In my last post, I wrote about my Myrtle Beach Vacation Review. Since it is about that time when many nurses decide to take their summer vacations, I’m spending the next few articles giving tips on how to cash in that hard-earned PTO time and plan for a great time of fun and relaxation. As I mentioned before, I absolutely love Myrtle Beach in South Carolina (SC), and I highly recommend this beach if it is within reasonable distance.
If you decide to go to Myrtle Beach this year, then this post can definitely help you prepare. While taking a vacation may not seem like a big deal, there are lots of ways you can save money, and stretch out those hard-earned dollars.
Myrtle Beach Money Saving Tips
Okay, let’s talk money. Vacations can be pretty expensive, so it pays to do your homework, clip coupons, and more. Especially in this economy (ps-I’ll vote Romney)! So how can you save money on your Myrtle Beach vacation? Here are some tips I used to save money.
Tip #1: Book Your Hotel In Advance — Many hotels offer discounts if you buy it online in advance. This is a little incentive many hotels offer since they will know in advance they can sell the room. Just be careful and read the fine print, and make sure you understand the refund policy in the event that you can’t make the trip. Also, if you are staying for a relatively short stay (4 nights or less), you may want to buy no more than a few days in advance. This way, you can check the local extended forecast to make sure it will be sunny during your trip. It would be a shame if it was stormy during your entire 3-4 days.
Tip #2: Shop Around For Hotels— It pays to not only to book in advance, but also to shop around. A good way of doing this is by using Google Maps to locate a list of hotels along the strip in Myrtle Beach (or whichever area you plan to stay). Then use comparison websites like hotels.com, priceline.com, and the direct website of each hotel. They all use a convenient form so you can plug-in your check-in and check-out times, and the number of adults/children, and so forth, and they will give you the rates available. By shopping around, you can save a lot of money off your hotel rental. Also, make sure to check reviews of your hotel on an objective review website to get a feel for it. You can read about the hotel I recommend here: Sandy Beach Oceanfront Resort Review.
Tip #3: Use a Credit Card–Assuming you can pay off the balance you accrue during your stay before the interest charges roll in, credit cards can help save you money in 2 ways: First, if you have a cashback program (like me), you will earn “points” or “rewards” for all expenditures you make on your vacation. You can often cash in these points for a statement credit, gift card, and other neat things. Credit cards also help to save a bit of money because you don’t have to actually pay off the expenditures for a month (or however long your grace period is). So it is essentially like a free 1 month loan, and you postpone actually having to pay the money for the vacation for a month. And if you don’t have a credit card, you can easily apply for a credit card online.
Tip #4: Use a Packing Checklist–By using an extensive packing checklist for Myrtle Beach, you can ensure that you pack all of your essentials from home. This will prevent you from having to waste money there by buying things like shampoo, soap, Q-tips, razors, sunscreen, or anything else you may forget to pack. Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll post a really good Myrtle Beach Checklist for you to get some ideas of what you need to pack.
Tip #5: Get a Monster Coupon Book–One thing I love about Myrtle Beach is that they stock the “Monster Coupon Book,” all over town for FREE. One of the very first things you need to do when you check into a hotel is get one of these coupon books. They are free in the lobby of most hotels, and they are also available at most stores, or the visitor center. This booklet contains free coupons for most restaurants and attractions. We were able to save a lot of money by using this free coupon booklet.
Tip #6: Buy or Bring Your Own Umbrella and Chairs–You can easily buy your own umbrella for about $5-10, and some nice chairs you can use year round for $15 or less. If you already have these things, its even better. By bringing these along, you can avoid having to rent chairs and umbrella, which can be quite costly. Especially if you rent them over several days. By bringing or buying your own, you can save money, and use them for years.
Tip #7: Carpool or Share Your Hotel–If you have any good friends or family that could tag along, you can split up the hotel costs and even carpool down there. That’s a great way to save money off gas and hotel expenses. You can often squeeze up to 4-8 people in one room (even more sometimes). Of course, sometimes you may want privacy, which is okay too. But this can be a great way to save money.
Tip #8: Pack Your Own Snacks/Food–By buying some snacks (such as sandwiches, fruit, granola bars, chips, drinks), you can save a lot of money by not having to eat out daily. Of course, one of the fun parts of a vacation is eating out, but this can get very expensive if you do it for every meal. So you may want to pack your breakfast, some lunch meals, and a few other snacks. Again, make sure to read our beach vacation packing list for other tips.
Conclusion: There Are Many Ways to Save Money on a Myrtle Beach Vacation
While the tips above may seem like common sense, the savings can add up to easily hundreds of dollars. With a little smart planning and coupon clipping, you can have a great vacation without breaking the bank. Myrtle Beach is a very affordable beach to visit, with reasonably priced hotels, stores, and attractions.
I hope these money-saving tips will be helpful to any nurses or healthcare workers considering traveling to the beach this summer.