Are you planning a family vacation to the beach, but feel limited because you are on a budget? Don’t worry. Here are some simple summer savings tips for taking a great and cheap beach vacation. Try these 11 ways to save money on your next beach vacation.
This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law. Please know that all opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed.
Avoid peak season
June, July, and early August are definitely peak season when it comes to going to the beach. If you don’t mind waiting until later in the season, you can still have an awesome beach vacation that will save you some money and may be a little less crowded. With school starting back in early to mid-August in many states, you may see a drop in prices even starting in late August. Depending on what beach you are planning to visit, you can still find warm enough waters for swimming even into early autumn.
Related post: Fun in the Sun at Marco Island
Check out last-minute deals
If you don’t have your heart set on a specific location and have flexibility with your schedule, you can check out last-minute deals from airlines or travel websites, and may be able to take advantage of great savings for a spontaneous trip. Hotels and airlines want to fill every room at the resort or every seat on an airplane—and that can mean giving a deep discount to get those last few spots filled. You can sign up to receive email or text notification on deals from hotel chains, airlines, or even specific airports to find out when last-minute deals are available.
Go off the beaten path
Staying at the five-star oceanfront resort at a popular beach destination is going to cost you a pretty penny. If you are willing to stay at a hotel a couple of miles from the action, you will still be close to all the tourist attractions, but you will save big-time money! Of course, you have to be willing to give up the ocean view room and be willing to walk a little more…
Take beach necessities with you
Don’t fall into the tourist trap money pit when it comes to buying vacation necessities. When you are planning to go to the beach, make sure that you buy things ahead of time that you know you will need, such as: sunglasses, sun screen, beach towels, sand buckets and shovels, arm floaties for your kids, and boogie boards for riding the waves. And don’t forget to take a little first aid bag too with antibiotic ointment, waterproof bandages, and some ibuprofen. While these aren’t “beach” necessities, you may find that you need them. These things will all be much cheaper at your local discount store rather than buying them at the hotel gift shop or souvenir shop at the beach, where you can expect to pay a premium.
Bring a cooler with you
When planning your day at the beach, make sure you take plenty of drinks, snacks, and even lunch with you. Like any tourist area, you will definitely pay a little extra for drinks and food—and if you are buying food and drinks for the entire family all day, that could really add up. Besides saving money, it is really nice to have somewhere to store your drinks and snacks to keep them cold when you are out in the hot sun all day.
Pack your own chairs and umbrella
It really can be just as expensive to rent chairs and an umbrella for the day as it is to just buy them, and then you will have them available every time you go to the beach. Make sure to buy chairs that are functional at the beach, as well as ones that can be used for camping, taking to sporting events, or even just in your own back yard for relaxing.
Use a mesh laundry bag for toys and forgo the expensive tote
While an oversized tote can make a very fashionable beach bag, you will save money if you just bring all your beach necessities in a mesh laundry bag…and it is practical too. If you are bringing things like toys for the kids or collecting seashells, just toss them back in the mesh bag at the end of the day and the sand will all fall out rather than gathering in the bottom of your tote.
Visit chamber of commerce or visitor’s bureau website
Want to know about all the local tips and tricks? These websites will offer a plethora of information when it comes to local events, discounts, activities, entertainment, and attractions. Each city wants to promote the very best of what they have to offer—and talking with the professionals at these local agencies will give you a lot of insight. You may even be able to find some hidden gems that truly showcase the local flair.
Look for coupons
Websites such as Groupon offers deals on restaurants, entertainment, goods, and services… almost anything that you are looking for! So if you are planning on visiting a beach, take a quick look at some of the local offers for whatever area you will be vacationing. For savings on beach activities, just enter in your location and search for anything that you might be interested in, such as a dolphin cruise, paddle boarding, or surfing lessons. Of course, you will probably be able to find deals on hotels and local restaurants here too.
Don’t forget to ask for discounts
Many hotels, restaurants, and attractions will offer discounts for certain groups, such as: AAA, senior citizen, military/veteran, teachers, or corporate. Even if you don’t know which discount to ask for specifically, you can ask about discounts that they offer and they can work with you to figure out which discount would give you the best deal. If possible ask about these ahead of time. To qualify for most discounts you need to present verification, so make sure to pack your identification, badge, or membership card.
Notify your credit card companies
Calling your credit card company can make your vacation go much smoother. The last thing that you want to happen is to find out that there is a stop on your credit card because your account has been flagged for possible fraudulent activity—especially if you plan on using a specific credit card to redeem points toward travel purchases. Of course, hopefully you are already monitoring and tracking your credit, but taking this extra step will ensure that your credit cards will work just fine while you are on vacation—and allow you to save a little bit extra.