Children playing on the beach

How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Beach Vacation

Use these three tips to stay within your budget when planning an Alabama beach vacation.

Planning the perfect beach trip that won’t break your bank can seem like a daunting task. But on the Alabama Gulf Coast, we make it easy! With an array of accommodations at varying prices, tons of free outdoor activities and knock-your-socks-off lunch specials, you’re sure to make lasting memories while also staying within your budget while vacationing in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Phoenix West balcony in Orange Beach, AL

Book Direct with Local Lodging Providers

From hi-rise condos and beach houses to nationally-branded hotels, campgrounds and RV resorts, our area offers a wide variety of lodging options for groups of all sizes and budgets. By booking directly with our properties rather than through third-party vendors, you’re most likely to secure the best rates. You’ll find many of our properties are owned or managed by locals. So, when you book direct, you’ll already have a go-to person for tips on what to see, do and eat in the destination. Several properties also offer special deals and offers throughout the year.

Choose Outdoor Activities

Getting out in the fresh air will do some good for both your body and your budget. In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you’ll find there are many free ways to have fun in the sun. With 32 miles of sugar-white sand and warm coastal waters, the options for outdoor activities are endless on the beach. Popular beach activities include beach volleyball, sandcastle building, snorkeling, swimming, running and lounging with a good book. Off the beach, there is also much to be explored. Below are some of the destination’s most well-known free outdoor attractions:

Family dining at the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores, AL

We also recommend choosing a splurge activity for your family such as booking a charter fishing trip, spending a day at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo or getting your adrenaline going at Waterville USA.

Enjoy Lunch at Local Restaurants

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer some of the best family-friendly restaurants on the Gulf Coast. You can’t go wrong with delicious food, outdoor dining, waterfront views and play areas for the kids. Take a midday break from the sun by dining out at lunchtime. Not only will there be shorter wait times, but lunch menus are often a few dollars less than dinner menus. The same experience and amazing food but at a smaller price…that’s a WIN, WIN!

Start planning your trip to Alabama’s beaches by ordering a copy of our 2021 Vacation Guide. This 88-page magazine includes everything you need to know about our destination.

START PLANNING YOUR GULF SHORES & ORANGE BEACH VACATION

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