A beach vacation seems like a luxury to most people, but in the winter; in a cold climate, it is more like a necessity.
The price tag associated with a beach getaway can be daunting, especially when you’re on a tight budget. Most people considering a beach holiday think they will have to spend thousands of dollars on flights and resorts.
Many decide not to take a beach vacation at all due to the perceived expense! Even those who do end up taking a beach vacation usually overspend and regret it later.
However, beach vacations do not need to be so costly. Follow these tips to budget and save money on your next beach vacation (on the cheap.)
1. Compare Flight Costs
Flights are the biggest cost associated with any vacation. Saving money on flights is the easiest way to make any vacation more affordable.
There are several flight booking sites that aggregate flights from different airlines.
Having all the flights in one central location makes it easier to compare departure dates, location, and costs. Simply enter your preferred destination and flight dates and the website will show the least expensive flight options. You can also compare flights with and without a layover.
Many of these websites offer the option to compare flight costs over different dates. If your vacation dates are a bit flexible, this is another great way to save. Flights departing on weekdays are typically the least expensive. Those that depart late at night or early in the morning are also less costly than those leaving during the daytime. Flexibility in when you can fly out can save hundreds of dollars per person per flight.
2. Get The Cheapest Deal Close To Home – Whether You Live In The United States, Mexico, Europe, or Asia.
You may have always dreamed of a beach vacation in Thailand, but, what if you live on the other side of the world in the U.S.A? It may make more sense to stay closer to home and plan a cheap vacation to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean.
You can also find cheap beach vacation deals in the U.S in states like Florida, North & South Carolina, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, California, and Texas; according to an article I read at ABC News – 11 affordable beach destinations in the US.
It is especially better to travel closer to home if you only have a week or two for your vacation. Going further away means more time and money spent in transit.
Ultimately, traveling further away means less time sitting on the beach or swimming in the ocean!
Regardless of which country you live in the world, domestic flights are generally less expensive. Staying within your country means it may be possible to fly or take the train instead, with additional savings for your pocketbook.
3. Consider Hotel Options, Not Just All Inclusive Beach Resorts
Many people think of all-inclusive beach resorts as being the ultimate beach getaway. With a little online research and pre-planning, it is possible to get a good deal on an all-inclusive resort stay. Look for coupon codes, flash sales, and other online deals. Signing up to resort email lists is a good way to make sure you never miss a deal.
For most people, it makes sense to consider options other than staying in an all-inclusive resort. Staying in a hotel can mean great savings, even when you factor in the cost of paying for meals and activities. It also offers a greater level of freedom, flexibility, and choice.
Other budget-friendly options include staying in a bed and breakfast or a private home-stay. Home-stay options often save money and allow a more personalized experience. However, they may not have the same level of amenities you would find in a hotel or resort, such as a pool or spa. When shopping around consider using AirBNB or Homestay.com as well.
The first step in booking accommodation is deciding the level of amenities you need. From there, shop around to compare prices to find a resort, hotel, or other lodgings that meet your needs.
4. Save Money on Meals
It makes sense to splurge a little on food while you are on vacation. After all, sampling the local cuisine is part of what makes travel so enjoyable.
Spending less on food can take several forms. If the place you are staying offers free breakfast, it makes sense to take advantage. If you have a kitchenette or fridge in your room, buy some fruit, cheese, or other items to keep around. Having basic food items around saves money on breakfast or snacking and prevents unneeded purchases.
Instead of eating out at five-star restaurants, try smaller places popular with local people. Street food is popular and usually a very inexpensive option. Takeaway restaurants are inexpensive and of high quality in many destinations. Asking a local person for recommendations in a great way to find places you wouldn’t think about trying otherwise.
5. Alcohol Can Make or Break Your Budget
For your typical beach vacation, alcohol comprises a significant portion of your budget. If you don’t drink, congratulations! You’re already coming out ahead. For those who do, however, there are ways to indulge without spending a fortune.
While margaritas at a beach-side bar may be appealing, buying alcohol and making yourself drinks can save a ton. If you plan to drink in bars, drink in moderation and take advantage of happy hour and other drink specials. And if getting drunk is an important part of your overall vacation experience, then staying in an all-inclusive resort may be your best bet.
By following these tips, you should be able to plan a beach vacation that doesn’t break the bank. Saving on flights and hotel, going where it costs less to fly, and spending sensibly on food and alcohol will put more money in your wallet. It is possible to save money while still having the beach vacation of your dreams.
Let me know what you think? Have any tips to share? Comment below.