5 tips to save on a beach trip
A trip to the beach is the holy grail of vacations for many of us. But while the lifestyle may be simple — just lounging around in nature, relaxing and watching the waves — the cost of that relaxation can get pretty high. Some reports show the average family vacation costs as much as 10 percent of your total income. We think that’s unacceptable, and it kind of negates the whole relaxation thing, too.
Here are some great ways to save money on your next beach trip.
1. Never pay full price for airfare:
Even if you don’t have time to comparison shop for airfare rates, with systems as simple as Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com, there’s no excuse to ever pay full price. Groupon Getaways offer not only great deals, but also 5 percent Cash Back, which really adds up when you’re talking numbers as big as airfare. Booking.com is currently offering up to 50 percent off winter travel, with no booking fees, plus 3 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com. If you’re already a ShopAtHome.com member, all you have to do is navigate to Booking.com from these links. The Cash Back automatically adds up in your account. It’s the easiest money you’ll ever earn.
2. Never pay full price for a hotel, either:
Just like with airfare, you can always find Cash Back for a hotel for your final destination. Also consider booking through HomeAway or another vacation rental property. Hotels also tend to be cheap and some can be pretty fantastic. In addition to searching hotels websites for deals, consider going straight to the source. Get 5% Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com and terrific rate discounts when booking directly through InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.
3. Factor in your ground transportation:
Especially in a warm climate, renting a car can be a waste of money. Look for hotels walking distance to the beach, don’t be afraid to try public transportation or hire a Lyft driver instead of a taxi. You’ll be amazed by how much money you drain on a rental car that sits in a parking garage — often for a fee. ShopAtHome.com is offering a coupon for Lyft: New customers get $20 off their first ride. If you do rent a car, always pick one with Cash Back, like Enterprise, which will give you 2 percent Cash Back and also offers a great selection of coupons.
4. Cook your own meals:
The food costs of a vacation is where the numbers really skyrocket unexpectedly. So when you’re booking a hotel or room, it may be worth it to pay a little extra for one with a kitchenette or full kitchen. Then hit up the grocery store on the first day and plan out your meals for the week, just like you would at home. Allow a few special nights to visit the local restaurants, but don’t rely on someone else to provide your every meal.
5. Carry-on only:
A huge plus side of warm travel is you don’t need to pack a ton of clothes and shoes. Go light and save the $20 to $50 checked bag fee — each way. Instead, invest in a solid carry-on bag that you can use every time you travel for years to come. Pick an expandable bag, so you can accommodate any souvenirs you pick up along the way. eBags offers a wide selection of carry-on options and a whopping 12 percent Cash Back, plus 50 ShopGold points. We recommend the eBags TLS Mother lode Weekender Carry On on sale now for $99.99 plus $12 Cash Back.