Spring break is coming (if it’s not already arrived in your area). Last year was our first time going away for spring break and our trip to the beach was awesome! We spent every day playing in the ocean and on the sand. It was a great getaway for our family to reconnect and prepare for the eventual move back to PA four months later. Sadly, we don’t get a full week for spring break in our area, but that won’t stop me from sharing today’s post on 6 Simple Ways to Save Money On a Beach Vacation!
I’m hoping to continue to put these tips to good use this Summer. We may not be within driving distance of the Emerald Coast, but there’s always the Jersey shore. I’m very lucky to have close friends that live in beach towns in New Jersey and Maryland. We are definitely going to be visiting them as soon as the weather gets warm. Since the drives are only a few hours away, let’s just classify it as a staycation destination. So read on to make your beach vacation a reality with these tips!
First and foremost set your budget. Determine what you can afford to spend and plan accordingly. Consider the season, sometimes staying right before or after the peak season allows you to experience the same nice weather without the crows, plus it’s cheaper on your wallet. Determine the best place to stay for your needs. Is it a hotel with free breakfast and free wifi, or is renting a house with a kitchen better for the size of your family?
1. Be flexible. If you’re flying, being flexible with your flight dates could save you $100+ on each ticket! If you’re driving, being flexible on your rental car dates (or even hotel check-in) can also save you a nice chunk of change on your budget vacation.
2. Think outside the box. While San Diego is an amazing vacation spot, California is lined with beaches from top to bottom! The same goes for the East Coast, and even the South. Instead of planning to have a beach vacation where everyone else is going to be, plan your own unique vacation without breaking the bank!
3. Eat on the cheap. Instead of eating out at every meal, just eat out for one meal each day. This can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner – your choice! Depending on your budget, you might want to stay at a hotel with a free breakfast, then eat at a restaurant for lunch, and have sandwiches (or microwave meals) for dinner. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner, so if you really have to save pennies, opt for dinner in. Also, Safeway will deliver so if you’re vacationing in a spot where there’s a Safeway, be sure to look them up! This applies for other stores as well, which could work out quite nicely if you get a hotel room with a kitchenette. You could easily save a few hundred bucks over the course of a two week vacation if you eat your meals at the hotel instead of restaurants.
4. Use deal sites. Sites like Living Social, Plum District, and Groupon are all great resources for travel! Headed to Sacramento? Look it up on Groupon and select deals based on the dates that you’ll be there. Remember to check exclusions, fine print, and expiration dates.
5. Find freebies. Instead of paying for an expensive segway tour of the town, take a free walking tour or find locals (try Facebook friends, and personal recommendations – not complete strangers) to be your unofficial tour guide for the day. Instead of spending a ton on surf boards, just hang out and chill at the beach for an afternoon. It’s relaxing for you, it’s fun for the kids, and it’s free. Pack a picnic lunch and save even more!
6. Pair up with friends. While family vacations are fun, family/friend vacations can be even MORE of an adventure! Split the lodging fees (consider renting a beach house, they can be affordable for larger families), food costs, etc.
What’s your best tip for saving on a beach vacation?