Siesta Key is a barrier island off Florida’s west coast. Visitors come here year-round for the area’s excellent weather and for a look at the Gulf waters. You might imagine that traveling to an island off South Florida is expensive, but you can easily make a budget-friendly trip here. Follow these three bits of advice to plan a full trip to Siesta Key on a tight budget.
Prepare Food at Your Hotel
Dining out is a major strain on anyone’s travel budget. You can eat away at these costs by preparing food at your hotel and purchasing snacks like trail mix and food bars to sustain you while you’re out sightseeing.
To make this possible, check out a Siesta Key hotel with a kitchenette. Another option is to book an affordable hotel room that’s nearby a grocery store. Many area grocers have delis and bakeries, so you can buy cost-effective, prepared meals there and take them back to your hotel room. Here are a few other tips for dining affordably in Siesta Key:
- Pack your lunch: Picnicking is an affordable and fun choice in Siesta Key. Visit Turtle Beach for access to public picnic areas with a view. This way, you can still prepare your own meals while seeing one of the most beautiful parts of Siesta Key.
- Pick up some appetizers: If you’re picnicking but also want to try some local restaurants, make your own entrée but purchase an appetizer to go from a popular nearby eatery.
- Find early dinner specials: Prices go up in the evenings, but many area restaurants offer late-afternoon specials. Take advantage of these if you want to eat out.
Walk or Bike Instead of Renting a Car
Walking or renting a bike to travel instead of driving around is a great way to save money. This isn’t possible in many cities, but in Siesta Key, it’s easy and one of the best ways to get around. If this is your plan, book a hotel close to the top attractions that you want to see. This strategy will reduce your travel time and ensure that you can get around without a car and still have energy to sightsee.
Enjoy Siesta Key’s Many Free and Cheap Activities
Another recommended way to keep things cheap in Siesta Key is to only go to the free or cheap attractions in the area. This is certainly easy in this part of the state, as Siesta Key’s public beaches are some of the best in Florida. Here are a few other free things to do in the area:
- Visit the Sarasota Farmers Market (held every Saturday).
- Go to the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota (free on Mondays).
- Catch one of the free summer concerts.
- Listen to the Siesta Key Beach weekly drum circle (organized every Sunday) and watch the sunset.
Siesta Key is a wonderful destination, and you won’t have to take out a small loan to make your dream island vacation a reality. Follow the above tips to visit South Florida and stick to your budget.