School is in its last week and that means that family vacations will be coming up for many of us. If you are planning on going to the beach, by now you will have already secured your beach accommodations. This is the part that eats up the majority of your budget. Many ways to save money is to start early looking online at the different rental agencies.
One site I highly recommend is VRBO. (Vacation Rental By Owner) You can put in what location you would like to visit and then you can fill in the filter by guests, rooms, amenities and so on. Beach side and beach view tend to be more expensive so if that is not something that is important, you can shave off just a bit by staying at a place that may be just across the street from the beach.
Another way to save a significant amount is by going in with another family to half the expenses. This was something my family did many times. We would share a condo and split the cost of the room and then also split the grocery expenses and ended up saving a good bit. This can also be fun when there are children who are close to the same age. It allows the adults to hang out and have fun together while all of the kids enjoy each others company. Although many people prefer to eat out while on vacation, this can end up being costly.
A vacation is a time to sit back and relax but when you come up with a menu that entails very little cook time, this can also be a big money saver. I am not saying don’t ever eat out but plan on eating out a few nights as well as cooking a few meals in. Another money saving tip….when you do eat out, go out for lunch instead of dinner. The lunch menu most often will be cheaper and this will allow you to spend more money elsewhere like on souvenirs before heading home. Make your menu before heading down and plan your meals. For instance, if you grill out hamburgers and hot dogs one evening, make enough so that you have leftovers and you’ve got lunch covered the next day. This covers two meals while only cooking one time.
Most condos have their own grills and this is a great way to eat good but also save money while not eating up your beach time by having to go up to get ready. And if you are real smart you can keep a watch while others are grilling and time it just right where you can jump right in there after they pull their items off the grill and have a hot grill ready for you to throw yours on. This saves you money by utilizing their hot coals. This may not happen every time you decide to grill but there’s a very high chance that it might.
Also, check beforehand about the inclusion of beach chairs during your stay. Many times the owners will have a standing reservation that is complimentary to their guests. This will save you space by not having to take as many, if any, beach chairs. I am a natural planner and I like to try and take advantage of as much beach time as possible so my routine looks something like this……the car is packed and ready to go the night before so that the next morning we just have to jump up, get ready and head out. When we arrive we almost always have to wait to check in so we utilize that time to get our big grocery run out of the way.(This is why you will need to make out your weekly menu and grocery list) There will most certainly have to be a midweek run back to the grocery store but this will be to replenish the beer, snacks and water.
Once we finish up at the grocery store our room is usually ready for us to check in. For the most part this day is a wash with the drive down there and the grocery shopping but by that evening you are unpacked, the fridge and pantry are full and the beers are on ice. Now you can relax, unwind and sit out on your balcony listening to the breeze as you put back a few and look forward to the nice relaxing week ahead.
You have worked hard all year so clear your mind, recharge your battery and make lasting memories with your family! Do you have any other helpful tips for a beach vacation, if so please share!!