How to Plan a Perfect Beach Trip (on a Budget)

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  1. Pick the right time to travel, if possible a low season.
  2. Choose free activities and try to cook your own food.
  3. Try using local transportation or car sharing apps.


Spending time with family or friends at the beach always sounds like a good idea. You can never go wrong with shade, refreshments, and the sound of the sea. If this sounds like a great trip to you, we have a few tips to make your planning — and budget — much easier.


Timing is essential

The time of your trip will determine how enjoyable and how crowded your beach destination will be. Basically, there are two main seasons in which we seek the beach as our destination: during the heat of the summer or running from the cold of the winter. A less popular option is during the fall. Let’s talk about all of them.



The summer is everyone’s main vacation season, the heat arrives and there is no way we stay inside. It is time to hit the beach and enjoy the sun. One of the issues about it is the extreme heat, which can be a little exhausting and requires some extra caution about hydration and skin protection. Another is that, as it is the traditional vacation time, it is likely the beach will be very crowded, and that impacts tickets prices and accommodations. Despite the downside, it really is a great time to hit the coast and enjoy the ocean. 



This is the time where we are all Olaf — if you are a parent you will know — desperately in need of sunshine. It is very common for northerners to migrate south during the cold months. This is also a high season when traveling to the coast, so prices may also be a little higher than expected, but it can be less crowded as it is enjoyed mostly by the northern population.  


The fall is a tricky one if you are traveling nationally. You may encounter rain and strong winds during your vacation but also some sunny days. It is for sure cheaper as it is the low season for a beach trip. However, it is a great time to go to beaches such as in the Caribbean and Mexico.


Now, if you are willing to travel internationally, especially to the southern hemisphere, the fall is still a good option as you will not find as much rain but just a little wind. However, you have to remember that, for the most part, their summer goes from December to March with big heat waves. Although, they have pretty pleasant temperatures up to March and the rainy season will most likely start in April. 


Cheap accommodations for all types of trips

When traveling solo or with friends, a hostel is always a good option, just make sure to read all comments on the property before you book anything. This type of accommodation is also a good way to get to know new people. 


There are also hotels that fit short budgets and are good — but don’t forget to check the guests’ evaluation of the property before booking.


Now, if you are traveling as a family, a rental home is probably the best choice to save some money. You will save not only on the rental price but also on food, as you will be able to cook your own meals, which leads us to our next tip…


Go grocery shopping and picnics at the beach

There is no big secret here: if you buy your food at local markets instead of eating at restaurants, your wallet will thank you later. A lot of hotels and hostels offer a common kitchen with basic appliances for you to use, and if you choose a home rental then it is even better. Get your food and utensils and cook away, and you can get some recipe inspirations in this 25 Easy Recipes to Make in Your Vacation post.


But if that is not the case, you can opt for fresh raw food, which is great for the beach scenario. Stop by the grocery store and buy some fresh fruits, drinks — make sure to keep yourself hydrated during this trip —, some veggies and dips, and general snacks. Pack it all in a bag and have a gorgeous picnic at the beach to the sound of waves coming and going. And to make it easier here is a guide for the perfect beach picnic.


That does not mean you can’t have a nice dinner or lunch out, it is your vacation after all. You just need to balance things out to keep yourself on budget.


How to Plan a Perfect Beach Trip (on a Budget)


Seek ou free activities

Easy peasy, the beach is free! That already saves you a whole lot. But if you want to do some extra activities like scuba diving, learn to surf, or any other sort of entertainment, your best option is forming a group to do it or looking for the best price.


Usually, there are several companies that offer this sort of service, find the one that best fits your budget. Besides that, you can download tour guides and maps online, walk around the city and enjoy free touristic spots.


Use local transportation when possible or share rides

Renting a car is great since it gives you freedom and comfort, but it can be quite expensive and there is still the insurance cost. That is where public transportation is such a great choice when available.


It is way cheaper and you get to know the city a little better. You can always reach out to your hostel host, hotel front desk, and the internet, to find the better route for you and which kind of transportation is closer to you.


Another good option is to use any Car Ride App and share your ride if you are by yourself. If with friends then you can split the ride cost with them.


Packing wisely to avoid extra costs 

Pack light but pack all the essentials you need. Something you want to avoid is to forget a piece of clothing you will need and having to buy it at your destination — probably at a high cost. 


It is normal and nice to buy some souvenirs so you can remember your trip, but surprise extra costs are not very welcomed. And, keep in mind that those stores at tourist destinations are usually a bit more expensive than regular stores. 


General tips on planning a trip

We prepared a great post on How to Plan a Trip with all the details you need. This one will cover how you can create and manage your budget to how to choose the best activities for you and your travel buddies. 


Check that out and so much more on traveling on our blog.


See you on our next trip! Stay tuned for our next publiCATTions.




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