Are you feeling the winter blues and need a trip away to the beach? Now is the perfect time to start planning your next condo vacation! But should you book a condo or a hotel room? Hotels may be a bit cheaper on the front end, but have you thought about all the ways you are actually saving money when you stay in a condo? We recently spent some vacation time in Navarre Beach, Florida, and came back refreshed and ready to go. Here are some of the ways it may actually save you money to stay in a condo.
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Budget Tips for a Condo Vacation
There are many costs to consider when you take a vacation and lodging is one of the biggest chunks of the budget. You could potentially save money on the cost of your room if you choose a hotel inland away from the beach. But for some people, one of the highlights of a beach vacation is sitting on the balcony listening to the waves, looking for dolphins, and watching the sunset. Do a comparison of the price of hotels versus the many ways you may actually save money by renting a condo to make the best decision for your family.
Tip: If you are flexible with your vacation, then you may be able to save a significant amount of money on the cost of the condo. Try searching different dates and see how the price varies. You might decide there is a better time to schedule your time away!
Another big chunk of a vacation budget is spent on food. If you have to eat out three times a day for an entire week, your food costs will jump dramatically. However, do a little planning and you can cut down on food expenses and still enjoy your time away from home. When we stay in a condo, we typically cook breakfast (frozen biscuits, a piece of sausage, and some eggs). This is an easy meal and keeps us full all morning. Lunch is a sandwich, apple, and chips. Then most nights we fix a simple supper in the kitchen.
Tip: Bring the staple groceries from your home cabinets so you don’t have to buy them again. Then after you check in to your condo, go to the local grocery and buy the additional items.
When we are home we don’t eat out at a lot of restaurants, so we try to visit local food options a couple of times during the vacation. Tip: Visit a restaurant during the lunch hours and save significant money!
When you stay in a condo on the beach, you have entertainment options that typically cost nothing. There’s no need to spend big bucks going to places that require a ticket when you have the whole ocean at your fingertips.
- Look for seashells (carry a shell bag)
- Go for long walks
- Play in the waves (pack a boogie board for bodysurfing fun!)
- Look for crabs with a flashlight at night
- Swim in the pool
- Explore the local fishing pier
- Read a book
One of the realities of a beach vacation is that your swimsuits, towels, and clothes are going to get wet and full of sand and chlorine. When you stay in a condo, you have a washer/dryer available to easily keep up with all the wet laundry. This is much more efficient and cost-effective than heading down to a hotel laundromat every other day.
Tip: Remember to bring your own laundry detergent from home so you don’t have to run out and buy it when you arrive.
Space to Spread Out
Our family has taken many road trips across the United States and one of the things we have come to value is the space to stretch out. A condo offers more room so people can relax and enjoy their own personal hobbies between beach time, pool visits, and meals.
You can decide if you want to sit on the balcony and look for dolphins or lay on the couch, read a book or take a nap with your favorite blanket.
Which do you prefer? Hotels or Condos for beach vacations? Do you think the extra upfront cost of a condo makes it worth it? I’d love to hear your favorite tips for saving money on condo vacations.