7 Ways to Save Money While Traveling in Miami

Miami isn’t traditionally a place people think of when planning a low cost vacation, but Miami has gotten a bad and undeserved rep. for being an expensive locale. Vacation is what you make it and if you want to escape to the land of beaches and sun, you can still do it while maintaining a realistic budget.

1. Flights are expensive. Don’t part with any more money than you absolutely have to at the airport. Pay attention to your airlines baggage allowance, especially if you’re traveling with small kids.

2. Choose your transportation wisely. After selecting your hotel, motel or hostel, ask if they offer an airport shuttle. Many do at a low cost or for free. Taxis or local transportation are a great option if you plan on visiting areas close to where you’re staying, but the hassle of local transportation and the cost of taxis can become ridiculous and extravagant if you want to see some sites that are a little farther off.
For example; a taxi to the everglades can cost upwards of $76. If you do want to do a little traveling, consider renting a car for a day or two. The Car Rental Center in the airport has tons of options and some businesses will offer to beat the competitor’s rates, which can save you even more money.

3. Consider staying in a hostel. You can stay at most hostels for under $20 a night, or just slightly more if you want a more private room. Many have lockers to keep your things safe, showers, but bring your own towel, and are a great place to meet other travelers. Some have extra amenities like a bar, movie projectors and pool tables. Shop around for a hostel that meets your needs. You can find a number located within walking distance from the beach.

4. Budget for meals. A dinner splurge will generally be worth it, but pick up some groceries for breakfast and hit up some of the hole in the wall locations for lunch. Little Havana is a great place for authentic, homemade Cuban food, but it’s also ideal for spending little and getting a lot.

5. Find Miami’s best kept secret spots. Free is the most ideal price if you’re trying to stick to a budget. Even some locals don’t know about one of Miami’s most beautiful free gardens. Crandon Park Gardens is a full 200 acres of lush, gorgeous grounds. The number of exotic birds is staggering and besides a $5 parking fee you can keep your money in your pocket.

6. Take a free tour. There are a number of expensive tours available, but instead of paying for one of those, check out the route they take and explore on your own. Better yet, indulge in a free tour. The Biltmore Hotel was built in the 1920’s and free tours are offered on Sunday’s and Storytelling is done on Thursdays. Catch the Thursday event if you like history and ghost stories. Two other options are The Barnacle Historic Site or the Cape Florida Lighthouse. They are the oldest house and lighthouse, respectively. Both offer free ranger-lead tours and although the first requests a dollar donation and the second does have a $5 parking fee—besides that you’ll enjoy the rest of the tour without spending a dime.

7. Visit a museum. Sure, you can pay to go to a museum, but why would you when you can get in for free? The Miami art museum has free entry every second Saturday of the month and the Jewish Museum of Florida is free every Saturday. Many other museums and art galleries are free year-round or offer specific days, so plan which museums you’d like to see and check to find out when you can visit without spending any money.

Finally, keep in mind the beach is the ultimate free spot for relaxation, people watching and lounging. After shelling out the cost of airfare it’s still possible to have an amazing vacation and keep your bank account from flat lining.

Author: Derek Holaday is a travel writer working for Miles Car Rental Miami and enjoying life living in Miami
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