Data shows that most Americans are ready to travel again after the pandemic. A recent survey indicated that almost 70% of Americans plan to travel within the next year.
However, those travel plans may be more expensive this year. Data from NerdWallet indicates that nearly every aspect of vacationing - from airfare to hotels to restaurant meals to car rental - is pricier this year.
Why Many Believe It's Possible to Take a Beach Vacation on the Cheap: Unless you are local, there may be no way around travel expenses such as airfare or gas. But you can arguably save some money with a beach vacation as the destination itself is often free at a public beach. You may have to pay for your lodging, but if your rental has a kitchen, you can theoretically buy groceries and make your own meals to save money on restaurants.
Determining Cheap Beach Vacations in the United States: Real Simple recently released a list of "8 Beach Vacations that Aren't Budget Busters." The aim was to offer "beautiful, affordable beach towns" where one can take a seaside vacation that won't break the bank.
How Did Florida Fare?: There were 8 destinations listed throughout the United States on the list. Florida's Fort Lauderdale was listed first. Real Simple noted that this fun city is known as "the Venice of America" and suggested taking in some sights via water taxi.
Popular Attractions in Ft. Lauderdale: This destination is home to 8 different beaches that span 24 miles. In addition to the beaches, Ft. Lauderdale is popular with nature lovers because it's home to parks such as Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, where you can enjoy horseback riding, birdwatching, and tubing. Fern Forest Nature Center and Deerfield Island Park are also options for those who enjoy being in nature. Ft. Lauderdale also gives you access to the Everglades. Airboat tours that explore the Everglades are popular.
Free Things to do In Ft. Lauderdale: There are many free ways to spend your time in Ft. Lauderdale. County parks are free Monday through Friday. Businesses (such as Island Water Sports) offer free surf and paddleboard lessons. And some venues offer free music. Examples are the Sistrunk Marketplace, Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, and Las Olas Oceanside Park. Hollywood Beach Theatre offers free concerts from Wednesday - Sunday.
The city of Ft. Lauderdale maintains an events calendar where you can see a current list of free happenings, and it is updated regularly.
Here is the remaining beach towns in Real Simple's list of beach vacations that aren't budget busters.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Tybee Island, Georgia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Seal Beach, California