Budget surf trips: 10 ways to save money
Last Updated: 04 August 2021
You don’t have to sacrifice your life savings to score epic waves. Check out our budget surf trip tips for advice on how to save some cash on your next overseas adventure.
Flights aren’t free and surfboard baggage fees suck, but that shouldn’t stop you from turning your dream surf vacation into a reality.
Book a budget surf trip with help from the following tips. Because the less money that you spend on things like plane tickets, airport food and new gear, the longer you can enjoy perfect waves in paradise.
1. Book your flights early to secure cheaper tickets
You need to be smart when it comes to buying plane tickets if you really want to execute a budget surf trip. The reason being that booking too late or not conducting the proper research on baggage fees can really sting your wallet. Want our advice?
- Start looking for flights at least 6 weeks before your travel date
- Take advantage of flight tracking apps such as Hopper in order to find the best deals
- Book on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday when flights are typically less expensive (and avoid booking tickets on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday)
- Be flexible when it comes to your departure or arrival dates. There may be cheaper options either side of the day that you originally intend to fly out/fly in
Speaking of baggage fees, you can actually find detailed lists of different airlines and what they charge for surfboard transport online. Check out this one from Surfline for more info.
2. Take your own ding repair kit
There’s nothing as soul destroying as snapping a surfboard… but dinging it on the rocks or in a collision is also pretty devastating.
You’ll need to paddle in right away to stop your board from becoming waterlogged. You’ll also need to find someone to repair the damage for you… someone who will most likely charge you tourist prices to have it fixed.
Bringing your own ding repair kit is one way you can avoid having to go through this process. Just patch the board up yourself, wait till it dries and get back out there in time for the wave of the day.
If you do a good job, the board won’t feel any different. You’ll also be able to both enjoy the fact that you saved yourself some cash and help your new surf camp friends out if they ding their board too.
3. Stay at an all-inclusive surf camp
Booking your own surf trip can be extremely exciting. But that excitement generally starts to level out when you begin to consider all those other hidden surf trip costs, such as buying your own food every day, getting yourself to and from the waves and overpriced drinks at beachside restaurants.
With an all-inclusive surf camp experience though, practically everything is included in the price. This is highly convenient for traveling surfers since you won’t have to go far or pay extra to find what you need.
It also makes planning a budget surf trip way less stressful for those of you who might only be embarking on their first or second overseas surf adventure. Why? Because with an all-inclusive surf camp you know exactly what you will and won’t need to pay for. As for Rapture, here are a few things that we include with your room booking:
- Daily breakfast
- Free WiFi
- Yoga sessions
- Beach transfers
- Surf theory sessions
- Video analysis
4. Write out a list with all your anticipated costs
Having an overview of your anticipated costs is an excellent budget surf trip tip. It will give you a good idea as to what your saving goal will need to be and help you wrap your head around what an overseas surf trip actually costs.
Here are a few things that you need to consider when writing out this list:
- Food costs while in transit
- Transportation to and from airports
- Baggage fees if you bring your surfboard
- Tipping or gratuities
- Nights out (drinks, taxis, meals)
- Activities and tours
Of course, these costs can quickly blow up. By writing them all out when you first begin planning your budget surf trip though, you’ll be able to book with confidence knowing full well just how much spending money you’ll need. Then, simply book an all-inclusive trip or organize a trip with your mates to further cut down on costs.
5. Borrow gear from friends or wait for an online sale
Board bags, legropes, wax, fins and sun hats. Surfing is more than just a surfboard and a bikini or pair of boardshorts these days.
There are many essential items that you need to bring on a surf trip. And like the additional travel costs that we just mentioned, purchasing these items brand new can burn a hole through your wallet lickity split. So why not try save some money by borrowing or buying during a sale?
Friends and family should be happy to lend you a few bits and pieces… so long as you don’t ask to borrow a full quiver. And as for online sales, they can offer discounts on quality gear up to 50%, which is ideal if you really want to organize a budget surf trip.
6. Decide whether it’s necessary to bring your own board
Want to save an extra $100, $150 or even $300? Then leave your surfboard at home.
Oversized luggage fees are the ultimate cringe expense. You can’t get around them and no amount of arguing will get you a reduced rate. You just have to wear them.
In saying that, it’s not always necessary to bring your surfboard on a budget surf trip. At various Rapture destinations, for example, you’ll discover a huge selection of quality surfboards of all shapes and sizes that are available for guests to use. These boards are perfectly suited to beginners and intermediates, but more advanced surfers will still have heaps of fun on them.
So if you don’t own your own board or you’re happy to use one of ours, don’t stress. You’ll save money on board fees AND save yourself the hassle of lugging a heavy surfboard bag to and from airports. And that’s what we call a win-win.
7. Arrange a budget surf trip with friends
Arranging a surf vacation with friends is generally cheaper than if you were to travel solo.
This is because you can split costs that you might’ve otherwise been required to fork out alone, such as transport fees to and from airports, gear hire at a surf shop or even meals when you’re at a restaurant.
Of course, booking with friends is also so much fun it should be illegal. And nothing beats trading perfect waves with the people you grew up with.
8. Try to stay as close to the waves as possible
Nothing turns a budget surf trip on its head like having to order a taxi or jump in some other type of local transport to reach the waves every day.
Even though the actual cost of transport might be cheap, it will definitely add up if you intend on staying for more than a week. The best thing you can do then is try to stay close to the beach or at least stay with someone who offers beach transfers (that’s us!).
Better yet, why don’t you stay right on the break with Rapturecamps. That way you can walk to the water’s edge or stroll down and check the surf every morning.
If that doesn’t sound like the ultimate surf fantasy, we don’t know what does.
9. Choose a package that suits your budget
One of the best things about most modern surf camps (*cough* ours *cough*) is that they offer different packages for different budgets.
At Rapturecamps, for example, we have several different room types. Each of which has a certain price, with private rooms being more expensive than dormitory rooms. This means that if you want to book a budget surf trip, you can opt for a cheaper option. However, if you want to enjoy a little bit of luxury during your stay, you can choose the more expensive accommodation option – it’s totally up to you.
10. Never forget though that a surf trip should be about the waves
You might be tempted to cut corners to save money. We have zero problems with you doing what you need to do to reach your dream destination. But never forget that surf trips should be about the waves. In fact, that’s the most important thing to consider when arranging a surf trip.
Fortunately, we offer a range of excellent surf trip options for both beginners and shredders alike. So whether you want to experience the iconic reef breaks of Bali, the tropical climes of Central America or the world-class waves of Portugal, Rapture has you covered.