You’ve got a new swimsuit. The bags are packed. And the zinc oxide is smeared on your nose. You’re ready for the beach. But sometimes a trip in the fun and sun can cost you big bucks. Before you pack up and get ready to hit the road traveling to Ocean City Maryland, here are some tips to save cash along the way.
Plan in advance and remember that peak weekends are going to be more expensive if you’re renting a home-away-from-home. Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day all hit during the vacation season, and you’ll likely get a bit agitated when you see how much you’re paying for a beach rental compared to a non-holiday period.
Try to rent a condo directly from the homeowner. Chances are you know someone who knows someone with a place on or near the beach. If you don’t have that person in your arsenal, there are several resources online that will hook you up directly with an owner looking to rent their space.
Meals can take a big bite out of your family’s budget. Search for restaurants online before you leave and get an idea of what it’ll cost. If it’s too steep for your budget, go to the grocery store after you’ve arrived in town and stock the fridge. Bring drinks, snacks and other non-perishable items from home and save on a potential markup at nearby grocery stores. That can also be said about snacks in the car. Gas stations will charge much more for the things you can stock up on before hitting the road.
If you are driving and have the room, pack some toys too. Rental items or things found in the gift shop or convenience store near your destination always cost more than a quick trip to the retailer at home.
Travel with others. Many times you’ll find a rental property that will provide more than enough room for multiple families. Not only will that save you in the rental fees, but if there’s space in the car, you can save money on gas and food too.
Smartphone apps like Groupon and Social Living offer significant savings. Both apps offer deals and discounts on attractions in many places; you just have to do your homework. If you’re driving, use the Gas Buddy app. It’ll find the cheapest place in the area to fill your tank. In some cases you may have to drive off the beaten path, so choose wisely.
Enjoy your trip and safe travels.