How To Plan a Budget Friendly Family Beach Vacation
Planning a budget friendly family beach vacation doesn’t have to be a downer. When you have little ones making sure that you stick to a budget is essential and so is planning the perfect family vacation. Taking a vacation to the beach can be not only affordable but also very fun and a great time to teach your children more about the world. You can master planning a budget friendly family beach vacation, you’ll just need to put in a bit of planning and you can easily have an amazing experience your kids will remember.
Sticking to Your Budget While on Vacation
The first thing you’re going to need to remember is that planning a budget vacation isn’t just about picking the cheapest hotels and finding the best deals, although that does help. My favorite site to find these cheap deals is booking.com by the way, but there are a variety of great travel booking sites you can use. You’ll want to also make sure that the activities that you plan to do once you get to the beach don’t break the bank. I’ve loaded this post with some awesome ideas for activities you can enjoy with the family that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Remember, the beach is a majestic and inspiring place. Children who visit for the first time may be a bit frightened or they might jump right in and enjoy all the fun. Either way, you can take the opportunity to teach your children more about the environment and teach them how to find neat items along the shore.
Decide on a Destination and Travel Options
The first part of planning your budget vacation will be deciding on the perfect destination. Start by making a list of places that you want to go. You’ll want to have a variety of options because you might start looking through sites and find out that the place you thought you wanted is in super high demand and you’ll want a cheaper option nearby. Sometimes picking a less popular beach near the one you are looking for can save you a ton of money when you are booking your vacation. Pick how you want to get there, do you want to drive or fly. If you decide to fly you’ll likely have to rent a car when you arrive so you want to make sure that you factor in the cost of car rental. You might also decide that you just want to use a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft and minimize the time you spend driving around on vacation. If you opt for ridesharing you’ll want to make sure that your hotel is close enough to the beach that you won’t need to spend too much on ridesharing services.
Decide How Much You Can Spend
Make sure you know how much you’re comfortable with spending and make a budget. Sticking with your budget throughout the planning process will help ensure that you don’t spend too much or get your heart set on a place that is out of your price range. There are alot of marvelous places and beaches to visit all over the world, but you’ll need a budget to make sure you don’t overspend.
If your struggling with too much credit card debt or think that you can’t take a family vacation you might want to consider getting some help with your credit from a company like Credit Assistance Network and once you’ve improved your credit health you’ll be able to take a better vacation that you initially thought.
Find Deals Online and Lock in Prices Early
When you are planning a budget beach vacation you’ll really want to keep your eye out for the best deals. Check travel and booking sites and make sure to keep your eye out for great vacation rentals. There are benefits of staying in resorts, such as easy access to pools and free breakfasts, and good wifi service. Create a savings plan so you can take your perfect vacation.
Use a rebate site, such as Mr.Rebates to get money back on purchases you’ll make for your vacation. You can score cashback on purchases like swimsuits, clothing, travel items, and much more when you get an account and do your shopping for your vacation with a rebate site.
You can also plan out your grocery budget for items you might use while on vacation and use a cash back app like Ibotta to get some cashback from groceries you buy for your vacation.
There’s a ton of places to search for deals and ways you can earn some extra cash so you can take the beach vacation of your dreams without breaking your budget.
Best US Beaches for Families and Kids
- Seaside, South Walton, FL
- Tybee Island, GA
- Saint Augustine Beach, FL
- South Padre Island, TX
- Coligny Beach, Hilton Head, SC
- Coronado Central Beach, San Diego, CA
Fun at the Beach
When planing a budget friendly family beach vacation, you’ll need a list of amazing ideas for family fun once you arrive. Here are some foolproof activities in mind to keep the children engaged all day to ward off boredom. Be sure to bring a basket or bag for all the goodies your child may find along the beach to bring home with them. Another thing to remember is the shovels and scoopers you’ll need to help your baby play in the sand. You can get in on the action too or just sit back and watch your kids have a ball.
