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How to Plan an Inexpensive Family Beach Vacation

While many families dream of taking an exotic beach vacation that allows them to frolic in the sand and surf, partake of water sports, and sample delicious cuisine, most simply don’t have the budget to pay for plane tickets, lodgings, food, and transportation for the whole family when it comes to luxurious destination travel plans. Still, if you set aside some money and start your planning early, there’s no reason you can’t arrange for a family beach vacation at less cost. Going to the beach can definitely be affordable if you follow a few guidelines, so here are some tips that should help you to plan an inexpensive vacation for the whole family that offers some fun in the sun.

The place to start is by setting a budget. Consider when you want to take the trip and how much you can afford to set aside from each pay check until then. If you allot, say, a year before your trip, you should be able to set aside a sufficient amount to cover your vacation. Whether you end up with $500 or $5,000 there are ways to make your budget work and still have the beach vacation you crave. And you should start by looking into your options as early as possible.

When you book well in advance you can not only take advantage of package deals that are all-inclusive (airfare, lodgings, and sometimes even meals or activities), but you’ll also have plenty of time to comparison shop in order to find the best rates. This can significantly cut down on the cost of your trip. In addition, you can look into alternatives to popular destinations. By selecting a locale that is a bit off the beaten path, you may be able to arrange for a truly spectacular vacation at far less expense.

But there are other steps you could take, as well. If you’re looking for something all-inclusive that cuts down on your time spent planning in addition to overall cost, then you might want to consider what you can get from a cruise. Many visit beachy locales, allowing your family the freedom of days spent on the sand, but they also include all the amenities (and costs) of travel, including transportation, lodgings, and food in a floating hotel. In many cases you can even find packages that include airfare if needed, making this a great option for families on a travel budget.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to fly or stay in hotels in order to get the beach vacation you’re looking for. Even if you live smack in the middle of the continent, you’re only a couple days drive away from a coastline. And you’re likely a lot closer to a lake that features a sandy shoreline. So if you can’t afford to hop a plane and pay for resort accommodations, consider that trips within the continental United States or even Canada or Mexico vacations could give you what you want at a far more affordable price, especially if you opt to camp out for a portion or all of your trip. Or you could save up rewards (travel miles from credit cards) to use for your family vacation. There are tons of ways to save money when you travel, so don’t think that your dreams of a few days at the beach are off the table just because you’re on a budget. With careful planning and plenty of time to make arrangements you’re sure to get the family vacation you want at a price you can afford.

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