If there’s one thing you could do to guarantee a budget-friendly beach vacation, wouldn’t you want to do it? Of course. Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks whenever possible? The secret to planning a budget-friendly beach vacation is easier than you think.
Do you know what that secret is? One word: mindfulness. What is the textbook definition of mindfulness? The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. If you’re not actively thinking about something, then you’re most likely not going to do anything actively to or consciously to achieve it, right? Right.
What do we mean by mindfulness when it comes to your beach vacation planning? Let’s break it down into three easy categories that will guarantee the best budget-friendly beach vacation possible. Your wallet will thank you!
Where You Stay
Being mindful of the money you can save when it comes to accommodations is huge. It’s probably the largest portion of your vacation budget, so it’s best spent wisely.
Vacation rentals offer many advantages over hotel or motel room stays. They’re usually more cost effective, more accommodating, more personalized, and give you more options when it comes to meal planning, sleeping arrangements and amenities. This is especially true if you’re traveling with family and need to accommodate more than two or three people.
Think about what you want and need, then compare your options. Hotels and motels sometimes have hidden fees when it comes to things like parking and internet access. Those types of additional charges can quickly add up and put you over your budget.
Not only do you want to be mindful of the type of accommodation you choose, but also which company you choose to do business with. When it comes to vacation rentals, be sure to select a company with a solid reputation, favorable customer reviews and excellent customer service. Saving money is great, but not at the cost of having a poor vacation experience.
Don’t forget to look at what the vacation rental company has to offer in the area of free stuff and discounts. For example, Plumlee Realty offers Plumlee Perks to its vacation rental guests. Included with your Gulf Beach vacation rental are free bicycle use, free DVDs, free oversized parking for those traveling with a boat or RV, and a free Plumlee travel app. There’s plenty of money to be saved right there, so take advantage and do some research before your stay. Don’t forget to ask if they offer a visitors packet!
Where You Eat
Eating out for every single meal every day of your vacation can get really expensive. The big perk about a vacation rental is its kitchen.
You have the freedom to stay in and enjoy a meal in the comfort of your own vacation-home-away-from-home. It’s often times more convenient, more enjoyable and less expensive than going out. It can also be a fabulous time saver, which is important when you want to get out onto the beach as early and as often as possible. Grab a cup of coffee, toast a bagel, enjoy some fruit and you’re good to go. Or take a lunch break from the beach back at your vacation rental, put together a quick lunch, and get right back out there.
Traveling with kids makes eating out a sometimes challenging endeavor. It’s nice to have the option of staying in and having a laid-back meal during your vacation with little hassle. Vacation rental kitchens make that possible!
Eating out is part of a vacation for many of us, so when you’re mindful about what the local restaurants have to offer, it makes your decision easier—and cheaper. A lot of restaurants offer early bird specials, breakfast buffets, daily dinner and drink specials, etc. Take some time to do a bit of research in advance, and you’ll be able to take advantage of money-saving meals in area restaurants. (If you’re planning a beach vacation on Florida’s Gulf Coast, be sure to check out our local dining recommendations, which offer many of the above-mentioned items.)
Where You Go
As we mentioned earlier, you can find discounts on area attractions and things to do through the rental company you’re working with, via local travel guides and vacation publications, as well as online. Look for coupons or discounted admission tickets for the places and attractions you want to go during your vacation time.
A beach vacation automatically offers a lot of free fun in the sun. The beach is the biggest attraction and offers all of the sun, sand and surf your heart desires—all at no additional cost to you. We all know that the beach is also one of the best kid-friendly things to do ever, so there’s that. Win, win!
If you’ll be vacationing on Florida’s Gulf Coast any time soon, be sure to stop by the Beach Welcome Center. Here you’ll find valuable discounts, coupons and maps for use during your beach vacation, including discounted Busch Gardens Tampa admission. It’s a great local resource with friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to answer all of your Gulf Coast vacation questions.
These are three major areas to be mindful of when planning your next budget-friendly vacation. We hope you find our tips helpful and useful in your vacation planning.
What’s your best tip for vacationing on a budget? We’d love to hear it!