Miami on a Budget (Find out how to save BIG)

miami on a budget

Miami on a Budget

Miami is a great trip for everyone – families, couples, and friends. From the exquisite crystal blue beaches to the trending fashion and amazing national parks, there’s no going wrong in Miami.
Miami is also known to be an expensive vacation. High prices for everything: the flights, the food, hotels. But I have you covered.
We are going to cover how to get to Miami on a budget, stay in Miami on a budget, eat in Miami on a budget, cheap things to do in Miami, and 15 additional tips to get you all the way.

How to get to Miami on a Budget

Getting cheap flights to Miami is a dream come true.  It feels like setting your vacation up for success.

Miami has two airport options, Miami International (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

FLL is a smaller airport that has the cheaper airlines flying into and out of them.   It’s also 32 miles and possibly an hour away from South Beach.

With that being said, FLL is the airport to choose if you can save more than $100 per flight, or you already planned on renting a vehicle.

Uber, an app that you download on your phone to request an inexpensive ride (more here), is double the price from FLL to South Beach then it is from MIA to South Beach

Miami on a Budget

Make sure to check flights to both locations and be flexible as possible with your fates.

My favorite flight buying tool is Kayak. But Expedia usually has really good deals.

Where to Stay in Miami on a Budget

The first thing to know when you’re looking for budget-friendly lodging is what to expect.

What you can expect is a clean room and standard amenities.  Let any other add-ons be a pleasant surprise.

The first place to start is AirBnB.

BnB stands for bed and breakfast.  This online website/marketplace allows hosts to list their rooms or entire property for rent.  Basically, you’re renting out someone’s space.

With AirBnB you get the most bang for your buck.  Check this out:

Miami on a Budget Miami on a Budget

 

Personally, once I started using AirBnB I never turned back.   You get a $40 travel credit just for using my link.  The cost and amenities for the price are amazing.  You can spend $80/night on a hotel room with a double bed or get a 1 bedroom apartment with a pool that is also on the beach.  That kind of space leaves a lot of room for other budget/money saving tips for Miami on the cheap.

AirBnB is more secure than any major aggregator out there.  In order to even sign up, you have to provide multiple forms of identification. You can check out their policies at https://www.airbnb.com/trust.

If you are looking for a standard hotel on a budget. You can head over to Priceline.com and choose a 3.5 star hotel, nameless, for less.

Miami on a Budget

Here are three budget friendly hotels in Miami:

Majestic Hotel South Beach

49 room boutique hotel located on South Beach in the Art Deco District

Price Range: up to $110/night

The Tropics Hotel

Pool, sundeck, and patio right on South Beach

Price Range: up to $110/night

Aqua Hotel

Boutique style hotel on South Beach with free WiFi and free breakfast

Price Range: up to $140/night

The Beach Plaza Hotel 

A three-story, historic hotel just one block from the beach

Price Range: up to $140/night

Enjoy Great Deals in Miami on Expedia!

Things to do in Miami on a Budget

Take a walking tour of the Art Deco District.  The historical architecture is enchanting and it’s located right in South Beach.

Almost every day, you can find free Yoga classes at Bayfront Park.

Coral reefs, islands, and mangrove forests.  Make sure to visit Biscayne National Park.

Free movies in the park on Fridays!  Right on Miami Beach. More here

Miami Go Card – If you’re going to see a few attractions I would look into the Miami Go Card – this card includes numerous great attractions like the Seaquarium.

Save $20 on a 5 Day Miami GoCard and visit over 30 attractions, including Jungle Island, Kennedy Space Center and Miami Seaquarium!

Cheap Drinks in Miami

Stiltsville Fish Bar – will have drinks for $6 or $5.  Happy hour is from 5-7pm

Foxhole – $2 domestic beers!

Oh! Mexico – $20 beer buckets

The Wetlab – $3 mojitos

Cheap Eats in Miami

Sriracha House

Great prices, whole ingredients from Southeast Asia, great food.

Spris

You can never go wrong with Pizza.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill

This is So-Cal fast-food chain restaurant with actual California tacos.

Ms. Cheezious

This used to be Miami’s best food truck but now it’s an actual location! If you love cheese you can’t go wrong here.

30 Tips on going to Miami on a Budget

  1.  Pack correctly to avoid overspending on items when you get there.  Bring things like sunscreen and beach accessories.  I have a beach blanket that I take all over the world because it folds up so small. Check out this packing list for Miami.
  2.  Send yourself groceries using Amazon Pantry or Amazon Prime.  Self provide as many meals, snacks, and drinks as you can to save the most.
  3. Eat and drink before you go out.  In college, we called this pregaming.  Expect to spend $10-20 per alcoholic beverage in Miami.
  4. When you are visiting the beach, head to one with free access such as Haulover Park, Surfside, South Beach, Lummus Park Beach and South Pointe Park.
  5. Sneak into a major Miami pool.  Thrillist tells you exactly how to.
  6. Get cheap restaurant gift certificates from Restaurant.com. Enter the zip code of where you are staying to find places near you.
  7. Avoid visiting Miami during peak periods such as Spring Break.
  8. Get delivered food from your favorite places like Dominoes or Pizza Hut.
  9. Use Uber Eats, you can order things like McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, or Chick Fil A delivered to you.  Use code eats-virginias515ue when you sign up for a special bonus.
  10. Miami has some of the best food trucks, and they’re inexpensive.
  11. Ditch the car, between parking fees and the rental fees, using shuttles and Ubers are more than enough and it’s cheaper.
  12. Grab your own drinks from the liquor store or beer and wine from the nearest supermarket or drugstore.
  13. Use a service like JetBlue Getaways to find a package deal that will get you the hotel and flight together.  You can save money by doing so.
  14. Bring your walking shoes and take a walk, people watch, relax.  It’s a great time.
  15. Rent a Citi bike and give yourself a tour.

That’s all I have for you for planning a vacation to Miami on a budget.  Have you been to Miami before?

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miami on a budget

12 thoughts on “Miami on a Budget (Find out how to save BIG)

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    I really need to look into Air BNB. I’ve heard such good things! I love the idea of the food trucks, especially for lunch. Thanks for the tips!

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    Wow! These were such great tips!! We stayed in an airbnb for our anniversary a while back, and have since be loyal! The price is just an amazing deal! I especially love the idea of using prime pantry to send your groceries!

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    This is a great post! I have been to Miami once, but my best friends parents live in Fort Lauderdale and we want to plan a trip there and then go to Miami! I will have to remember this post! Thanks!!

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    We went to Miami a couple of years back and loved it! These are all great tips. We always like bringing things to make our own food but then splurging and going out for dinner. Being able to eat breakfast, lunch, and snacks in your room or taking it to a park/on the beach is such a huge money saver.

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      Definitely, I like a healthy combination of eating with groceries and going out to the best local spots.

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    I still haven’t made it to Miami, but I hope to someday soon! It’s good to know you can have a fun trip on a budget.

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    This has come in so handy! I’m going in June for the first time and I can’t WAIT!

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    This is a cute article about Miami on a Budget. I lived in Miami for 5 years and it is definitely a place so beautiful that you can enjoy without spending a fortune.

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      Same! I plan on going sometime this summer but I go at least once a year since it can be so cheap.

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