We know that summer is almost “officially” over, but there is still time to squeeze in a last-minute beach vacation before you pull out your winter coats. Savor the last of these warm days and relax on a beach nearest you! And if your summer travels are over, file these tips away for next year’s family vacation.
One perk about beach vacations is that they tend to be more affordable than other options. While it’s still very possible to spend a lot of money, the “built-in” entertainment of the beach itself is likely to help you save a ton. With the beach as the main attraction, it’s a huge money saver.
There are certainly ways to make a beach vacation even easier on the wallet – from the time of year to the location, among other tips. Don’t overlook the savings you can get while booking your vacation, too. Sites like Splender can help you earn cash back on your travel and accommodations while getting great deals. With vendors like Booking.com (3% cash back), Orbitz (2% cash back), Sandals Resorts (3% cash back), Travelocity (2% cash back) and many more, you’re bound to find a beach trip – and deal – that’s right for you.
Whether you plan to take a quick road trip to the closest beach or punch it to the airport for a tropical getaway, here are our top money-saving tips for your next beach vacation.
Anytime you’re traveling, it’s always best to have a few travel windows in mind. There is often a huge difference between the various times, so you’ll want to check the prices for multiple weeks to find the best deals. For example, holiday weekends are typically more expensive, (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.). In addition, the earlier or later weeks in the summer typically tend to be less expensive (so now’s the perfect time to pack your bags!).
If you’re not set on a beach getaway in the summer, early fall or even the winter can be the perfect time to experience all the beauty that the shore has to offer – without the crowds. But if you’re traveling in the true off-season, be sure to check local accommodations to ensure that stores, restaurants and other locales will be open. Nothing’s worse than getting a great bargain on a beach vacation only to find that your family will be stranded if anything goes awry.
Set a Budget
Set a budget and stick to it. Before you make any arrangements or plans, you should make a decision about your budget. Is this a special occasion blow out trip or a low-key weekend getaway? Determining your budget is key so that you can decide what you can spend ahead of time. This applies to your hotel and travel, as well as on-site spending.
Travel with Friends or Family
Combining your vacation with friends and family is a fun and simple way to cut costs by splitting a lot of the expenses for things like rentals. Plus, when you have people to keep you company, you’re less likely to feel the need to entertain yourself with expensive activities. Getting away with others increases heightens the vacation factor, even if you aren’t out spending money!
However, if you do wish to partake in a few activities or excursions, you can usually take advantage of group discounts when you all book together. And isn’t it more fun to share experiences?
Use Social Buying Sites
Social buying sites like Groupon (5% cash back) and Living Social (4% cash back) offer daily deals on the best things to do, see and eat in a number of places. They also feature awesome hotel deals, from all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica to charming bed and breakfasts on the beaches of Florida. With a little savvy searching you can easily save a few bucks and nab last-minute deals!
It’s never been easier to compare hotel rooms and prices using sites like Expedia.com (2% cash back) and Hotels.com (5% cash back). You can set up price alerts and even set you own prices at sites like Priceline.com as well as Hotwire.com (2% cash back). These sites make it super easy to find sweet deals on hotels.
If you’re looking for a vacation rental, these sites, and particularly Booking.com (3% cash back), have a wide variety of beachside homes, apartments and condos available for rent. Rental vacation homes can also be a more cost-effective option for bigger groups. They usually offer cost-saving amenities like kitchens, washers, dryers and beach accessories, too.
Bring Your Own Beach Gear
You can definitely save money on beach chairs, umbrellas, beach towels, toys, sunscreen and other beach gear if you buy them all at home and bring them with you. Beach stores and hotel shops often charge a premium price for those items because they know they can. Come as prepared as possible and your budget will thank you.
A beach trip doesn’t have to break the bank, and trimming your budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the quality of your trip either. Whether you’re planning a last-minute trip to the beach or you’re already thinking about next summer, there are so many ways to save money on beach vacations. So, start loading up your beach bag and venture to those sandy shores you’ve been dreaming about!