Myrtle Beach on the Cheap

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We’re all on a budget these days, and as much as a vacation should be a worry-free splurge, our internal cost calculator is still working on hyperdrive.

However, a Myrtle Beach vacation can be remarkably affordable and even more so with a few insider tips. Exhale and read on.

So you want to….

…go shopping: perhaps you left your favorite sundress at home, or your running shoes are looking a little worse for wear, or you just want to treat yourself. Tanger Outlets, either of their two Myrtle Beach locations, has bargains galore. High-end retailers mingle with big mall staples over their shared love of great deals — we especially love heading straight for the clearance rack, often populated with looks of seasons past (but still on trend) for even more savings.

…go on a family adventure: Well, there’s the beach, for starters. You can’t get any more free than that! We also love the idea of a hike around (hyperlink: Huntington Beach State Park, free music at Hot Summer Nights, kids’ films at Surfside Beach’s Movies After Dark, a cultured stroll through an art museum and summer festivals dotting the calendar. A stroll around the the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk is lovely for a date night, and even if you buy one drink and sit to enjoy the live music, it’s worth the trip. If you’re not already a Groupon member, consider joining. We recently found a great deal on Medieval Times tickets for between 20 and 40 percent off, depending on package. Deals expire, so make a move when you see a good one, and check back continually for new ones.

…go out to eat: The No. 1 rule for saving money on meals is to make them yourself, and yes, this applies to vacations! Simple sandwich lunches on the beach or burgers on the grill of your rental unit can save you a bundle. At restaurants, count on the big portions as perfect for sharing (two small kids can easily split one plate of pasta, for example) or leftovers when stowed in your room fridge and eaten for lunch the following day. Beyond that, restaurants offer great deals all the time, such as half-price or discounted meals on certain days of the week, so be sure to ask your hotel staff for recommendations. This site advertises great local food deals all the time. Another trick is to pick a place with a promoted Happy Hour that includes food, which is usually early enough to be perfect dinner timing for young kids. A selection of discounted appetizers makes a great meal, and mom and dad might get a bargain cocktail out of the deal, too. This site has an impressive tally of reviews for Grand Strand-area Happy Hours.

…go golfing: First, ask your front desk attendant if your hotel is offering any golf packages. Many Myrtle Beach accommodations have the hook-up on tee times and competitive rates and are happy to help. Also, take a look here for quotes and tee times of some area courses. With any sort of savings, you might have to be a little flexible and plan on off-peak times or last minute booking to get the price you want. This site gives the following day’s best deals, and they are good, if you’re willing to move quickly.

What about you? How do you save money in Myrtle Beach? Let us know!

(posted 6/30/14)