Do you want to take a trip to Miami without breaking the bank? It may seem daunting planning a vacation to one of the most popular tourist destinations in America, but it’s possible to enjoy the city without spending a lot of money. You just have avoid tourist traps and forge your own way.
Here are four ideas for how you can save money on a trip to Miami:
1) Getting there: Flying or Driving?
Besides lodging expenses, getting to Miami will probably be your biggest expense. There are advantages and disadvantages to both flying and driving.
Assuming you have a car, it’s important to remember that driving costs more than just gas. You’ll need food for the road, the cost of upkeep, and if you live more than twelve hours away, you’ll probably have to stop for the night, which will eat into any “savings” you thought you were getting by driving. On the other hand, road trips can be part of the experience, and when you get to Miami you’ll have transportation.
The trick to flying is knowing when to buy tickets, and it’s pretty simple: buy tickets well in advance (at least three weeks before your trip). When you factor in all the costs of driving, flying can actually be cheaper and less tiring. However, you’ll either need to take public transit or rent a car when you get to Miami.
2) Where You’ll Stay
Hotel costs are often the bulk of the costs of any trip. However, don’t simply assume that you need a hotel. Camping is a great alternative, especially if you’re the outdoors type, and generally only costs $10 or so per night. Similarly, many schools rent out dorm rooms in the summer, giving you a cheap room and a shower. Most hotels have free wifi these days, so you can relax after a day of sightseeing and play Mecca Bingo.
3) What You’ll Eat
Eating out for every meal can get expensive quickly, especially in places like Miami, but eating out isn’t your only option. Even though you may not have a kitchen in your hotel room, buying simple food from a grocery store, or better yet from a Farmers Market is cheaper than eating out all the time. You can even bring a cooler full of ice to store perishables like milk or jelly for PB&Js.
If you do decide to eat out, it is worth good money to hike a little ways from any tourist attraction to find a restaurant with reasonable prices.
4) What You’ll Do
In Miami you’re probably going to spend at least some time on the beach. As long as you bring your own food and sunblock, the beach is a wonderful budget-friendly choice.
However, don’t miss all the other great things Miami has to offer the money-conscious. For example, check out free museum days, local gardens, and local tours for a deeper flavor of the city.
As you can see, you don’t have to pay a lot to of money to get a great vacation, you just have to pay attention. You can read more in our Miami destination guide.