Key West isn't the most affordable place in Florida but that doesn't mean it can't be done on a budget. There are some tricks to planning a bank account-friendly vacation to Key West that will help travelers save some bucks while also enjoying a sunshine-filled trip. With some smart strategizing, pre-planning, and knowing where to spend money in this gorgeous seaside city, travelers will be booking flights before they know it.

And, in case anyone was wondering, going to the beach isn't the only free activity that can be done in the Sunshine State. Even the food can be affordable if vacationers know where to look and how to plan, and it's far simpler than one might think. Planning this Key West vacation is about to be a breeze (no pun intended) with some simple hacks that will keep your money in the right places.


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Don't Splurge On Lodging And Accommodations

It's tempting: with so many beachside hotels and resorts, it's easy to blow almost an entire budget on something with stunning coastal views. With that being said, it's also only one facet of a vacation - and, when it comes down to it, how much time does a person usually spend in their room while on vacation? When it comes to a place such as Key West, probably not much since every day will be spent on the beach or around town. At night, visitors will more often than not be out enjoying a meal or soaking up the nightlife.

So, when it comes to booking an affordable place, Airbnb, VRBO, and other vacation rental sites can definitely help to save some bucks. Additionally, opting to book a stay that might not be on the beach, but is close to it, will help push that nightly price down a little bit further. Considering something like a bed & breakfast in the historic part of Key West, or opting for a hotel that's affordable with additional amenities - such as free breakfast - will go a long way. When in doubt, book during the off-season, since Florida weather is fairly beach-worthy all year-round.

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Focus Some Of The Budget On Daytime Excursions

For starters, when it comes to getting around Key West, renting a car is a huge chunk of the vacation cost, especially with car rental prices going up right now. So, what's the suitable alternative to this? Renting a bike! Not only is it a more eco-conscious way to navigate Key West but it'll also save tons of money when it comes to transportation. Some hotels and bed & breakfasts might even offer local deals for anyone who rents a bike, so checking one out is a simple process.

Theoretically, it would take roughly 1.5 hours to walk from one end of Key West to the other. This means that if visitors happen to be staying in the immediate area of the things they're most interested in, then walking will be a perfectly reasonable means of transportation, as well. This goes for beach days, snorkeling, scuba, and even boat excursions. All of these things should be booked in advance, and this is a great way to spend part of the budget since it gives visitors a chance to tour the area and some might include food or additional transportation.

Luckily, there are many options in Key West for those seeking a culinary extravaganza. When it comes to breakfast, travelers can check with their hotel or take a stroll to any one of the island's cafes or bakeries. Coffee and a pastry are on the cheaper side and will give beach-goers enough fuel to start their day. When lunchtime rolls around, prices for full meals hover around $10-$20 depending on the restaurant, and unique places such as La Creperie and Bad Boy Burrito offer great deals with tons of food in exchange.

Dinner is the meal that usually takes up a bulk of the budget but even this is fairly easy to navigate around in Key West. If you're looking for food with a view, it's going to come with a price - unless you get takeout and eat it on the beach; luckily, Key West offers a pretty extraordinary dinner show in the form of a sunset. Other options include the off-beach places and the best rule of thumb is to follow the locals. It's usually the places that are cookin' up delicious, scratch-made food that offer huge portions and great deals.

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