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Top 12 Cheap Beach Vacations

cheap beach vacations

Cheap beach vacations are in everyone’s dreams. If not everyone, then at least 98% of us, for real.

We all need a break from our routines and day-to-day workflows. Stress can age us quickly and we deserve tranquility. We aren’t trees, life gave us legs, so staying in one spot is just simply not on the agenda for us humans. We have to get up and move, get out and explore. One of the most wonderful and soul-satisfying ways to do so is on a nice beach vacation.


Planning Your Beach Vacation


Beach Vacation

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Planning a beach vacation revolves around your priorities. We are looking at cheap beach vacations, so inexpensive travel and attractions are the main priority.  If you have a deep desire for a tropical paradise, any time of the year, some places may catch your fancy more than others.

An important part of planning our beach vacations is developing a rough sketch plan. Building out a calendar filled with the best/ must see activities around your region of choice is huge. You don’t want to land on your once-in-a-lifetime vacation and miss out on all it has to offer. Think daytime activities and think nighttime activities too.

Finally, when you are planning your beach vacation, remember it is a vacation! So don’t plan too much!


What to Bring to the Beach

Pack a great beach bag with a change of clothes, towels, beach blankets, food, and snacks. Make sure there is secure storage for water, keys, your wallet, and sunscreen.



Top 12 Cheap Beach Vacations

Corfu, Greece



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Corfu is an island off of Greece’s northwest coast full of rugged, green mountains, clear, light blue waters, and beautifully light-colored sand beaches. It is a picture-perfect “escape” type of beach spot on the Ionian Sea. The island has been an ancient, high-priority place to conquer for over 2000 years.

Since Greece has been hit with economic struggle, their beaches have been much easier to travel to. Being a lesser known beach spot in Greece, Corfu stands out as an even more comparably inexpensive experience. It is a great destination when on the search for cheap beach vacations.

The city is one of the oldest in the world. The population remains busy in the city during the winter months but picks up most (triples in size!) during the summer months of July through August.


Santa Cruz, California



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About 75 miles south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz resides on the northern coastline of California. Notably, Santa Cruz has over 30 beaches, many of them intertwined with hiking trails and bike paths. You can see beaches that display lots of vegetation atop gorgeous cliff and rock formations all along the coastline.

Natural Bridge State Park is one of the top beach destinations where you can see some breathtaking nature, birds, and even seals. Another attraction is the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. For a mile-long stretch, along the beach line, there are many amusement rides and carnival games. There is also an iconic pier called the Santa Cruz Wharf. Built in 1914 and maintained by the city, the Wharf hosts a number of boat tours, restaurants, and nightlife attractions.

Cannon Beach, Oregon


Cannon Beach

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Just 90 minutes west of Portland, Oregon Cannon Beach stretches onwards for four miles. The main attraction is the remarkable 225-foot protruding Haystack Rock.

Cannon Beach takes the traditional model of going to the beach with bikinis, a pair of shorts, and an umbrella to bake out in the sun and remodels it – because you won’t want to just sit still. There are beautiful coastline terrains decorating the journey out to Haystack Rock. North of Haystack is Ecola State Park, which is a gorgeous seven-mile long stretch of nature hikes and epic views.

The inner city has a great history center and museum, which is free for all! Staying there for a night ranges from around $80 to $140. You could also stay in Portland and hop on one of the buses or shuttles that travel out to Haystack, daily, for just $34.


Phuket, Thailand



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If you are looking for a cheaper beach vacation, aren’t afraid of adventure, and feel fond of getting knocked out of your socks by beauty, look no further than Phuket, Thailand.

There are beaches, out of this world snorkeling, and elephants! Did we mention, it’s cheap! Expensive meals in Thailand reportedly weigh in at around 150 Thai Baht… that is a mere $4.50 in USD!

The island sits at the southern coastline of Thailand. The views and geographic terrains are something out of a dream: clear, light blue waters and huge rock formations protruding out of the sand. You will find awesome huts to stay in and gorgeous weather year-round.


