Myrtle Beach means something different to all who visit. It’s a beach vacation to families, spring break haven to students, 18-hole paradise to golfers, and luxurious getaway to romantics. To satisfy just about everyone, I’ve put together a sampler of Myrtle Beach vacations, with one $500 budget presented four different ways.
No matter what your travel style, spring is an excellent time for hotel deals. Plus, airfare comes cheaply from departure cities in the Southeast, Northeast, and Midwest.
Finding airfare to Myrtle Beach
Flights directly into Myrtle Beach are rather limited, but you can also fly into Wilmington, North Carolina, which is about two hours away by car. When I checked, both airports had April arrivals for less than $220 round-trip, including all taxes and fees. And as you’ll see, US Airways and Spirit have essentially cornered the market on cheap fares:
To Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)
- Minneapolis: $187 (US Airways)
- New York: $191 (Spirit)
- Ft. Lauderdale: $191 (Spirit)
- Detroit: $191 (Spirit)
- Philadelphia: $193 (US Airways)
To Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
- Baltimore: $141 (US Airways)
- Manchester, NH: $163 (US Airways)
- Orlando: $165 (US Airways)
- Cleveland: $176 (US Airways)
- Kansas City: $201 (US Airways)
- From Milwaukee: $201 (US Airways)
- Houston: $216 (US Airways)
Finding a hotel in Myrtle Beach
Now that we have airfare squared away, it’s time to find a hotel pairing tailored to you and your travel style. If you go in the spring, you’ll be able to stay at top properties and still keep within the $500 budget. In fact, each of the four hotels I chose is ranked in the top 10 Myrtle Beach hotels listed on TripAdvisor. So, whether you travel as a family, student, golfer, or couple, I’ve picked out something special just for you.
Most parents appreciate quick access to the beach and spacious accommodations. Hampton Inn & Suites Oceanfront caters to families. In addition to the sand, kids will enjoy heated pools and a lazy river outdoors, as well as in-room video games. Plus, kids 18 and younger stay for free. Family-sized suites come equipped with a master bedroom, separate kids’ room with bunk beds, living room, kitchenettes, bath, and oceanfront balcony, and cost $219 per night in April. With taxes, a three-night stay comes to $729.27, which translates into $182.32 per person for a family of four.
$182.32 (three nights’ hotel) + $216 (airfare from Houston) = $398.32
Budget-minded—perfect for students
Those on an especially tight budget (hint: spring breakers) will benefit from spring promotions offered by the Dunes Village Resort. From March 30 through June 1, stay two nights and get the third for free. If you book the oceanfront king studio, you’ll get a king-sized bed, kitchenette, bath, and private balcony, plus two TVs and a DVD player, for $325.24 for three nights (including the free night and all taxes and fees). When divided by two people, the total comes to $162.62 per person.
$162.62 (three nights’ hotel) + $216 (airfare from Houston) = $378.62
The room also comes with a sleeper sofa, so you can cram in a few more friends and pay even less individually. Note that there’s a $10 surcharge for each extra person.
If you want to play golf each day of your stay, the Ocean Creek Resort may be for you. At press time, the hotel was advertising golf packages from $41 per person per day. When I looked for an April stay, three-day midweek packages included studio accommodations (with a screened-in porch and efficiency kitchen), daily green fees at several participating golf courses of your choice, and a Southern style buffet breakfast each morning, all for $278.81 per person.
$278.81 (three nights’ hotel and three days of golf) + $216 (airfare from Houston) = $494.81
The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes is perhaps the choice for discerning travelers who crave a luxurious retreat. Designed with European sensibilities and service in mind, the hotel has created a “world traveler” feel, with oriental, nautical, and Polynesian decorations. Room amenities include plush bathrobes, 300-thread-count sheets, and evening turndown service. The “Grande guest rooms” feature queen beds and views of either the Intra-Coastal waterway or marina, and cost $149 per night for an April stay. Multiply that rate by three nights to get $546.12, which includes tax and a resort fee, or $273.06 per person.
$273.06 (three nights’ hotel) + $216 (airfare from Houston) = $489.06
If you need a rental car, which is very likely if you fly into Wilmington, the cheapest rate I could find was $13.05 per day for an economy car on CarRentals.com. Note that renting a car could put you over budget by a little bit, depending on your departure city.
By looking closely at a few hotels, it’s easy to see there’s something for everyone. Regardless of your travel type, now’s the time to save big on a spring fling in Myrtle Beach.
Have more to add? Email me your favorite money-saving tips for Myrtle Beach, and I might publish them in a future article. Or, feel free to comment or suggest a new Escapes Under $500 destination.
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