Going on vacation to Ft. Lauderdale doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. With a little creative thinking and some careful planning, you’ll find a ton of ways to have fun in the sun.

Have Fun For Free

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Image via Flickr by Boston Public Library

One of the best things about Florida is there’s always some¬†fun outdoor activity¬†to take part in. No trip to Ft. Lauderdale would be complete without a romp on the beach. Take the family for a two and a half mile walk down the Hollywood beach broad walk. Bring your snorkels and fins and do some fish watching, or take a ride on the trolley and head downtown to the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District.

Make sure you check online for events and activities that might be happening around the time of your vacation and plan your trip around the ones you’re most interested. If you’re planning a family vacation, let each member pick one activity they’re most excited for and let everyone have a special day.

Bring Your Own Food

A lot of money is spent on eating at restaurants during vacation. You can save a huge amount on your trip if you get creative with your food budget.

Start by packing items from your home pantry for everyone to snack on during long periods in the car, to keep you from being tempted to stop for expensive fast food. When booking your stay in Ft. Lauderdale, look for lodging that has a kitchen included in the room so you can cook most of your meals.

Part of the fun of vacation is visiting new restaurants, so scope out which ones look the best before you arrive. Check the menus and the prices and make a plan for which meals you’ll eat in, and which ones you’ll eat out.

Pick the Right Time to Go

Traveling costs fluctuate based on when and how you travel. If you’re flying, look for flights just before, or just after the busiest season. You might not get the ideal weather but you could get a cheaper deal, and avoid the crowds.

If you’re driving, remember the roads can get pretty congested during holiday weekends, so if you’re planning a holiday vacation, be sure to add possible traffic delays into your schedule.

When it comes to lodging, take the time to look at all your options. Some places will give you a better deal if you book early. You can also find cheaper accommodations if you look just outside of the most popular areas.

Make Friends With the Concierge

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Image via Flickr by Alan Lite

If you’re staying in a hotel, ask the front desk clerk or concierge for some insider secrets. They’re probably local and can tell you about some of the best spots in town.

If you’re staying in a rental that doesn’t have a front desk, strike up a conversation with the locals, or a waiter. Not only could it result in a new friend, you also might learn something new and exciting to do.

Whether you’re taking a family vacation or just a quick trip for two, saving a little bit of money is always a good idea. Keep these simple tips in mind next time you head to Ft. Lauderdale, and you’ll have an affordable vacation to remember.