How To Satisfy The Beach Lover & The Vacation Budget
Nothing screams summer more than a relaxing day lying in the sand and swimming in the saltwater. Whether you’re from California or Connecticut, chances are warm weather signals the start of yearly beach adventures. And it seems that this type of summer fun should be a total bargain, right?
Quite the contrary, with sky-high fuel prices, just getting to those oceanside towns can set you back quite a lot. Add on top of that the cost of lodging, parking, and those always-expensive seaside eateries and you’re talking about quite the pricey trip. However, with just a little research, it’s definitely possible to plan a beach getaway (or two!) that won’t completely bust your budget.
So what are the best money-saving techniques? We’ve done a little bit of our own homework and also consulted Anne Banas of SmarterTravelMedia.com for some travel tips and advice on the beach destinations that won’t break the bank.
The Internet is an incredibly valuable resource for all beachgoers. Businesses in these hot, summertime spots know that travelers will be watching every penny this summer. Anne says you can definitely “save by taking advantage of a slew of discounts, as well as gas rebate offers, from area properties, even in popular beach destinations.”
Looking to head down to the Sunshine State this summer? The Fort Myers/Sanibel area website (http://www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/call-in-family) provides a list of area resorts with great discount packages, enabling easy comparisons and even easier savings. In addition, many Florida hotels are throwing in lots of extras like free bike or kayak rentals and complimentary breakfasts to keep the crowds coming.
If you’re planning a trip to the beaches of the Pacific, Anne says check out the San Diego Marriot La Jolla (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-deals/sanlj-san-diego-marriott-la-jolla). From weekend rates starting at just $79/night to Legoland packages to “Family Dollar Days” specials that include tons of extras, there’s something at this Pacific paradise to please everyone.
Visiting Cape Cod (MA) this summer? Check out the Harbor Hotel (formerly Cape Inn) in Provincetown, MA (http://www.harborhotelptown.com). Renamed and renovated, rates start at just $89.
Renting a house or condo instead of staying at a resort is often a more affordable option. It not only helps you save on lodging, but you've got a kitchen, so it makes it easier to avoid those pricey restaurant bills. For those headed to Florida, Anne suggests the Sanibel Arms West Condos (http://www.sanibelarmswest.com/hot-deals.shtml), which also offers gas rebates for certain stays. No matter what your destination, search for recently renovated or reopened properties because they often offer special savings to bring in guests.
Need help getting to your fabulous bargain beach? Anne says Spirit has some fantastic specials, with flights starting at just $9 (not including taxes and fees) to some of the most popular seaside destinations. (Here's more info). JetBlue and regional carrier Porter Airlines are also offering similar summer sales to vacation hotspots.
In addition to scouring the Internet for awesome deals, it’s also a good idea to keep your travel dates a little flexible, if possible. Heading down to the beach midweek or on an off weekend can help to keep costs down.
Whether you’re looking at the Atlantic or the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico or Cape Cod, there’s sure to be a beautiful and budget-friendly beach destination out there that's perfect for you!