Save or Splurge this Summer? Booking.com Shares Beachside Bliss for All Budgets
Bliss is a state of mind, and serenity and joy can be found just as often in humble surroundings as extravagant ones. While 63% of global travelers are planning to be more thrifty to get the most for their money on vacation this year, 43% are planning to go all out and have the ultimate experience. For travelers who want to indulge in high thread count sheets, silver service and beachside cabanas, a splurge trip awaits. For those who still want to experience the world but on a shoestring, there are plenty of stays with complimentary amenities and activities just waiting to be discovered. To inspire travelers to balance fun and finances this summer, we are sharing a selection of beach destinations to suit all budgets, based on its own intel on destinations that have seen prices fall and with deals to be had over the summer months, which all boast beaches to boot*.
This chic coastal town in northern Sardinia fuses glamor with laid-back cool and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. On Sardinia’s Emerald Coast, the swish resort was created by Prince Karim Aga Khan in the 1960s and is now the playground of film stars and celebrities, awash with exclusive yachts, Michelin-starred restaurants and high-end hotels. Travelers can spend their days shopping at the Promenade du Port, playing golf at the top-class Pevero Golf Club or indulging in wine tastings and delicious cuisine. Yet its real crown is its beaches, and those looking to settle for nothing but the best can head to the paradisiacal Spiaggia del Pevero beach for scuba diving and snorkeling in its translucent waters. Visit the white church on the hill for incredible views of the marina, which also hosts classical music concerts in the summer. Or, head to Phi Beach bar to watch the sunset before star spotting at its open-air nightclub. It’s easy to walk everywhere in and around Porto Cervo, but travelers will need to rent a car to explore further afield. Head to Palau, just a short drive away, for a Full-day Guided Maddalena Archipelago Boating Tour to marvel at these beautiful pink granite islands and the unique rose-colored sands that stretch across Rosa Beach on Budelli Island.
Where to stay: A short drive from Porto Cervo and the Pevero golf course is Hotel Cala di Volpe, A Luxury Collection Hotel with its breezy boho vibe and upmarket cave-like rooms echoing the surrounding seascape. Boats will ferry guests the short distance to the hotel’s private beach, a sandy crescent-shaped cove lined with sunbeds and parasols, with an exclusive beach club. A certified Booking.com Travel Sustainable stay, this luxe hotel organizes activities by local guides including Sardinian cooking lessons. Other features include a lagoon-style saltwater pool, floodlit tennis courts, a Shiseido Spa blending eastern and western philosophies and an award-winning restaurant in a waterside setting.
For those half (49%) of travelers who plan to be more indulgent in their spending habits while on vacation to make up for the lack of travel during the last few years, head to the Hamptons where New Yorkers flock each summer, trading the city in for divine silky sanded escapism. For a carefree vibe, Montauk on the easternmost point of Long Island is known as the ‘end of the world’ and famed for its pounding surf, scenic vistas and beautiful ocean and bay beaches. Travelers can kick back and relax, or try an array of watersports from paddleboarding yoga to surfing and kayaking. If multiple beach days in a row start to get boring, the Montauk Point State Park with its impressive lighthouse is good for windswept walks and seal-spotting – and Kirk Park Beach offers a modest hike over spectacular dunes where visitors can spot whales breaching offshore in summer. Travelers can shop in high-end boutiques, unwind in a Montauk salt cave – an idyllic way to relax and destress – or dance the night away at The Surf Lodge with its live beats and international artists. Pop into just about any Montauk bar for Le Grand Fizz, a vodka-based spritz cocktail and head to the exclusive Duryea’s for insanely good lobster rolls.
Where to stay: Positioned right on a private beach with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Marram is within walking distance of Montauk’s main strip of cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Laidback beach chic is the vibe, and this Booking.com Travel Sustainable property encourages guests to reconnect with nature through eco-conscious materials, a freshwater pool and verdant green spaces. Its minimalist design includes warm terracotta tones, exposed white oak and handwoven rugs. For those seeking to switch off, the hotel is screen free and offers daily meditation and yoga classes, guided nature walks through Shadmoor State Park, complimentary bikes and s’mores around the firepit come dusk.
LUXURY ON A BUDGET
While travel remains a priority for half (50%) of travelers, being budget conscious is also key with 68% seeking more bang for their buck with luxury travel on a tighter budget. The small, beachy town of Provincetown is located on the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts and renowned for its sandy shores, friendly LGBTQ+ community and happening art scene. Once a muse to Edward Hopper, one of the oldest art colonies in America remains a-buzz with galleries, studios and creative locals and visitors alike. A stroll amongst the Provincetown dunes is bound to inspire artistic travelers to create their own landscape momentos. Visitors to Provincetown can relax on one of the town’s four public beaches or take to the waters in search of whales with a local tour.
Where to stay: For those seeking the royal treatment on a budget on their travels, the Queen Vic Guest House will have travelers feeling like its namesake in no time. This welcoming B&B and former sea captain's home is praised in Booking.com reviews for its friendly hosts, great facilities and prime location just a few steps from the beach. Each morning a complimentary hearty breakfast is served before guests head out to soak up the town’s artsy vibe, while in the evening travelers can indulge in a tipple at the property’s well-priced bar.
