Saving tricks for top 5 summer travel destinations
Thanks to HomeAway for sponsoring this post
It’s that time of year to go into all-out vacation planning mode. School will be soon be out for summer and you’ve got some paid time off banked for a memorable vacation. But before you start searching for traditional hotels, consider a vacation rental instead — you’ll save big bucks (read: you can stretch the vacation longer), plus there are plenty of charming rentals that will make you feel right at home. (Oh, and many rentals allow you to bring Fido, saving you money on pet sitting services. Plus, it will feel like a true family vacation with your four-legged friend included).
We’ve teamed with HomeAway, a vacation rental service, to find the best ways to save on summer’s top travel destinations. Consider this: A three bedroom, two bath vacation rental costs an average of $217 per night, which averages about $36 per person, per night. Compare that to a single hotel room that averages $120 dollars per night, plus you’re racking up fees for valet parking, dining, and in-room entertainment.
With the help HomeAway, we’ve rounded up summer’s best travel destinations, with customized tips on how to save. Plus, when you book your HomeAway, VacationRentals.com, or VRBO rental with ShopAtHome.com, you’ll get Cash Back. (Go ahead, put that in your ice cream fund).
With 125 miles of beaches and rentals perched on the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll want to keep coming back to this vacation hotspot every year. Hop on a bike and peddle between the famous beach towns that dot this region. Each have their own personality, making each day of your vacation a little bit different. Catch some waves on a surfboard on Hatteras Island and shop the boutiques in Rodanthe. A definite must-do to put on your vacation schedule: Watch wild mustangs gallop along the shore at Cape Lookout National Seashore.
Pro savings tip: Ditch the rental car and save money by renting a HomeAway oceanfront beach house or bungalow. This getaway is best done without a car anyway, because you can get around via ferries and with low-cost beach cruiser bikes.
Another Atlantic Ocean coastal gem, Ocean City will be a hit with the whole family. Spend the day relaxing on the beach and then, come dusk, wander up to the famous boardwalk, lined with restaurants and shops. On the southern end of the boardwalk, you’ll find Trimper’s Rides, a theme park with ferris wheels and coasters. For some natural adventures, rent a kayak or paddle board and explore the ocean.
Pro savings tip: One thing we love about vacation rentals is you can trim down your vacation tab by enjoying meals at home, yet still get some local flavors. Eat like locals by heading to a nearby fish market and bring back a catch of the day to grill and serve to your family.
With sixty miles of beaches, you’re guaranteed some fun in the sun here. But this beach town is also a great getaway for golf courses. (Golf lovers, rejoice, there’s more than 90 courses in this coastal community, and many of them are low-cost). Or, cast your line from one of the wooden piers, like Apache Pier or Springmaid Pier.
Pro savings tip: Round up a group of friends for an epic golf getaway or extend invites to your larger family. The great thing about vacation rentals, is you can all be under the same roof, but have privacy of your own rooms. Check out VacationRentals.com for condos and houses on the beach. (They come with complimentary sunsets over the ocean).
4. Destin, Florida:
Tourists make the pilgrimage to this beach city for the emerald green waters, fresh seafood, dolphin tours, and epic fishing. Okaloosa County is well-known for being a paradise for fishers, who reel in red snapper, white trout, and blue marlin.
Pro savings tip: You’ll find plenty of great rental vacation catches on VRBO that are perfectly suited for your whole family. (We’re betting your kiddos will love all of the rentals that come with backyard pools, too).
Cape Cod is a quintessential summer getaway. Serene beaches, lighthouses, delicious seafood all set the perfect tone for summer. Take a morning jog along the beach and you just might catch some whales or seals playing peek-a-boo with you. Sure, there’s nearly 560 miles of beaches to keep you captivated in Cape Cod. But also make some time to explore the renowned art galleries and shops. Provincetown is famously America’s oldest active art colony.
Pro savings tip: Make a trip to a local farmer’s market and stock up your vacation rental with fruits, veggies and other staples. You’ll be surprised by how much you can save by eating breakfasts and lunches at your rental.