Last updated: 10:16 AM ET, Thu July 28 2016

How Much Does a Day at the Beach Really Cost?

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | July 28, 2016

How Much Does a Day at the Beach Really Cost?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

A day at the beach doesn't have to drain your bank account. But it all depends on where you're headed.

Fortunately, thanks to TravelBird's 2016 Beach Price Index, travelers can find out just how much a day at the beach will cost before they leave home. TravelBird's 2016 Beach Price Index factors in the average cost of sunscreen, a bottle of water, a beer, ice cream and lunch at 250 of the world's best beaches.

French Polynesia's La Plage de Maui, Tahiti and Mareto Plage Publique, Moorea are the two most expensive beaches for a day trip, with the former's average cost coming in at more than $60. 

New Caledonia (a French island chain located in the South Pacific), Seychelles and Japan are also represented multiple times among the top 10 most expensive. 

Here's how the top 10 breaks down:

1. La Plage de Maui, Tahiti — French Polynesia ($60.13)

2. Mareto Plage Publique, Moorea — French Polynesia ($58.36)

3. Anse Vata, Noumea — New Caledonia ($56.11)

4. Anse Georgette, Praslin — Seychelles ($54.25)

5. Anse Soleil Beach — Seychelles ($54.18)

6. Beau Vallon, Mahe — Seychelles ($53.13)

7. Poe Beach — New Caledonia ($52.99)

8. Nishihama Beach, Okinawa — Japan ($52.09)

9. Yonaha Maehama Beach, Okinawa — Japan ($50.75)

10. Main Beach, East Hampton, New York — U.S. ($48.85)

On the opposite end of the list, the 12 cheapest beaches for a day trip were located in either Vietnam or India, with the latter nation possessing eight of the cheapest destinations. Interestingly, the most affordable bottle of water was found in Palolem Beach, Goa (India), where travelers can quench their thirst for just $0.22. 

Meanwhile, it only costs $2.01 to protect your skin from the sun in Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An (Vietnam). No other destination on the Index featured more affordable suncare products.

The U.S. was well-represented on TravelBird's Index as well with 18 American beaches making the cut. 

East Hampton, New York's Main Beach took home the title of most expensive, ranking 10th overall with an average cost of $48.85 a day. 

READ MORE: Dr. Beach Announces 2016 Top 10 Beaches

West Palm Beach, Florida, wasn't far behind, though, ranking 11th overall with an average daily cost of $47.45. Point Dume, Malibu ($45.27) was the only other U.S. beach among the top 25 most expensive worldwide. 

Daytona Beach, Florida ($43.61) just missed out at 26th overall, while South Beach Miami, Florida ($42.49); Kailua, Hawaii ($42.12); Naples Beach, Florida ($42.09) and Waikiki, Honolulu ($40.93) ranked among the top 50 most expensive day trips.

According to the Index, for less than $40 a day, travelers can enjoy Cape Cod's Sandy Neck Beach ($39.75); Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida ($39.50); Santa Monica State Beach ($38.93); Coronado Beach, California ($38.82); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina ($38.44) and Smathers Beach in Key West ($37.34). 

Ranking 87th overall, Myrtle Beach was recently named America's favorite beach in a Tipspoke survey.

READ MORE: What Are America's Favorite Beaches?

Ranking outside the top 100 were Venice Beach, Los Angeles ($37.14); Mission Beach, San Diego ($36.56); Hendry’s Beach, Santa Barbara ($35.43) and Gulf Shores, Alabama ($34.74). 

Despite coming in as the cheapest U.S. beach, Gulf Shores was found to be more expensive than 134 other beach destinations in TravelBird's Index.

"In order to have the best holiday experience, it helps travelers to have as much information about their destination as possible. This is why we came up with the Beach Price Index." said TravelBird CEO Symen Jansma in a statement. "The Beach Price Index is a great barometer for not only the expected costs at a certain beach but can also be used as an indicator of costs in that region at large."

"It helps travelers manage their budgets, expectations and ultimately get the most from their experience."


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