A beach vacation is always a good idea. Winter, summer… whenever. It’s always beach season somewhere. Beaches also have the advantage of being fairly inexpensive places to spend some time. Surf hostels tend to run cheap. Beers are often served out of coolers and never set you back more than a dollar or two. The eats are generally harvested from the sea, only steps away from pop up kitchens. And swimming is free. It’s the best of all worlds.
With summer rapidly approaching and a lot of vacation time on the horizon (hopefully), we thought we’d put together a list of eight of our favorite beach experiences that won’t break the bank. To keep costs low, we focused in on spots around the Americas with a Pacific Island and European destination thrown in for good measure thanks to budget airlines and some killer flight deals.
If the travel bug is starting it itch, it might be time to scratch it with a trip to one of these beaches. We’ve added some practical budget-minded options to get you in and around as well. Think hostels and buses, not five-star hotels and private cars.
VENICE BEACH, CALIFORNIA
California has a long, long list of great beaches and beachside towns. Hell, L.A. alone has 15 beaches. But for our money, Venice is the coolest, youngest, and most quintessentially “Cali” of them all.
The beach is massive, funky, touristy yet deeply local. It boasts a rad skate park and is always bustling with folks from every walk of life. Going to L.A. and skipping Venice is a pretty big fail.
How To Get There:
JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, and Southwest are always running sales at one point or another throughout the year. Flights to LAX are generally going to cost $50-$100 each way west of the Mississippi and $100-$150 each way from the East Coast. From the airport, take the Number 3 bus straight to the beach. It’ll take about 40 minutes and set you back two bucks.
Where To Sleep: The Venice Beach Hostel
Finding a cheap bed in Venice isn’t a super easy task. There are a lot of perfectly decent mid-range hotel beds for $100-ish per night. Your best bet for budget prices is at the Venice Beach Hostel. Beds are $30 per night, which is a steal in the Los Angeles area. Staying here will also give you a chance to self-cater and save a little extra cash.
What To Eat & Drink: Hinano Cafe
You don’t always have to self-cater though. Hinano Cafe is an old-school shack right on the beach. This place is a straight-up throwback to the late 1960s dives. Look, there are a million places to grab street meat, greasy slices of pizza, and sloppy burgers around Venice Beach. There’s also a long list of high-end options.
Hinano Cafe is no-frills, has great happy hour specials on beers and (legit good) burgers, and always maintains a chill AF vibe.