Algarve, Portugal



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Cheap beach vacations galore! Resting on Portugal’s southernmost coastline, Algarve is a true treasure to the region. There are astonishing views of geographic cliffs, hosted by unique rock formations and colors, along with crystal clear, light blue, and darker blue hues of water. Algarve, Portugal is a must-see attraction to those of us who admire what the Earth has to offer.

Roughly 3 hours south of Lisbon, this is another great location of Portugal. Hotels rooms run at an exciting $40 to $80 per night.


San Juan, Puerto Rico


San Juan

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Founded in 1521, San Juan is the largest and capital city of Puerto Rico. There are a wide variety of activities to get into. Old San Juan features cobblestone roads, historic (16th century), colorful, and Spanish-colonial style homes, and buildings.

On top of sea cliffs sits a remarkably still-intact Spanish fort from the 16th century. Cannons sit within the walls of the fortress, pointed outwards towards the sea. The water surrounding the cliff fort are crystal, light blues, with hues of darker blues. A beautiful site indeed.

For a truly tropical beach experience, you can head over to Isla Verde where you will find a long white sand beach with wondrously gorgeous waters year-round.


Ambergris Caye, Belize


Ambergris Caye

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Another tropical paradise on this list. If you are looking for soul-cleansing beaches covered in white sand, coconut and palm trees, and the definition of relaxation written all over them, Ambergris Caye, Belize has got you covered. The dollar exchange is 1 Belize dollar to 0.50 U.S. dollar.

Snorkeling around the coral reefs, more specifically the Belize Barrier Reef, is nearly a mandatory activity. This one-of-a-kind reef is off the coast but hosts a deep dark-blue center and an overall unforgettable experience.


Rincon, Puerto Rico



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Off the beaten path, Puerto Rico has an awesome member of cheap beach vacations. You would have to fly into Aguadilla airport, which still carries many main airlines, and drive for about 45 minutes west.

Rincon is known for its incredible beaches. If you are a surfer, this is the space and place for you.

Rincon is located on the northeast corner of Puerto Rico. The waves pound from one side and stay calm and easy on the other. A really cool experience, that caters to any mood you’re in. There are plenty of snorkeling and coral reefs to check out too.


Pensacola, Florida



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Pensacola is located along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s northeastern panhandle. Actually, Pensacola is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Santa Rosa Island. This buffer effec, from Santa Rosa makes the beaches even calmer and more attractive to travelers, especially those of us looking for cheap beach vacations.

Most activity is outdoors, like viewing the lighthouses, or simply relaxing in the sand, so you can save some money there.

You can also check out the National Naval Aviation Museum, the historic Pensacola forts and the Gulf Islands National Seashore Museum which help bring context to the origins of the region.


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina


Myrtle Beach

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A 60-mile stretch of beaches! Check out the many golf courses surrounding the nearby areas. Relax and recharge in Myrtle Beach. If you’re looking for cheap beach vacations, you can find a hotel room from $55 to $120 per night.

The beachfront boardwalk on Myrtle Beach is lined with arcade games, souvenir stands, and other cheap shopping/ entertainment options for the whole family.


South Padre Island, Texas


South Padre Island

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Most people wouldn’t expect Texas to show up on a list for beach vacations let alone cheap beach vacations, but it is true! The beaches are very relaxing and also host a huge party scene, especially for spring-breakers. There are water parks, sailing, kite boarding, and excitingly even dolphin watching!

South Padre Island is only an hour or so away from Houston. There are gardens and wineries available to visit too.


Manzanillo, Mexico



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There are numerous places to visit in Mexico when on the prowl for cheap beach vacations. The exchange rate for Mexican Pesos is $0.20 to one U.S. dollar. The average coffee in Mexico is around 0.25 – 0.35 Mexican Pesos, and the average meal comes out to about 100 – 200 Mexican Pesos, which is only 5 – 10 U.S. dollars!

The town is very laid back and tranquil. Expect to see some serious seafood restaurants too. The city is surrounded by two large bays. There is great weather year round, and spectacular views.



We often look at angelic, heavenly beach vacations as something unaffordable. But we need to forget about that because cheap beach vacations are a very real possibility. Hopefully this list has now put some information in your back pocket, inspiration in your heart, and a little fire in your belly that gets you out there exploring, discovering, and enjoying the world.