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Top Affordable Beaches & Destinations

Beach vacations at popular destinations can provide more of a headache than relaxation with price gauging, commercialized resorts, and over-crowding. Instead of visiting the hot spots, you should consider planning your next trip to one of these undiscovered and affordable beaches.

Block Island, Rhode Island

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Every summer, travelers flock to New England islands Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Although summer is winding down, it is not too late to plan one last trip without breaking the bank. Block Island offers 17 miles of free public beaches just an hour ferry ride away from Newport with round trip tickets costing $25 less per person than ferries from Hyannis to Nantucket. Ferries also run from Fall River, New London, CT and Montauk, NY.

Block Island offers everything your summer getaway needs. Rent bikes or mopeds for the day to visit 50+ specialty shops and galleries, dine where local seafood is served and enjoy BI’s natural beauty while fishing, hiking or kayaking. Free events include nature walks at the Nature Conservancy, bird watching with the Oceanview Foundation, and blues music every other Wednesday on the beach.

Go on a last minute getaway to Block Island’s affordable beaches today!

Cook Islands

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Fiji might often steal the attention of travelers looking for a Pacific island getaway, but the Cook Islands may be the solution to a more affordable tropical vacation. Since their first international airport opened in 1974, the Cook Islands learned from their commercialized neighboring countries by requiring that all land be family-owned and never sold. You will not find huge chains resorts or fast food in this Pacific paradise. These 15 remote islands offer a range of landscapes and activities with jungles, coral lagoons and uncongested beaches.

The Cook Islands have a wide variety of free or inexpensive activities. On Rarotonga, the largest island, Captain Tama’s Aqua Sportz Centre offers affordable kayak, wind surfing and snorkeling gear rentals. You can even rent a traditional canoe carved from wooden vaka to paddle around the Muri Lagoon for $20 NZD (~$12.75 USD) for an hour. If you are looking for a free and challenging adventure, hike to the Te Rua Manga (The Needle) seen in the picture above or if you prefer a leisurely stroll, make sure to visit the Punanga Nui market in Avarua on Saturday mornings. Here, you can taste the lush local fruits and for just $1 you can drink “nu” (a young coconut’s juice) which is great to cure stomach pains (and hangovers!)

Start planning your Pacific getaway today with rental properties starting at $65/night on FlipKey.com

Loreto, Mexico

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Although Cabo San Lucas may be the best known Baja California Sur destination, just miles away lie more affordable beaches without the crowd. North of Cabo, Loreto offers stunning rock formations, deep blue seas, white sand and lush green vegetation. Besides beach relaxation and adventures, Loreto offers rich culture and history.

Loreto provides all the essential beach activities such as sailing, kayaking and hiking. Make sure you bring your fishing pole because Loreto is the perfect sport fishing destination with endless mahi mahi, wahoo and tuna in local waters. The islands near Loreto are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving where the Sea of Cortez is home to more than 800 species. Snorkeling gear rentals start at $8 per day with Dolphin Dive Baja. If you are looking to explore the past, visit Loreto’s historic downtown or find yourself in pre-historic caves just miles away in the Sierra la Giganta. You can awe at the aboriginal cave paintings and stunning cliffs (seen in the second picture above).

For your next Mexico getaway, consider Loreto’s historic and natural beauty!

Isla Bastimentos, Panama

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Instead of visiting the increasingly popular destination, Costa Rica, consider Panama for your next tropical dream vacation. Isla Bastimentos is just a 10 minute boat ride from Bocas Del Toro. Explore Bastimentos’s dramatic landscape with sea turtle nesting grounds in the north, coral reefs in the south, picturesque beaches in the west and lush mangroves in the east.

The Island’s extreme sports include surfing, zip lining and vertical rappelling at Red Frog Beach. With Senora Kony Gonzales tour company, you can visit a bat cave for just $12 USD (monkeys and sloths might be sited as well). On the highest hill of Bastimentos Island, a must visit is Up In the Hill organic farm where “good things come in trees.” Enjoy their 360° panoramic view, chocolates made from pure cocoa and shop their variety of affordable handcrafted products.

Isla Bastimentos’ breath-taking rain forests and stunning beaches are waiting for you!

Folly Beach, South Carolina

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If you are looking for a South Carolina beach vacation, skip over-crowded Myrtle Beach and escape to Folly Island. Just 12 miles south of historic Charleston, locals call this haven the “Edge of America.” Folly Island provides an affordable vacation spot where you can experience the unique island town and enjoy their endless beaches.

Even a day trip to most popular beaches can be financially difficult with parking costing upwards of $40/day. At Folly Beach, nearby parking ranges $5-7/day and street parking is free (but limited). Folly Island offers a wide range of activities and events for all. Every Wednesday, Folly Beach farmers market features local produce and artisan vendors along with free live music. At the end of the day, grab some popcorn and enjoy a free movie on the beach (weather permitting). Other affordable activities include surfing lessons, fishing from the pier and renting bicycles to explore Folly Island’s 6 miles of beaches.

Visit the affordable beaches near Charleston, SC where vacation rentals start at just $60/night on FlipKey.com

Puna, Hawaii

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For your next Big Island vacation, consider the region of Puna in the east, rather than the more popular Kona region in the west. The Puna District provides an opportunity for a wild Hawaiian vacation. Puna is a diverse alternative destination with jagged black coastlines, funky boardwalk towns and incredible state parks.

If you are looking for free nature excursions, visit Puna’s geothermal pools heated by volcanic energy such as Pohoiko Hot Springs, or go to the source by venturing to Lava Tree State park where lava molds of tree trunks are preserved from when lava swept through the forest in 1790 (seen in the second picture above). Puna’s tropical rain forests offer untouched nature with vibrant orchids, wild ginger and giant monkeypod trees. When you need a break from the wild, make sure to check out the town of Pahoa which offers eclectic shopping, eateries and the Makuu Farmers market for roasted macadamia nuts, fresh papayas and rambutan (red prickley fruit with a sweet grape-like berry inside).

Travel off the beaten track to Puna District for a more affordable Hawaiian vacation!