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Avoid Hidden Costs at the Beach

While a day at the beach sounds like a cheap summer activity, the truth can be quite the opposite. Parking fees, beach passes, and other expenses can add up quickly. Here are a few tips to help you control your costs:

  • Know before you go: If you know which beach you’re going to, do a little research the night before. Find out if there is a designated parking lot, and if so, how much it costs. Will you need quarters for parking meters? Will you have to buy beach passes? If you haven’t chosen a beach, investigate a few, and pick the most cost-effective option.
  • Pack your own food: This sounds like common sense, but people still end up overpaying at concession stands. Pack lunch, drinks, and snacks in a cooler, and budget a few dollars for ice cream and other special treats.
  • Bring cash: Think the parking attendant takes plastic? Think again. Oh, and that ATM conveniently located next to the soda machine? $4 service fee. Go to your hometown bank and take out enough cash for the day. You’ll impose a budget upon yourself, and you can spend that $4 on something more satisfying (see: ice cream).
  • Don’t forget anything: Make sure to pack your sunscreen, towels, chairs, toys, and so forth. Renting beach gear can add up quickly, and beachside sundries shops will charge a premium for essential items. Don’t pay for something you already own!

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