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For a week-long vacation with a family of five (with three young children), I'm wondering if there's a general budget that other families in the past have been able to stick to. Thanks!Submitted by Abigail O, Putnam valley New York on August 17, 2017
A lot depends on two things (1) When you go to OC and (2) What your tastes are.
If your children are really young, I suggest going to OC ins September. It is a great month to go as many things are still open, the beach is still warm and guarded, and the prices are way down.
Assuming you go in July or August a room will cost you $200 to $600 per night. If you are staying a week, you can get a really nice 2 BR condo for $220/night total (including taxes and fees) Some condos also have mini weeks (3-4 night stays). When looking at room prices, keep in mind that OC has a 10.5% room tax (4.6% local 6% state) that is almost always on top of the listed price. If you are staying for a week, you should be able to do lodging for about $1500/week. If you go ocean block or bay block, you will pay less.
Food depends on what you want to spend. You can save A LOT by not going out for breakfast and lunch. There are grocery stores in OC, and most rooms have refrigerators. It is worth having a fridge as the difference in room price will be more than made up for in savings for going out for breakfast and lunch. You can easily do pizza and subs for dinner for under $35/day. If you want to do a nice seafood dinner with drinks and kids eating off the kids menu, figure $75 to $100. Add some money for treats, so estimate $300 to $500 for food for the week.
While you can spend lots on attractions, if you are on a tight budget, I'd skip them. OC's beach and boardwalk are free, and for a few bucks on the boards you can buy some treats or souvenirs or go on a few rides. OC also has tons of free family activities take a look here and here to see many of them. I'll add $100/week for entertainment.
Add this all up and you can do a week in OC for your family in season for under $2000 plus transportation costs. If you shop around for a room and minimize your food and entertainment costs, you can likely get down a few hundred dollars.
As a point of reference, I stayed in a very nice 2BR 2BA ocean view condo with no pool this July for $2100 total. My kids are now 16-22, so we have 6 adults when we go out (5 for most of the week). We ate out at casual but nice places most nights and probably spent $1200 on food and entertainment. Thus, we spent about $3300 to $3500 total for the week for 5.5 adults (this seems like a lot, but this vacation is our big entertainment/vacation expense for the year).
When you get to town, for deals and money saving coupons, be sure to head to the Visitor Center at the south end of Convention Center at 40th Street. You can get all kinds of information and discount magazines and newspapers there. Also, checkout these two sources of information, discounts, and coupons:
Finally, this thread also has some more ideas about visiting OC on a budget.
Have a great trip to OC!
Hi Abigail, I'd say try and go with a condo if you can. you can visit http://www.cbvacations.com for all sorts of different kinds maybe within your price range. i know this week is hotel/motel week and they do offer certain discounts on places to stay. i'd check out http://www.ococean.com and click on places to stay for some deals. not sure of when you will be coming down to OC but this time of year around the last two weeks of August many places have great deals going on. as far as like food options if you decide to stay in a condo you can always visit Walmart in West Ocean City that has food options for you to cook. Restaurants like Dough Roller, etc are pretty good places to dine so you can have a great meal. The beach is free which is great, and there's always many free family activities going on around OC as well. You can visit http://www.ococean.com for more information.
I always rent a condo when we go for a week, that way we don't have to go out to eat as much. There are 3 of us and we usually spend around $1500...that's on dinner, groceries,gas to get there & back, activities, shopping & adult drinks. Eating out is going to be your biggest cost, especially if you love seafood. Here are my favorite & inexpensive food spots:
Pizza Tugos (they deliver, ask for the special)
On the Bay Seafood- 42nd & coastal..outdoor dining, perfect for steamed crabs & crab legs
Fat Daddys 216 S. Baltimore Ave. (they deliver till 4am, The Outback is delicious)
Dead Freddies 64th street (The kids will love it here!)
Tony's Pizza, boardwalk & 1st street. They sell by the slice.
Laytons 16th & Coastal highway, They have good breakfast or you can get some donuts & muffins to go.
Fractured Prune -several locations, these are my favorite donuts ever!
Anthony's Deli 33rd street. Their tuna sub is amazing, great for lunch or light dinner.
Brass Balls (boardwalk & 11th/12th)- Their crab imperial burger is awesome.
Abigail, you are on vacation... spend all you want and treat yourself to some nice jewellery! :)
Assuming you eat moderate meals or can eat in for breakfast or lunch, I think you can do a week for under $1,500. Try http://www.halfoffatthebeach.com for some great money saving vouchers and http://www.sunnydayguide.com for coupons. Your biggest expense will be eating out, so if you can do breakfast in and a pizza for lunch, you can really save some money.
We have three daughters and we spend $100 for an all-in trip to the Boardwalk - rides, food, drinks, etc...