burning a hole in your pocket.
Here are some tips that will help you have fun while not overspending yourself into a problem place during your next beach vacation. Let’s jump right in.
Get off the beach
Well, we don’t mean that literally, but then again we kind of do! Yes, you can spend lots of time on the beach but you don’t need to stay in a home or hotel directly ON it. Instead, choose a home or AirBNB a little farther away or a little further inland.
One of your most significant expenses will be accommodations, so adding a little to your walk or staying in a slightly quieter area of town will help trim some of that expense. Do that, and you’ll save a significant amount of money.
Tourist traps – avoid ‘em
Are you thinking of heading to Miami or Key West this winter? Choose Tampa instead. The beaches are just as nice but the hotels and, well… everything else – will cost you about ⅔’s of what you’d pay at the other two. We’re not telling you that you MUST vacation in Tampa, but take the principal of this and apply it to your trip.
Stay away from the areas that are a little bit TOO popular. There are always comparables and things to do that are just as fun, if not altogether more authentic – in other areas of town that won’t melt a hole in your pocket. Sometimes alternatives can be just as good.
Go off calendar
When we say ‘off calendar’ we don’t necessarily mean ‘offseason.’ We mean off Calendar. Baseball fans like going to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown during induction – but if you go right at the beginning of the season in April? You’ll spend ⅓ of the money and not have to deal with the crowds. While you won’t have super warm weather, it won’t be non-baseball weather and while you won’t get the buzz of induction weekend – all the usual vendors and shops are fully open and functional. Minus some bells and whistles – you’ll get the whole package for the most part.
Beaches – especially down here in Florida – are the same thing. There’s peak times, there’s dead times – but then there’s those transition periods in-between. Choose that and you’ll save a solid 30% on your next vacation tab.
Bring your own food
People always make the mistake of eating out constantly when they’re on vacation. Bring a little food with you – even if you just plan on eating a small breakfast and making a sandwich for yourself for lunch. Want to go out for dinner? Go for it. But you don’t need to eat out every, single meal. You’ll be surprised at what $50-$75 in groceries can do for you in terms of saving a lot of money on a vacation. Try to eat on your own tab when you can.
Budget your money! Determine what you want to spend on lodgings and stick to it. Set a budget for the spontaneous and fun things you know will pop up. Set a budget for eating out. By simply budgeting, you’ll have a clearer idea of what you want to do, can afford to do and what you probably should do. And when you know what you should do and your goal is saving money, then, well – you’ll likely save yourself some coin.
Going to the beach doesn’t have to be expensive. Stick to the tips above and you’ll have a great time without the guilt afterwards that you went a little overboard. Get organized, stay disciplined and good luck!