By Aimee Heckel
You don’t have to buy a passport and cross the borders to Mexico to enjoy a beach vacation with good value.
And instead of heading to America’s go-to beach towns in California — which are significantly more expensive, and with moodier weather — consider planning a trip to Florida.
Florida’s ocean is warmer, the traffic is lighter and there are fewer crowds, according to an article on Miamibeach411.com. There really is “no comparison,” the article proclaims. “Anything California can do, we can do better.”
With that in mind, our favorite inexpensive beach vacation idea in Florida:
Visit the Kennedy Space Center and zoo during the day, or take a short drive to Orlando. At night, relax on the beach at a cafe or jazz club.
Ways to save money:
Check out vacation rentals by owner, like this two-bedroom condo right on the beach, starting at only $150 per night; sleeps six. Flipkey has a variety of Cocoa beach rentals, too, including this one, which starts at just $45 per night. Note: Beware of rentals that make you commit to monthly rentals only — unless you can get that much time off work, of course. Here is a great beachfront cottage starting at $89 per night, with only a minimum of two nights.
Stay at a resort, such as the International Palms Resort, which is currently holding a limited-time sale: four days, three nights: usually $319, but marked way down to $59. Act fast! This family-friendly resort has on-site restaurants, a beach side bar, pool, spa, game room and more. Most importantly: 38 steps to the sand.
Tip: Use the Advance Purchase Discount option to find the lowest rates.
Or book this resort through Expedia.com (rates starting around $74 for a late-August vacation) and have the option for a free cancellation. Get up to 7.5 percent cash back when you book an Expedia purchase through ShopAtHome.com.
The Hilton in Cocoa Beach is also holding a special, starting at $99 per night. Check out the variety of deals, including the Bed and Breakfast package, which includes breakfast every morning, starting around $100 per night for late August.
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