It’s that time of the year! Time to plan your Family Vacation and if you are looking for tips on How to Save Money on a Beach Vacation I have a few ideas to help you out!
Each summer my family on my Husband’s side takes a beach trip, these can get expensive quick but here are a few ideas we use to save money that can really add up!
10 Ways to Save Money on a Beach Vacation
1. Change your Travel Dates
If you have flexible travel dates check the price of different weeks. We have found that typically holiday weekends or weeks are more expensive (4th of July, Memorial Day, etc.) and typically the earlier weeks or later weeks in the summer are less expensive. There is a HUGE difference between different weeks so you will want to check the price for multiple weeks to find the best deals!
2. Rent Directly from the Owner
One of the things we love to do is use Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO.com) to purchase our Vacation Rental. You can typically find individuals who are listing their properties for rent near the beach, this is a great way to get more space for less cost. We have a large family so it’s also nice for us to all be in one location with shared common areas so this is our preference when we travel. You can also find individual condos using the same website. Click Here to Start Searching!
3. Plan your Menu & Meals ahead of time
Food can be one of the most expensive parts of a vacation, by booking a condo or house with a kitchen you can save a lot of money eating in vs. eating out every meal. We typically assign each family a night to cook and then we have 2-3 nights where we eat dinner out at a restaurant but we cook almost all of our lunches and breakfasts at the house. If you plan your menu before hand you’ll know exactly what items you need and how many meals you’ll be cooking in.
4. Bring Food/Drinks/Snacks from home
I typically start stockpiling items about 2-3 months early so I can get the best prices. I have found that even stores like Walmart are expensive in Beach Towns so if you can bring your own Bottled Water, Soft Drinks, Juice Boxes, Cereal, Chips, etc. and anything else you can buy at home and bring with you then you can save a lot of money! I think last time I figured the prices were almost double at the grocery store by the beach compared to what I paid shopping on sale and using coupons ahead of time. That’s a huge savings!!! Another quick tip, items like Lemonade that can be made in a pitcher can save a LOT of money over pre-packaged drinks so plan ahead and bring a pitcher with you for items like this.
5. Bring Your Own Beach Toys
My kids ALWAYS want to buy new shiny beach toys from those souvenir shops that are way over priced, so I have found that sometimes just buying a couple new things at Walmart or the Dollar Tree before we leave and not letting them play with them until we arrive at the beach saves us so much money! I also like to bring my own beach chairs, etc. so we don’t have to rent anything once we arrive. Another option if you don’t have the space to bring everything is to look for a House or Condo that supplies items like this. Last year we had a house that had several chairs in the garage guests could use.
6. Set a Budget
I know this seems obvious but I believe it’s so important to set a budget not just at home, but also on Vacations! I like to divide our budget out by days and put each day in an envelope, that way we don’t run out of money before the end of the week. It’s also easy to blow all your money in the first few days then overspend once you have already gone over budget so dividing this up by days helps everyone stay accountable.
7. Travel with Friends or Family
You can often combine your vacation with friends and family and split a lot of the costs of rentals, etc. plus when you have other people to hang out with at the condo you are less likely to feel like you need to entertain yourself with expensive activities. I find we go to the movies, bowling, mini-golf, etc. a lot less when we are enjoying spending time with family at the condo playing games and watching movies! Having someone else traveling with you will make it seem like a vacation even if you aren’t out spending money!
8. Use Social Buying Sites
One of the ways we save money on vacations is by using sites like Groupon or Living Social to plan and book activities. These sites typically offer local deals so you can search for deals in the area you will be visiting. This is a great way to save on theme parks, restaurants and more. Groupon, and Amazon Local are my 2 favorites!
9. Pack Snacks for your Road Trip
Can I just be honest and say that I LOVE Snacks from the Gas Station :) Something about traveling makes me want a Snickers, but I don’t want to pay $1.50 at a Gas Station when I can frequently get these for just $0.29 at Walgreens :) I always stock up on snacks for the car ride before we leave, I can stockpile things like candy bars, Chex Mix, fruit snacks and other treats to keep the kids happy and keep us out of the Gas Station! That way we are only stopping for Gas!
10. Use a Gas Finder App
If you are traveling by car finding the least expensive gas station can save you a lot of money! You can use an app like GasBuddy to find the lowest prices on gas while you are traveling, this is great because it’s often hard to know when and where to stop when you start running low on gas, this will help you find the best location in your area.
Also, don’t miss out on this post on Finding Airline Flights at the Best Price if you are planning on flying this summer!