We're all in serious need of some summer. Whether you're planning a trip for spring break, or just looking ahead to warmer weather and adventurous vacations, it's safe to say that sunshine has been put on the top of the priority list. You've looked into some of the places on your bucket list and have thought about renting a house down along the shore, but might be afraid of breaking the bank just for a long weekend. Truth is, you don't have to say "no" to sand and surf quite yet. The cheapest beach vacations will still have your Instagram sizzling and cure your summertime sadness, too.
Break out your bikini and stock up on sunscreen. You'll probably want to purchase a new pair of cute sunglasses if you're going to be snapping selfies, and could use a good beach read, too. Snow gets old so fast, and shoveling is the workout nobody was wishing for. You need the escape and are craving a good experience — and who knew you could save so much money while also jet setting?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and you want your Instagram to be filled with adventure again. Get those tropical puns ready, and save some pennies in the process. These seven places will be pretty perfect if you're looking for something affordable that will still totally upgrade your social media. Where there's will and wanderlust, there is a wave.
1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is probably one of the biggest spring break spots in the book. There's something about the South Carolina shore that attracts thousands of college students every year to sand, surf, and beautiful sunsets. If you want to dodge the crowds and wet T-shirt contests, you might want to book a trip here during an off-month (aka, not March). But, the waves will be worth it either way.
Save even more money and hit the streets instead of the skyline. Pack your car up with your suitcases and sandals, and cue up a good road trip playlist full of movie soundtracks and throwback jams. You'll surely get the good vibes going soon.
2. Ogunquit, Maine
You might not think of heading north to Maine for a memorable beach trip, but there are social media opportunities at this part of the ocean, too. Ogunquit will surely show you and your friends a good time.
The water will be a little cold, so maybe brew up some hot coffee. The sun is strong, so don't be discouraged. You'll get those tropical tan lines and want to soak up a lot of sunscreen. (Seriously, apply a little extra if you go here! I ended up so sunburned.).
Rent a cottage right along the shore for a week, or just spend a few nights staying in a hotel nearby. Like Cape Cod, Watch Hill, or any other New England surf spot, this beach town is incredibly nautical with no limit to the seashells and salty air. You'll want to spend an afternoon walking along the Marginal Way to get the full effect of this find.
3. San Diego, California
Surf's up, am I right? The West Coast really is the best coast if you're looking for an affordable beach vacation. Sure, there are some spots that will quickly deplete your savings account. But, there's plenty of sand and sea along the Pacific Coast Highway if you're balling on a budget, too.
Find the Californian in you, and get in that golden state of mind. You'll never be bored in a palm-filled place like this, with a huge selection of restaurants, the San Diego Zoo, and an unlimited amount of art galleries nearby. Maybe even bring your skateboard. Your vibe attracts your tribe, and you'll be radiating for real.
4. Cancun, Mexico
Catch me in Cancun. You've heard of all those destinations in the Caribbean, but resorts aren't always realistic for your broke college student soul looking for some summer. Going to another country sounds completely ideal, and Mexico will be just as tropical as any expensive beach trip.
Like Myrtle Beach, this place tends to be a prime destination for spring breakers, but also more recently fashion and lifestyle bloggers alike. You'll want to spend every day wading in the calm waves, and digging your feet into the fine sand. At night, roam around the markets that come to the resorts or plan an excursion for the next day.
When I was in Cancun, I spent a morning swimming with the dolphins before hitting up the all-day buffet for tacos and extra guacamole. It was all such a daydream.
5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Spend your days in the Dominican Republic. Clear skies and even more crystal blue water will seriously cure your wanderlust in Punta Cana. This trip will give you the full experience of the Caribbean with just a dash of the Atlantic, too.
Pose with some palm trees to capture the most ideal Instagram post, and hang in a hammock for hours. If you're anything like me, you love your slow mornings. This place will let you wake up to the sun on your own schedule, but also bring the party if you please. Who's down for some windsurfing?
6. Phuket, Thailand
Traveling abroad, especially to somewhere in Asia, can't be cheap. Right? Turns out, it's totally affordable. You can stay in some of the nicest accommodations in Phuket for as little as $20 a night, with breakfast and beautiful beaches included.
The culture of this country is unreal, and choosing a daring destination will surely leave you with plenty of stories. Spend some time in the national parks, roaming amongst the mountains, and seeing the elephants at a nearby sanctuary. Surrounding yourself with love and beauty is so crucial to landing the perfect beach trip — and the long plane ride will be worth it.
7. Corfu, Greece
Can't stop, won't stop in Corfu. The Greek islands are known to be gorgeous. Think of all those scenes in Mamma Mia!, where Meryl Streep is skipping along sidewalks right by the sparkling sea. It's safe to say we all want a shot like that to upgrade our social media and bring some serious summer vibes.
You've probably heard of Santorini and Mykonos, but if you're looking for something more affordable, then check out the island of Corfu. This place is popular amongst study abroad students who want to soak up the sun and experience rich Mediterranean culture. Spend your nights at The Pink Palace, rent a kayak, or take a booze cruise. Girls just want to have sun, and you could so afford one of these beautiful beach trips.