How to Plan Budget-Friendly Beach Vacations

You’re trying to stick to a budget this summer. But you find yourself aching for a beach vacation when you see all those pictures of friends’ sunset getaways on Facebook. Well ache no more. You don’t have to completely give up lying on the beach this summer just because you’re traveling on a budget. There are plenty of ways to save money and plan a sandy getaway. There are also plenty of inexpensive accommodations on the beach. Here’s a guide to finding the perfect budget-friendly rooms, B&Bs, hotels, and accommodations.

Before getting too frugal, lets talk about your options. If you’re looking for a long-term investment – something you can come back to every summer – think about timeshares or building your own beach house. Bluegreen resorts and timeshares are good options if you know you’re going to spend a lot of time traveling to the beach, and will need multiple, shorter vacations throughout the year.

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Image source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bQkBtSCqT_g/TxYds5fmHaI/AAAAAAAABWI/W8jtaJF9pvk/s1600/beach.jpg

You can also consider vacations rentals. Browse Craigslist for anyone who might be renting their beach houses at the time and place you happen to be traveling. This may be a good choice if you have more flexibility in your schedule and can pick dates when people are renting. VRBO, Vacation Rentals By Owner, provide an extensive database of these listings.

If you’re looking for something short term and more frugal, be sure not to overlook bargain alternatives to hotel rooms. These options can be found in the form of B&Bs at Airbnb. Or you can browse flats at iStopOver (now called 9flats). If you’re on an even stricter budget, you can use social media tools such as Couchsurfing, Hospitality Club, and GlobalFreeloaders to stay in the spare rooms and on the spare couches of hosting locals.

If none of the directions are suitable for you and your group, you can always go for an old-fashioned bargain hotel at a budget-friendly beach. For example, an inexpensive alternative to the Miami Beach area is the Florida Panhandle. One budget-friendly alternative to Cape Cod would be Rhode Island’s South County. Finally, you can find very nice, far less expensive motels, cottages, and B&Bs at Huntington Beach in California. Huntington provides an affordable substitute to staying in swanky Santa Monica hotels.

Once you’ve made it to the beach, you’ll want to manage your funds during the trip as well. To save on transportation, try using Roadify to get all the information on any available public transportation. You can also post where and when you need a ride on social carpooling sites like PickupPal.

At this point, you’ve managed to plan a pretty frugal beach vacation. However, you may get the urge to explore the local area outside just the sandy beach coast. But tours cost a lot of money. At least, tours by professional tour guides cost a lot of money. But if you arrange a tour with a local at Vayable, you can save significantly. Plus, you’ll learn more unique tidbits from a local.

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Image source: http://www.denegecreates.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Denege-Tour-Guide.jpg

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