Your browser's security settings have disabled Javascript, which is required to use this web site effectively.
Please alter your security settings. Click here to see how.

Ten Money-Saving Tips for a More Affordable Cape Cod & Islands Vacation

Contact: Elizabeth Weedon
Phone: (888) 281-8660

Need a vacation, but think you can’t afford one? With a little creativity and some advance planning, you may be able to take that much needed vacation after all.

Here are 10 ways to stretch your dollars and have a fun vacation on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket:

1. Stay at a Vacation Rental, Not a Hotel

A vacation rental home is often cheaper or similar in cost to a hotel. And, when you consider a vacation rental usually has much more space and a fully-equipped kitchen, this adds significantly to your savings. (Read our Vacation Rental vs. a Hotel article for more details.)

2. Share Costs with another Family

It’s very common for two or three families to stay together in one rental home. It is an ideal way to divide costs and responsibilities. And, it can be lots of fun for kids and adults alike!

3. Watch for Owner Specials on

Our homeowners sometimes offer deals or discounts to attract vacationers. You’ll find more of these specials closer to summer when homeowners are trying to fill last minute vacancies.

4. Vacation in the Shoulder Season

Most vacation rentals are significantly less expensive in June and September, which is referred to as the “shoulder season.” With cheaper rents, this is a perfect time for a vacation. The weather can be just as warm and beautiful as July and August. And, of course, there are far fewer crowds. You’ll even save money on a beach sticker because most beaches require stickers from the last week in June until Labor Day.

5. Prepare Your Own Meals

With your own kitchen, you can cook and prepare meals 24/7. This can save lots of money, especially if you eat in for most meals. Many vacation rentals provide an outdoor grill, making it easy to BBQ right outside your door. Think about the daily savings just for a family of four. Imagine how much you could save for a larger group!

6. Bring Your Own Food and Staple Items

Although there are plenty of places to buy groceries on the Cape, you’re better off bringing as much from home as you can. At home, you know where to shop to get the best deals, so chances are you’ll spend less. Some practical essentials to bring might include: condiments, dry and canned goods, paper products, bottled water, etc.

7. Coupons

Using coupons is a great way to save money. You’ll find plenty of coupons in most Cape and Islands Chambers of Commerce and anywhere else that has local tourist information, including the Vacation Planner.

8. Find Free Fun

There are plenty of fun things to do on the Cape and Islands without spending lots of money. Most town Chambers of Commerce offer free information booklets with details to help you navigate some of these free activities:

Hike the beautiful trails of the Cape and Islands.

Stroll the local art galleries.

Bike ride, walk, run or roller blade on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which stretches 22 miles from Wellfleet to Dennis.

Attend one of the many outdoor band concerts that are held throughout the Cape all summer. Check with the local chamber in the town where you are staying for information.

Take in a Cape Cod Baseball League game. This is the premiere collegiate summer league in the country, and many of today's Major League stars once played for one of the 10 teams scattered throughout the Cape.

Window shop and people watch in the many charming town centers.

Enjoy the beach during non-peak hours to fly a kite, collect seashells, take a leisurely walk, or just read a book.

Hit the local library to peruse the books and magazines and to check your email.

9. Entertainment

Board games will provide hours of vacation fun for all ages. Bring family favorites such as Clue, Monopoly, Candy Land, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, or Scrabble. And, when was the last time you played a rousing game of charades? Are you a movie buff? Many vacation rentals provide a DVD player or VCR. So, find out if your rental has either—and bring movies from home or borrow them from your local library.

10. Bring Your Bikes

In addition to leisurely bike rides, you can also use your bike as a main mode of transportation, saving you gas money. Lots of vacation rentals are close enough to the beach and other activities to ride your bike. And, if you bike to the beach, you won’t need to buy a beach sticker!

These are just a few tips to help you spend less and enjoy more during your Cape and Islands vacation. Follow these suggestions, and you’ll not only save money—you’ll also have a great vacation!


About WeNeedaVacation: Since 1997, WeNeedaVacation has been providing an efficient and inexpensive way of matching vacationers and vacation rental homeowners. The website lists nearly 4,000 properties on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. The WeNeedaVacation Vacation Planner also offers extensive information to the 175,000+ vacationers who use our site yearly, including information about beaches, events, dining, activities, and shopping. Our amazing staff provides unparalleled guidance to our Cape & Islands vacation rental homeowners. Many of our staff are vacation rental owners themselves, and all work hard to promote this special place. We proudly belong to 17 local Chambers of Commerce.

Follow Us!
Contact Us

For more information:


Phone: (888) 281-8660