You are here

A Frugal Guide to Shore Attractions

Date: 
2012/07/12

Most vacations will have you or your credit card screaming by the end. Fun and food usually equal a fortune. However, a fun trip to the shore won’t cost you boatload. Here are some tips to enjoy your vacation while holding onto your wallet:

 

1. Food, Food, Food
The New Jersey shore is home to some of the best food on the planet. From funnel cakes, to french fries, to fish, no one has ever starved on their trip to the shore. However, food is likely to be your biggest expenditure at the shore. Merchants know that they have a captive (and hungry) audience resulting in an inflated food prices. Even grocery stores tend to be higher than the average. To avoid going broke bring as much food as you can on your vacation. Most likely the food from home is cheaper and better for you. If you are renting a property with a kitchen, make use of it even if that means eating breakfast and lunch in house and eating dinner out. If you are going to eat out scope out a few restaurants and find out which may “early-bird specials.” By going to dinner a little earlier than usual you will usually receive a discount as well as you won’t have to wait to be seated.

2. Beaches, Amusements & Water Parks
Five dollars for a beach tag, six dollars for miniature golf, thirty dollars to go to the amusement park… Does this sound familiar? In any given day you could easily spend one hundred dollars or more doing all of these seemingly “little” things. Though there isn’t a way around a lot of these fees there are ways to reduce them.
• Most beach tags are sold on a daily, weekly, or seasonal basis. If you are going to be at the shore for a week… stick with a weekly tag instead of paying by day. Usually the weekly tags pay for themselves after 2-3 uses.
• Ride the amusements in the morning or the early afternoon… at this time most of the crowds haven’t developed and almost all attractions offer significant discounts at non-peak times.
• Space out your activities one each day. That way you will not spend a fortune on everything in one day, and your trip will be equally stimulating.

3. Parking
Simply put, walk. If you are going to rent a place at the shore make sure it is close to the places that you are likely to visit and has parking of its own. If you are forced to drive everywhere you could be forced to pay $20 (or more) per park. An added $20+/day can really add up. You are better off spending the extra $20 on a better rental or hotel.

4. Souvenirs
There is nothing better than coming home from your shore vacation with a bronze tan, a mouthful of salt water taffy, and other shore goodies. There is nothing wrong with buying souvenirs, but it is always better to buy them from stores that are off of the “main drag” such as the boardwalks or main streets. More often than not you can find the same things at a much lesser cost at stores right around the corner.