Heading to the beach for the weekend is a dream for many people. It’s hard to beat the combination of time off, warm sun, and cool ocean water. That’s why you’ve been mulling over a family vacation to the beach.
Then reality sets in. Even if you went for just the weekend, it can be expensive — and there are so many other reasons to save money. However, there are ways to take a weekend beach getaway on a budget. Your first task is to find a cheaper way of getting to the beach.
Getting There Is Half The Cost
Most Americans do not live near the shore. That means flights are often the best (or only) way to get there. However, buying airline tickets for your family doesn’t have to break the bank. For example, the site realsimple.com shows that airlines frequently change their prices. In other words, don’t panic if you look now and airfare is high. Wait a while and check again, and those prices can easily be much more affordable.
Check different airline’s websites for deals on frequent flyer miles. Sometimes, you can earn free miles just by shopping at the right store.
Apply for an airline’s credit cards. Many feature free miles for using the card for purchases. If you can pay monthly bills like rent or car payments on that card, you can soon get a free ticket.
You can sign up for shared sites like Couchsurfing.com or AirBnB. Have a few guests overnight and you can earn favors (or even money) to pay for the trip.
Budget-Friendly Hotels & Rentals
You know how your family is getting to the beach. That’s an important step, but once you get there, where are you going to stay?
There are ways to save money on hotels and other places to stay, and it’s more than just checking an online travel site. NerdWallet lists some tips for finding cheaper hotel rooms, such as:
Skip a hotel’s website and call them directly. Often times, you can get better prices or even upgrades by speaking to a real person.
When you call, mention any prices you’ve found on travel sites like Hotels.com. Some hotels can match or beat those prices.
Instead of staying right on the beach, look for vacation homes a short drive from the beach. This can save you a lot of money for very little hassle.
Speaking of vacation rentals, hotels aren’t your only option. Renting a house or apartment directly from the owners often decreases your costs. You also have access to a kitchen so you can save money on meals as well.
Two Great Ideas For Beaches
Now that you know how to save money on staying near the beach, where exactly should you go? That depends on travel prices and where you live, but if you want a relaxing time for the family, skip popular destinations like Daytona Beach, FL. Such towns have a lot of demand from travelers, so their prices can be higher.
Two great places to consider include Destin, FL and Gulf Shores, AL.
Destin, FL is a great beach town. There are many things to do, but you can also just relax at the beach and enjoy being near the ocean. There are also many affordable vacation rentals, so do your research on an online rental comparison site before heading out.
Gulf Shores, AL is one of those “hidden gems” you’ve heard about. It’s a great place for families, and there are plenty of activities for everyone in your family.
A Weekend Beach Getaway Is Possible
It would be nice to spend a whole week at the beach, but that’s hard to schedule given school and work. That’s why a weekend getaway to the beach is such a great idea. You can do this on a budget by finding the right flights, getting discounts on hotels, and picking a budget-friendly destination like Destin, FL. Doesn’t your family deserve some quality time together?
Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. He believes travel can change you, and good health preserves you. He combines both in his work on FitWellTraveler.