Plan a budget-friendly beach vacation
Invest in your well-being with a much needed beach vacation. Keep it simple, and you'll have a budget-friendly beach getaway that's good for you and your travel fund – then you can afford to go again next year!
Find the right place to stay
Budget beach vacations start with the value of renting a house, where you can plan simple at-home meals and have room to split the cost with another family or a group of friends. Rent a centrally-located house or condo, and save money on transportation by walking and using public transportation. The right house rental will be close to the beach and have the amenities you want, like a swimming pool, hot tub or other outdoor spaces where you can play and hang out and indoor entertainment options, so you can have drinks and popcorn right in your living room for a cheap movie night.
Plan aheadTickets and lodging are often cheaper when you plan months in advance. Keep an eye out for special deals or discounts offered during the peak travel season. Scope out your destination’s Chamber of Commerce; often beach towns will hand out coupons to events or restaurants that tourists can redeem during their stay. They may not be for much, but you’ll be surprised at how the little things add up. And when on a budget, every little thing counts!
Be flexibleBe willing to bend a little when planning your budget beach vacation. It’s especially important to be flexible with your travel dates. For example, traveling on a weekday or booking a red-eye flight can save you hundreds of dollars. Also, you may have to skimp on extras – like towel service on the beach or a ten dollar frou-frou cocktail. And, keep in mind that even if you were hoping for a secluded vacation, it’s cheaper to travel with another group. They can help with the burden of paying for lodging, food, and transportation.
Pack and shop wisely
Save money by bringing beach essentials from home and shopping for your gear and souvenirs where the locals shop. Beautiful beach boutiques and resort shops lure you in with their displays and convenience, but it's likely that just a mile or two away, you can pick up extra sunscreen and some souvenir beach towels at the local drug store or discount retailer.
Pack a few refillable water bottles, and stock up on cold drinks and snacks at a grocery store near your rental. Check with your beach house owner for recommendations on local stores, and ask if they provide equipment like beach chairs, inflatable water toys, or coolers at the house you're renting.
Beach-boundYou’ve scrimped and saved to get to the beach, so make long, lazy beach days your main activity. With sand toys, frisbees, paddle ball and a great beach read, plus drinks and snacks and a little shade, you've got all you need for things to do on vacation. Avoid the tourist draws and seek out local favorite parks and trails for other ways to enjoy your destination.
Have a plan so you'll be ready when faced with all the souvenir shops and expensive eateries. Plan a set amount to spend on souvenirs and treats, and then pay cash, so it's easy to track what you've spent and what you have left. Give kids a souvenir allowance and remind them that when it's gone, it's gone.
Stick to your budget, take a ton of pictures, and enjoy every minute of your time at the beach.