A few months ago, we visited Gulf Shores Alabama. We spent one day/night driving around Orange Beach since it was super close (I think it was a 5 minute drive). It was one of our cheapest vacations that we have taken, and also one of the most relaxing. It was a lot of fun and very beautiful.
Here are some ways to make your trip to the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area more fun and affordable:
Make it a road trip.
Depending on the amount of people who you have, usually a road trip is more affordable. I think we spent around $200 in gas driving down there AND back, which is definitely affordable. If you have a fuel-efficient car, then you can definitely save more.
We drove our Jeep, and the Jeep only gets between 15 to 19 miles per gallon. Luckily, we were able to do a little better than that. I estimated that at the highest, our gas expense would be around $400. Boy, was I wrong! And I’m super glad that I was wrong also.
We also spent $22 to get our the tires on the car rotated, and we spent $35 on an oil change. Those were all things that we needed regardless, but we knew that we had to spend that money before we left for the trip. The trip is around 2,000 miles round trip I believe from our home in St. Louis.
You can also bring your dogs if you make it a road trip, because bringing dogs on an airplane isn’t always the best idea. We were able to bring both of our dogs and we didn’t have to get a pet sitter this way. It was a blast bringing them as well. We were able to take out the back seat in our Jeep and put a large dog bed that took up the whole back area. I’m sure they loved it as well.
Find affordable accommodation.
The next thing that I always make sure to do is find affordable accommodation. For us, we always like to stay somewhere at least kind of nice. I know that a hotel or wherever you stay is just supposed to be somewhere to store your suitcase and clothes and to sleep, but I want a place that I am comfortable in and that I don’t have to disinfect the entire place before I am able to sleep.
I want a place that is a good value. Cheaphotels.com has affordable accommodation which can be very helpful if you are looking for a good value on your hotel stay. Affordable accommodation is definitely possible in Orange Beach.
Traveling during the offseason can be a great way to save money as well. When we went to the Gulf Shores area, we got a really good deal. I can’t remember the exact price, but I think we paid around $650 for around 5 days down there. We went at the end of October which means that it was kind of cold. We didn’t care about the weather though. We just wanted a relaxing place to stay with our dogs and a place where I could get work done as well.
It wasn’t too hot, and it wasn’t too cold. I believe it was around 60 degrees to 75 degrees each day, with a very nice ocean breeze.
Save money on food when you are on a vacation.
A great way to save money when you are on vacation is to find ways to save money on food. When on vacation, it is so easy to over spend in the food category. You will probably find yourself out at restaurants more because who doesn’t want to eat when they are on vacation? Also, it’s hard to know how much a certain restaurant is because you may be new to the area and have never ate at that restaurant before.
One thing that I like to do is find a menu online for a restaurant that I am thinking about eating at. Yes, I get made fun of for this all the time! However, I want to know what kind of food they serve. I also want to know if I am about to walk into a place that charges $35 for a piece of chicken.
Eat during lunch time or happy hour. Most places will have some sort of discount or cheaper prices during lunch time or during happy hour. You may be able to get a lunch entrée for around $10, instead of $15 or $20 at dinner time. That is a savings that I will take!
You can also save money on your vacation by eating in. When we went to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, we went to the grocery store on our second day (we arrived kind of late on the first day), and bought food for us to eat for the rest of the time that we were there.
Have you ever been to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach?