At the Beach — February 13, 2015 at 5:00 am

6 Ways To Take a Surprisingly Affordable Beach Vacation

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©istockphoto/PeopleImages

©istockphoto/PeopleImages

Who doesn’t dream of escaping for a few days of fun in the sun? With our tips and tricks to escaping without breaking the bank, dreams might just come true. From accommodations to destinations, we’ve got you covered on how to get away without going broke. Now, get packing!

Aim For The Off Times
While winter tends to be the season during which most people plan their tropical escapes, it is possible to schedule your getaway for a time that’s less popular than others. Generally speaking, airfare and accommodation rates tend to skyrocket when people are most likely to travel, so try to avoid booking your getaway during holidays or other potentially popular times like school breaks or long weekends. If you haven’t got your finger on the education system’s schedule, it’s worth doing a little research. Especially if you want to avoid sharing the pool with 200 spring breakers and their closest friends.

Stay Off Site
All-inclusive resorts or onsite hotels at theme parks are tempting and for good reason. They offer convenience, take away a lot of guesswork, and are designed to ensure that your holiday experience is as effortless as possible. Unfortunately, all of that tends to come with a (usually high) price. If you aren’t married to the idea of being as close to the action as possible, consider looking into vacation condos or other rentals that are a little further off the beaten path. Typically you’ll save a bundle and you often get the luxury of having multiple rooms, your own kitchen, and other home-like amenities. That being said, no amount of money saved is worth your safety so be sure to do a little investigating ahead of time to ensure that the area you’re looking into is considered hospitable to tourists.

Prioritize Your Excursions
Zip lining, eco-tours, all-day boat cruises… there’s no shortage of excursions offered to eager travelers exploring most beachy locales. While forfeiting the lounge chair in favor of an adventure is enticing, it can also become prohibitively expensive incredibly fast. Before flying out, spend some time comparing packages offered by local tour companies and decide what you consider a must-do versus a like-to. Avoid making game time decisions as they usually cost a lot more than something you’ve booked ahead of time. The parasailing trip offered to you by a convincing salesperson on the beach may sound like the time of your life but it won’t come cheap. Avoid temptation and stick to your predetermined list of activities, both you and your wallet will be better for it.

Don’t Forget The Essentials
It sounds trivial but forgetting key beach items can end up becoming incredibly costly. If you’re planning on staying at a resort, be absolutely certain that you pack everything that you need as far as toiletries, sun protection, and other similar gear is concerned, otherwise get ready for some major sticker shock. Bottles of sunscreen can cost up to $20.00 but when you’re desperate, what other choice do you have? So avoid the trauma of spending the equivalent of meal out on a tube of toothpaste and go over your packing list before heading out.

Explore Options Closer To Home
You don’t need to leave the country to get a hefty dose of Vitamin D. Staying within national borders means saving considerable dough on things like airfare, travel insurance, roaming packages, and currency conversion. Plus, travel time is often shorter (unless you’re crossing the country, of course) and there’s less time spent in airports dealing with customs and all other types of frustrations that take away from precious beach time.

Pack Light
You’re heading to the beach, how much do you really need? Not only does taking a minimalist approach to holiday packing make for easier travel, it cuts down on a lot of money as far as checking baggage is concerned. Nowadays, a lot of airlines charge for extra suitcases so be sure to check which policies will apply to you before departure. Avoid over sized baggage, limit yourself to one bag, and if you’re feeling extra motivated, see if you can fit everything into a carry on.

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