5 Cheap Beach Vacation Ideas
As summer reaches its halfway point, many of us “haven’t gotten around to” planning or taking a beach vacation this year. For some, it’s their inability to “escape” from work or their own business. For others — many, many others — it all comes down to one thing: money.
The beach is beckoning you to come and play. (It sounds like when you hold a seashell to your ear.)
What can you really do? Ignore the pleas of the seashore? Tell your kids that the beach is closed this year? Convince yourself that too much sun exposure will make you stupid?
Nope. You have to suck it up and book that vacation. Now, let’s get to it. The following 5 cheap beach vacation ideas should get you moving in the right direction.
1. Book your trip for the shoulder season. Yes, September and October are great times for a trip. Sadly, if you have children, you may have to leave them with the grandparents or sign them out of school for a week. (Have you considered home schooling to avoid these problems?)
If you’re planning a trip to the beaches of Europe, for instance, July and August are “gawdawful” as my New Yorker friend likes to say. Like clockwork, all of the European tourists exit the beaches at the end of August, despite the continued sunshine and high temperatures. That leave you, a handful of Canadians, and some Aussies and Kiwis who are tired of winter down under to share the beach.
2. Book a hotel off the beach. Yes, staying inland somewhat defeats the purpose of taking a beach vacation, but it can be a. cheaper, and b. quieter. Even staying as close as a mile from the beach can save you up to 50% over a beachfront resort. If you opt for a spot further inland you may find that they offer shuttle service to the beach or bike loans/rentals.
So there you have 5 cheap beach vacation ideas. Just using these tips I’ve provided, you could take the vacation of a lifetime for a lot less money.
3. Don’t go to the popular beach, go to the one next door. What I mean by that is if you were looking at Cancun or Playa del Carmen in Mexico, maybe you should check the map and stay in Tulum instead. Closer to where I grew up, we used to opt out of Ocean City, Maryland, and go to Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, just up the road a bit.
The reasons for this are obvious. These places that aren’t as built up or popular are likely to have friendlier locals, lower prices, and cleaner beaches. And don’t worry — in another decade, they will be popular, too, so go while it’s still relatively unknown.
Take the opportunity to explore the smaller, lesser known beach area. If you clicked the link above for Tulum, you will see on its Wikipedia page that it actually has Mayan ruins ON THE BEACHFRONT! How cool is that? (I don’t guarantee any Mayan ruins near Rehobeth Beach.)
4. ASK for a discount. Yep, just ask. You’ll be surprised at what you can get when you combine a few of the tips above with ASKING for a discount. The shoulder and off seasons are hard for hotels and resorts to fill up, so ask for a better price AFTER you ask for all the things you really want (beach view, pool view, jacuzzi, etc.). The worst thing they can do is say no, so it’s best to have quotes from other websites ready or from other resorts. This will give you leverage and the person making the booking will ultimately prefer to have a room filled than not.
The fifth of my cheap beach vacation ideas is easily my favorite and it’s how I start all of my vacation planning anymore.
5. Rent a house, not a hotel room. Yes, with sites like AirBnb, flipkey.com and gitesdefrance, you can find an apartment, house, or room for much lower rates than the resorts offer. I stayed in a 17th century pallazzo in Florence with two other people for $100 a night! Think about it — people who own beach houses or who live at the beach welcome an excuse to get away for a week or two, and if they can put some money in their pocket in the process, why the heck not?
The downside is that you don’t have the extras that hotels offer, like having them make your bed, change your towels, turn down service, and the occasional mint on your pillow. Is that stuff really worth paying nearly double? Your call.
So there you have 5 cheap beach vacation ideas. Just using these tips I’ve provided, you could take the vacation of a lifetime for a lot less money. And I’m not talking about a 10% or 20% savings. Seriously, you could save 50% or more on the low end.
Now get to it, and don’t forget to start your planning by signing up for our exclusive vacation discount club by clicking the link on this page. Start saving even more today.