Beach vacations are always popular with families, couples or singles. They are not difficult to plan, but do require some advance knowledge.
- Know where you want to go and how best to get there. Flyers will want to make sure there is an airport within reasonable driving distance of their beach destination. Those traveling by car will want to look at how long the drive takes, and whether an overnight stay on the road is advisable.
- When are the busiest seasons? Every beach destination has a high season, low season and shoulder season, and prices for accommodations can fluctuate greatly between these seasons. Traveling a week before high season begins, or a week after it ends will probably still ensure good weather, but may save the traveler quite a bit of money on a hotel room.
- Hotel or condo? The choices are endless, and the traveler should consider his needs, preferred amenities and activity level when choosing accommodations. Condominiums are usually good for families, since they often have a washer and dryer in the room, as well as a kitchen. They are generally quieter as well, which makes them ideal for those looking for a relaxed vacation pace. Hotels have more amenities, on-site restaurants and bars, room service, etc. A traveler also will not have to pay a parking fee at a hotel, a cleaning fee, nor will he have to clean the room himself.
- Decide what to do while you're there. Most beach destinations have many activities for the whole family. There may be zoos or museums nearby, activity parks, miniature golf and more. The travel planner should consider what activities are available that his family likes when choosing a beach destination.
- Pack light. One of the best things about a beach vacation is the advantage of packing light. T-shirts, shorts and swimsuits will make up the bulk of the clothing. Everyone should have one pair of long pants (or a skirt, for women) and a shirt with sleeves for nicer restaurants, as well as one pair of nicer shoes. Some restaurants do not allow flip-flops or shorts inside. Bring a pair of sneakers as well, in case the unthinkable happens and it rains. Remember the sunscreen and a hat, too.
- Reservations should be made well in advance if possible. Popular destinations may be crowded year-round, so it's always a good idea to think ahead when booking rooms and rental cars. Advance planning also allows the traveler to reserve special amenities such as a rollaway bed or a room with a sofa bed.