With holiday bills and tax time rolling around, it may seem like a tough time to start thinking about – much less saving and planning for – your Myrtle Beach vacation.
But it will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to start shopping around for the best deals on the Grand Strand. There are lots of ways to save money on your upcoming trip Myrtle Beach if you follow a few simple rules and suggestions:
Be Flexible: Like any business that is affected by the law of supply and demand, airlines, hotels and the tourism industry follow the same rule of charging less when demand is down. If you aren't picky about which dates you arrive and depart, you can save lots of money on travel and accommodations. Bayview Resort, for example, offers 45 percent off on select summer weeks (May 25-June 4 and August 23-September 3). Other special include free night stays if you check in and check out on certain days of the week. The same principle holds true once you arrive to town. Some attractions offer discounts on their slower days. Water parks, for example, have half-price admission on Sunday afternoons, their slowest time of the week.
Beachwear stores: Yes, they are glow-in-the-day neon and located on every street corner with ads about $50 cent sharks' teeth and free hermit crabs. But hidden amid the mounds of stuff you don't want or need are some real bargains on things you do. If you have kids who want beach toys, you can get cheap plastic pails and shovels that might only last a week, but that's as long as you need them. Same goes for beach towels and chairs, things you might also get some use for once you get back home. Gift for folks back home are also affordable. Just avoid the temptation to take home a hermit crab.
Coupon books: These money-saving books are located all over town – at grocery stores, pancake houses, hotel lobbies and, yes, even beachwear stores. It would take a lifetime to take advantage of all the offers inside these 200-or-so page booklets, but even if you only use one or two all week doing things you had already planned to do you can save a pretty penny. From 20 percent off your meal to $1 off each player at the putt-putt course, every litle bit adds up. The Monster Coupon Book is one of the most popular and it includes discounts on ice cream, water parks, parasailing – all the things you want to do at the beach.
Offseason Specials: Remember the old supply-and-demand rule? The same applies to the time of year you come too. Myrtle Beach is at its peak in the summer so hotels and other tourism-related businesses charge more during those months. But if you aren't locked in to coming during the summer because of school or work, you can save hundreds of dollars by coming in the spring, fall and even the winter. Myrtle Beach's mild climate allows for plenty of fun in the sun in the spring and fall months, and there are so many indoor activities that the winter has become a popular time among savvy visitors.
Plan ahead: At the risk of sounding like a nagging parent, it’s important to plan ahead if you want to save some money. Last-minute road trips can be a blast, if you don’t mind overpaying for a walk-up room at whatever hotels still have vacancy. But for families on a budget, checking rates early and taking advantage of specials when they are available. Saving a few bucks on the front end gives you and your party more money to spend once you arrive, making for a more enjoyable vacation experience. That’s what it’s really all about.
(Photo Courtesy: saveup.com)