Plan a Cheap Summer Beach Vacation with These Easy Steps

For most, the ideal summer vacation is a beach vacation. Unfortunately, with the current state of the economy, many Americans are giving up their annual summer vacations. Don’t let your dream of a beach vacation wash away. It doesn’t have to. You can still have the vacation of your dreams; you just need to cut corners and expenses. Continue reading on to find out how!

Travel to a local beach. Many communities have local parks that can sometimes double as a beach. They often haul in sand and make use of natural bodies of water or manmade ones. Yes, you may not be swimming in the ocean, but at least you have the sand at your feet. If you live in the middle of the United States, this might be your best option. You will not need to fly to the east or west coast. Instead, hop in your car and drive. To really make it a vacation, book a night or two at a nearby hotel.

Compare the cost of hotels. Whether you opt for a small beach on a lake five hours away from home or if you fly across the country or even to the Caribbean, you will need a place to stay. An ideal beach vacation involves staying at a hotel with a beach view. After all, who wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning, walk to the balcony, and see a breathtaking view of the water? Unfortunately, you could easily pay an extra $25 or $50 just to do so. Compare the cost of all hotels, including those located inland. Inland hotels are usually cheaper, but you may get lucky and find a beachfront hotel offering an amazing deal.

Price compare vacation rentals. These may include homes, condos, and apartments. Most are rented by the night, but some may have weekly stay requirements. These types of arrangements are nice if you can find an affordable rental, have a large family, or are taking an extended summer vacation. Eating out gets costly. It is a lot cheaper to make your own food. A private rental gives you a kitchen and everything you need to do so. If you can’t find a cheap vacation rental, consider turning your summer vacation into a double date with another family you know. You can split the cost of a rental.

Price compare all-inclusive resorts. If traveling to a popular vacation destination, like the Caribbean, you may find all-inclusive resorts or travel packages. Most times, the cost of your airfare, room, food, drinks, snacks, tips, and entertainment is included. You will pay more upfront, but you usually get a better value for your money in the end. In fact, some tourists even save money!

If you are driving to your beach destination, pack a lot of food, drinks, and snacks. This will not only save you money on the road, but at your destination too. Popular vacation destinations have traditional grocery stores, but you are likely to find their costs higher than at home. Pack one or two coolers with food, open as little as possible, and refill with ice along the way. If your hotel or vacation rental has a refrigerator, transfer the items when you arrive or else keep on adding ice to the cooler. Yes, this may seem like a big inconvenience, but remember food, snacks, and drinks, are more expensive at popular vacation destinations.

If you are flying to your beach destination or don’t want to go through the hassle of keeping a cooler cooled, you need to proceed with caution. The cost of food, snacks, and drinks can easily add up. When possible, opt for plastic bottles, as opposed to fountain drinks or cans. You can reseal and continue using, preventing waste. If on a budget, mix it up between nice restaurants and fast food establishments. If your hotel offers a free or discounted breakfast to guests, make use of it.

When at a popular beach destination, like Virginia Beach, buying souvenirs can be tricky. Don’t buy them right away. A good approach is to spend your days browsing and make the purchases later. Many tourists who jump the gun and pay $6 for a souvenir shot glass are later surprised to see if for sale for $3 just one block away.

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