Activities for little explorers:
Seashells come in all shapes and sizes. Just walking along the beach where the tide rolls in can net you lots of pretty shells. You can also hunt in the shallow area near at the water’s edge for more.
If your child is like most children you will have to help them sort through and choose the best shells to take home otherwise you may need a truck to carry them all. Teach them how to inspect the shells for defects, make groupings by color or shape, and even plan how to display them creatively at home.
The beach is a wonderful place to go rock collecting. Many rocks along the beach will be smooth from years and years of rolling through the tides which makes for easy collecting for little ones. You will find many types of rocks on the beach – agates, jaspers, quartz, jadeite among many others. You could even get lucky enough to find fossils among the rocks as well.
Some of these rocks are very beautiful just as you find them. But, if you choose to take them home to clean them up or put them through a rock polisher your child will be amazed at how truly beautiful their finds are.
Plus you can help your child start their very own rock collection and learn more about gems, rocks, quartz, and stone. I had a rock collection when I was little and I’m pretty sure it’s what inspired me to get a job in the Physics & Geology Department at my College as a Teacher’s Assistant.
It seemed sorta dorky when I was little to have a rock collection, but I ended up winning a lot of awards in high school in the science department and even working for the head of my colleges Physics department, all because I was interested in science.
You can add the rocks from a rock collection to buckets to make playtime more fun for your children and let them search for jewels in the sand! Just make sure that you don’t rocks that could be a choking hazard.
I think it’s important to start kids out when they’re younger in getting an interest in Science and it will continue when they get older.
You can teach your child a ton about the animals that live in the ocean by pointing out the crabs along the shoreline and reading stories about fish while you’re on a family vacation. One of my favorite children’s book is Rainbow Fish. I love the message of this book, it’s definitely a MUST to bring along on a family trip.
The tides rolling in and out bring in lots of gifts from the sea that are deposited on the beach every day, such as sea glass, tropical seeds or fossils. Make it your mission for you and your children to find some treasures on the beach to take home.
Another fun thing to do after you get home is to make a keepsake out of the things you found. A few ideas to get you started are:
- attach all your finds to a canvas to make a wall hanging
- make a treasure box
- add your items to a net tied at the top
Most beaches have hordes of people visiting all summer long which makes for great treasure hunting with metal detectors. Older children who have the patience will be the best suited for this type of activity.
Making Sand Castles
Bring buckets, molds, and shovels to create the ultimate sand castles. You can even invite other children to work with your child to build a large community of castles with trenches, moats, and towers. The kids will love it and your child may make some new friends too.
A day at the beach is more than just swimming and sunbathing. With a little creativity, you can turn your beach trip into an exciting adventure – and even add a few “teachable moments” to your weekend.
Beach Reading for Mommas
Raising kids is awesome. They can make you laugh with their hilariousness. They can make you melt with their cuteness. They can inspire you with their kindness.
But raising kids is also really hard.
Between temper tantrums, the constant noise and mess, teaching them all the life skills they’ll need as adults, and continually wondering whether we’re screwing it all up… well, it can actually be one of the hardest things we’ve ever done.
If you’ve ever had conflicting feelings about parenting, I have something for you, and you can read through these products on your next summer trip or while laying by the pool:
It’s a collection of 35 eBooks, 23 printables, 10 eCourses, 9 workbooks, 2 audios, and 1 membership site, designed to help you:
- Become a kinder, more intentional parent
- Choose consequences that are more effective
- Raise kids you actually (ahem!) like and want to hang out with
- Find healthy ways to release your frustration
- Eliminate the “gimmes” and teach them to serve others
- Plus, so much more!
Activities for Adults
Plan a few romantic ideas for the adults and make sure that you have comfortable accommodations so that you can enjoy your vacation too. Call ahead of time and make sure that your hotel or condo has amenities that the adults will enjoy such as wifi, coffee, a patio and Television with video streaming. Not all of these are essential but if they are something you’d miss, then make sure that the hotel has them!
Planning your vacation will be easier than you think.
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