Travel Bloggers Share Budget-Friendly Planning Tips


Planning a memorable beach vacation that doesn’t empty your checkbook is easier than you think. Known for its affordable lodging options, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer the best when it comes to budget-friendly vacation choices.

As professional travel bloggers, Becky Beall, Karen Dawkins and Courtney West recently offered their tips and tricks on planning a vacation that’s easy on the wallet and heavy on the fun.

two little boys running on the beach

Travel Voice By Becky

“As a mother of four, there was always some hefty budgeting going on to plan summer vacations. My tips aren’t rocket science, but they were helpful ideas for my family. We usually rented a condo instead of a hotel so we’d have a kitchen and a washer/dryer. Day one, upon arrival, dad took the kids to the pool while I went to the grocery store and stocked the kitchen with breakfast items, a variety of lunch items, snacks, drinks and dinner items for at least half the nights there. Lunch is always less expensive in restaurants (and often have the same portions), so we try to eat out some of our meals during the noontime meal instead of at night when lines are long and prices are higher. 

Take some board games, cards and movies from home. If you have a rainy day, you will want things to keep the kids occupied. Also, bring pails, shovels and floats from home.

Lastly, check out Groupon! Go to and type the city you’ll be staying in, in the search bar. You can find deals for meals, spas, attractions, entertainment and all sorts of things! For instance, I recently spotted great deals for Gulf Shores including one for 40% off dining at some beach restaurants!” –Becky Beall

person inserting room key

Family Travels on a Budget

“Consider a vacation home or condo to save on travel costs, especially if your family would need two hotel rooms. With more space to relax, you get to enjoy vacation more. And, with a dedicated kitchen area to prepare simple meals, the costs of eating are much lower.” –Karen Dawkins

Our Alabama Life

“I’ve found that we can get really great lodging deals if we book last-minute. Hotels and condos sometimes offer discounted rates, especially if booked within 24-48 hours of your stay. Of course, you are taking a chance with your lodging preferences and availability. Personally, our family prioritizes activities and entertainment, so we aren’t picky about our lodging and can go with less-expensive options.” –Courtney West

For more money-savings tips on planning your next Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation, check out 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Beach Vacation.

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