Located in the far northeast of the Gangwon-Do region, this beautiful yet bustling city is a popular spot for travelers visiting the east coast of South Korea. Sokcho is just a short drive from nearby Seoraksan National Park, making it a great base for those looking to explore the area's natural beauty and temples. For travelers looking for a more leisurely luxury itinerary, a cable car can speed visitors to the top. The nearby hot springs add a natural spa-like luxury for travelers looking for a premium getaway on a shoestring. Back down at sea level, the city itself has an abundance of culture, delectable local cuisine in its very own ‘foodtown’ and a yellow sand beach with clean blue waters to entertain visitors.
Where to stay: For travelers looking for celebrity treatment at a more attainable price, the polished Lotte Resort Sokcho delivers. Overlooking the sea, this striking resort has everything guests could want including a water park, infinity pool and fitness center, and all just a short drive from the beach. Head to the onsite Natural Soul Kitchen for dinner that serves incredible Korean cuisine at reasonable prices, or to the rooftop bar for happy hour. This hotel is also a Booking.com Travel Sustainable stay, offering tours and activities organized by local guides – perfect for those looking to explore the national park and partake in watersports at the beach.
This lively seaside city in Morocco is being heralded this year as a great value-for-money summer destination with its sprawling sandy beaches, endless sunshine and low local prices. Travelers can make their money stretch further at the local markets shopping for fresh produce, spices and products, including Souk El Had with more than 6,000 stalls where it’s encouraged to haggle. Agadir’s main crescent beach enjoys the impressive swell of the Atlantic and is a popular spot for surfers, while families will be able to relax there with its clean waters and lifeguards throughout the summer. The seaside promenade is lined with inexpensive cafes, restaurants and bars, while the hilltop Kasbah offers incredible views of the city. Travelers can visit a hammam, a traditional Moroccan steam bath, for a bargain spa experience or trade the beach for a tranquil day at the Souss-Massa National Park just a short drive away. Made up of wetlands, forest and rippled Sahara-like dunes, exotic birds including flamingos and sandgrouse come here to breed. For those who want to explore the park from a braver perspective, the well-priced Camel Safari and Moroccan Tea tour offers travelers ethical camel rides across the park to take in the fascinating scenery in an authentic way.
Where to stay: The warm and bright Surf and Salsa House beachfront guesthouse offers a prime location without the price tag. A short drive from Agadir in the berber fishing village of Tamraght, this oceanfront spot is renowned for world-class surfing and soft sanded beaches. Onsite, there’s a rooftop pool overlooking the ocean, a shared kitchen and barbecue for guests to cook and a complimentary buffet breakfast to load up on each morning with delicious local specialties such as msemen (a square crepe-like bread) served with honey and soft cheese. Offering an additional vegan menu and locally sourced food, this Booking.com Travel Sustainable property also organizes tours by local guides.
Head to Ulcinj, the southernmost city along the Montenegro coast near the Albanian border, for a beachside bliss budget holiday. Famous for its amazing sandy beaches, the historic town is tucked away on the Adriatic coast and boasts one of the longest beaches in Europe, Veilka Plaža. Travelers will find parasols for sunbathing, a topaz sea for swimming and shops selling the latest inflatables for seaside fun. A palm tree-lined promenade surrounds the shoreline with various restaurants, bars and cafes offering inexpensive refreshments – and those with waterfront views offer sweeping views across the Adriatic sea. Ulcinj is steeped in rich history as one of the oldest settlements in the Adriatic, and just a short walk from the beach travelers can explore the cobbled streets of the charming old town. What’s more, the area offers an opportunity to experience diverse culture, landscapes and cut-price activities all in close proximity. Go inland for a great-value Skadar Lake Boat Tour to explore one of the largest lakes in southern Europe, with the chance to spot birds against the dramatic backdrop of mountains.
Where to stay: Situated a stone’s throw away from a sandy beach, the Residence Apartments offers travelers bright and modern budget-friendly accommodation with all the added extras. A quiet little oasis, this boho beach stay features a spacious rooftop sun terrace with cabanas, a hot tub and unique views of the sea. Guests can take advantage of the well-priced on-site restaurant, or explore the local shops and cook in the fully-equipped kitchen. What’s more, guests can help save their pennies and the environment at this Booking.com Travel Sustainable stay, which offsets a portion of their carbon footprint and makes efforts to reduce food waste.
Travel Predictions 2023 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,179 respondents across 32 countries and territories were polled (including 1014 from Argentina, 1006 from Australia, 505 from Austria, 504 from Belgium, 1009 from Brazil, 503 from Canada, 1009 from China, 1010 from Colombia, 505 from Croatia, 505 from Denmark, 1010 from France, 1001 from Germany, 500 from Hong Kong, 1005 from India, 504 from Ireland, 504 from Israel, 1008 from Italy, 1003 from Japan, 504 from Mexico, 502 from The Netherlands, 1007 from New Zealand, 1009 from Portugal, 507 from Singapore, 1008 from South Korea, 1001 from Spain, 505 from Sweden, 508 from Switzerland, 500 from Taiwan, 504 from Thailand, 1006 from the UK, 1009 from the US and 504 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2022.
*The data analysts at Booking.com looked at average daily rates booked in comparable (3 and 4 star) hotels in 2022, and compared monthly averages across the year. Selected popular summer destinations (1000 bookings per month minimum) and selected months with the largest price difference vs the most expensive summer month.