cheap beach vacations
Ima Wideman

Ima Wideman

Fun in the Sun on a Budget: 11 of the Cheapest Beach Vacations

Do you want five-star beaches at three-star prices? Look no further. Here’s how to draw a line in the sand and wave goodbye to costly breaks.

Choose your next vacation with care and you’ll have more cash left over to spend once you get to your dream destination.

Vacations are a strain on any budget. They can make you feel as though you’re swimming against the tide. Read on to find out where you should be heading for the best cheap beach vacations.

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Whether you’re heading off with the family or for a romantic break, this resort town offers something for everyone. There are sixty miles of stunning sandy shoreline.

Myrtle Beach has been consistently rated as one of America’s favorite beach destinations. There are lots of affordable properties. Many feature condos equipped with kitchens and spacious living rooms.

That means you can save even more money by eating in. Flying to Myrtle Beach doesn’t need to cost the earth either. The resort is also an easy drive from cities in the South and Mid-Atlantic regions.

2. The Algarve, Portugal

Portugal has long been a cheaper place to take a vacation than its bigger neighbor Spain. Head south to the Algarve where you’ll find lots of affordable hotels and long sandy beaches.

The wide variety of golf courses has made the Algarve very popular with northern Europeans in search of the sun. The warm winter climate means that you could be soaking up the rays at rock-bottom off-season prices.

3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Less than an hour’s drive from hectic Cancun, you’ll find Playa del Carmen. It’s more laid back and less crowded.

You’ll find plenty of budget-friendly, all-inclusive resorts here. Many hotels still offer special deals around the peak season. There’s time for a little culture too with a day trip to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum.

4. Ocho Rios, Jamaica

A lot of major airports have direct flights to Jamaica’s Montego Bay. Head to Ocho Rios, which is a couple of hours from Montego, for a less expensive stay on this favorite tropical island.

Once a sleepy fishing village, Ocho Rios boasts lovely white sandy beaches. You’ll find lots of all-inclusive resorts here too. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy swimming in the warm sea.

5. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola is an excellent budget beach destination any time between April and October. This beach town has its own international airport making it easy to get to. There are white sandy beaches nearby all lined with affordable hotels and restaurants.

Staying in Pensacola itself and then driving fifteen minutes to the beach could be an even cheaper option. You could combine your trip to Florida with a trip to Disney World too.

6. Cheap Beach Vacations in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a great tropical vibe. Flights from the mainland are often less expensive than to some of its Caribbean neighbors. The island offers huge malls, golf courses, and casinos.

There are also tropical rainforests and beautiful white sandy beaches. There are lots of budget-friendly hotels to choose from both on the beach and within the island’s charming towns.

7. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Head to Gulf Shores after spring break and you may well be able to snap up a bargain. There are miles of wide, sandy beaches here. The sea is warm during the summer months.

There are plenty of family attractions from the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo to water parks and golf courses.

You’ll find plenty of affordable mid-range hotels as well as vacation rentals. Lots of these offer kitchens, outdoor pools, and laundry facilities. That makes this an ideal destination if you’re traveling on a budget.

8. South Padre Island, Texas

You might not associate this southern state with sandy beaches. You can get to South Padre Island by road. It’s become a firm favorite as a budget-friendly beach destination.

The beach is very calm and peaceful in September or October when hotel prices tend to be cheaper. The temperatures are still high enough to enjoy a day on the sand.

There are plenty of water parks. Sailing, kiteboarding and dolphin watching are all available. Make time for a visit to the town of Galveston. It’s forty-five minutes from Houston and has a lovely beach. You can also take in the winery and parks there.

9. Ambergris Caye, Belize

The tiny country of Belize has become one of the most affordable destinations in Central America. It boasts stunning beaches. Ambergris Caye is the country’s biggest island and is a firm favorite with divers.

You’ll find a large coral reef close to the island. There’s relaxed and laid back feel in the town of San Pedro. You’ll also find plenty of budget-friendly hotels and restaurants here which won’t break the bank.

10. Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach offers ten miles of coastline. It’s a cheaper option compared with California beach towns such as Santa Monica and San Diego.

Huntington Beach officially took on the Surf City USA nickname about ten years ago. If you’re traveling with pets, there are dog-friendly beaches. There’s even an annual Surf City Surf Dog competition.

You’ll also be able to go whale watching here as well as hike the many trails or try your hand at some horseback riding. There are lots of cheap dining options too.

11. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach has built a reputation as being a budget-friendly destination. You could try getting back to nature and camp at First Landing State Park. You’ll be able to take a short stroll to the beach from the campsite. You’ll also avoid the crowds.

Virginia Beach has a great boardwalk to wander along. If you drive a little further, you’ll discover cheaper hotels away from the busy tourist areas. Surfing is popular so it’s an ideal location for some boogie-boarding.

Sun, Sea, and Sand

Lounging on white sand with a large cocktail may be your thing. It doesn’t need to cost the earth if you stick to my choice of destinations for cheap beach vacations.

Continue reading my blog for more useful articles. Find out here about the benefits of using an online travel agent to book your next trip.

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