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Miami Beach Vacation: 5 Tips to Keeping Your Expenses Low

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Miami Beach is a great place for a cheap vacation, thanks to affordable flight prices, plenty of cheap hotels, and free entertainment at the beaches and boardwalks. But it can be very easy to overspend at a place like this. If you book a random flight and the first hotel you see, and waste your money on taxi cabs and fancy dinners, you can end up with a price tag pushing $1,000 per person. By following a few quick tips and tricks, you can cut your expenses down to less than half of that, depending on where you are coming from. So long as you can find a cheap enough flight, it is possible to have an amazing vacation for just a few hundred dollars!

Finding Cheap Last-Minute Flights to Miami

A woman at an airport looking at the flight times

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The first step to making your budget beach vacation in Miami Beach a reality is finding a cheap flight. Flights to Miami International Airport can get pretty cheap, depending on where you are coming from. While some departure cities don’t have that benefit, there are a few tricks to getting cheap flights that will help you keep your cost down regardless of your location. Shop around for flights on off hours, like during the middle of the week, or in the early hours of the morning. Consider going during shoulder season, which is in October and November. This is in between the busy and slow seasons, so you’ll get many of the benefits of the busy season, but less crowds and lower prices. Or you can sign up for fare alerts when you complete a GoLastMinute flight search, keep an eye on live pricing sent straight to your inbox, and book when the prices are the lowest. By booking your flight last minute, you can sometimes get very good deals, making an impromptu budget vacation possible.

Book a Hotel Without Beach Access

The front of a hotel in Miami Beach

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It is tempting to book a hotel that is right next to the beach for convenience, but this is a good way to end up paying more. Beach access is one of the best selling points for hotels here, but there are plenty of cheaper hotels within walking distance of the beach. There is no reason to overpay on your hotel when you will likely be spending most of your hours at the beach or walking the boardwalk. You can also look at hotels in downtown Miami, so long as they are situated near a bus stop that will take you to Miami Beach, just to give yourself more options. Remember that your hotel is just where you will be sleeping, and a nice or convenient hotel is not necessary for a good beach vacation!

Use Public Transit

A bus driving on the streets of Miami Beach

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Public transit in downtown Miami isn’t that great, but it will get you from the airport to Miami Beach. Once there, there will be little reason for you to need to rent a car or book a taxi, as getting to the beach shouldn’t be too hard. The citywide free trolley system will get you around the city so you can explore different areas and beaches. It may not feel super glamorous to ride the busses everywhere, but we’re prioritizing low cost over luxury. By relying on public transit, you can almost completely eliminate the cost of transportation, leaving lodging, flights, and food as your only real expenses.

Street Food and Grocery Shopping

A street vendor serving hamburgers

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Food on a vacation can get really expensive, as it is typical to eat out for every meal. But this is an unnecessary cost, as you can rely on grocery stores, local markets, and street food to get much better deals. Much of what you are paying for at a restaurant is the setting and the service, making street food a much cheaper option that you can enjoy on the beach. The same goes for recreation like alcohol, which is way overpriced in restaurants. However, drinking on the beach is prohibited, so you may have to resort to going to a bar or drinking in your hotel room instead. Whatever you can do to get your buzz without having to pay for $12 cocktails will greatly help you stay under budget.

Enjoy Swimming, Sunbathing, and Watersports!

A group of freinds relaxing in the sun

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Once all your expenses are figured out and accounted for, the only thing to consider is your entertainment. Fortunately, everything you need for a beach vacation is provided by the beach and the boardwalk, so you won’t have to spend another dime if you don’t want to. Spend hours relaxing on the beach, take a cool dip in the water, or bring a snorkel to get a good look at life under the sea. People watching is also a good way to get some entertainment, as you will see people from all walks of life roaming around. Or you could go to a park to throw a frisbee around, practice your yoga, or have a little picnic with food you got from the grocery store. With no reason to worry about your budget, you can let your worries wash away! 

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