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Food and Entertainment budget

Baltimore, MD
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625 posts
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Food and Entertainment budget

Good morning.

Can someone give me an idea of what the typical cost of food and entertainment might be for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids 4 and 9) for a week's stay at Myrtle Beach? We like to splurge a little on vacation (sit down dinners, comfortable lunch by the pool, maybe a drink or 2). We are thinking of staying at Hampton Inn Ocean Front in June. Also, what is the cost of renting an unbrella/chairs at the beach?

I am trying to get a solid per day dollar cost for budgeting. It can be a range like $100-150, but something reasonable.

Thanks so much.

This would be our first trip and we are looking forward to your response.

Athens, Alabama
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1. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

A lot depends on where you go. Prices in MB won't be all that different from what you would find at home for the same type of restaurant so plan based on what you might spend there for your family. Most restaurants are family friendly and priced accordingly. Seafood and steaks, as at home, cost more than BBQ and burgers. Eating every meal out can tack a good bit onto your vacation cost. We typically have breakfast and lunch in our condo room and go out for dinner in the evening.

georgia
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for Myrtle Beach
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2. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

Just for discussion's sake, since prices vary so widely, for a sit down dinner I would plan $18-$25 per adult entree and $6-$10 per child. The ever popular seafood buffets will average at least that much. Buy a local newspaper every day and look for BOGO coupons. Some people want to do NO cooking on vacation, but for us, as above, eating most breakfasts in and some lunches makes most sense. Most of the time when we eat out for dinner the portions are large enough that we bring home enough for lunch the next day. This is why staying in a condo or at least an efficiency unit works best, full size refrig, stove, etc. A lot of pools do not allow food or drink items on the pool/deck area, so you might consider accommodations with an ocean or pool view for that enjoyment or use a small cooler and picnic on the beach. Umbrella and chair rentals run $20-25 per day or $120 or so per week. If you do not mind carrying to the beach, buy an umbrella and a couple of chairs at Sams or WalMart for about one half that price and if you can't carry home, then donate to Goodwill when you leave. If you look at private rentals, some owners supply umbrella & chairs.

Baltimore, MD
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625 posts
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3. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

Thank you.

I do not think Hampton Inn has full kitchens.

What resort has the nicest pool area (slides, large pool) and has kitchens in the room?

My kids are big pool kids (they like the ocean but cannot play much in it due to currents sometimes) and they enjoy the Disney-type pools with features, zero-entry, and slides.

Thanks again!

Bethpage NY
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for Myrtle Beach
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4. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

I find MB food options to be quite affordable and you have tremendous flexibility in pricing. If you stay in a fully stocked 2 bedroom ciondo you can have breakfast and many lunches in and it will save you quite a bit of money. Also drinks and snacks can be enjoyed overlooking the ocean from your balcony before or after dinner. You can save quite a bit and go have nice dinner options and some lunches when your away from the resort. Good luck

New Jersey
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5. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

To cut down on the expenses when I go to MB in June I usually buy some gift certificates in advance directly from restaurant or purchase on restaurant.com for nice savings. Last time down I think I may have spent about $500 for dinners in the week with the 4 of us. Breakfast and lunch usually around the condo. If you are looking for nice resort with great pools/waterpark for the kids I would recommend Dunes Village. Been going there for past couple years and have always enjoyed it especially when it rains and kids still have something to do.

Bethpage NY
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for Myrtle Beach
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6. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

Dunes Village is a very nice resort, it's in a residential area so you would have to drive everywhere. It has a very good indoor waterpark that the kids will enjoy. It is a resort geared for guests with young children. My favorite is the Caribbean which has very good water amenities both in & out and since it's the last hi-rise on the strip it has a less crowded feel then many others. The units in the Cayman tower are newer and fully stocked and a 2 bedroom would give you ampkle space. Also i like the fact it has interior hallways where Dunes and many others have exterior hallways, that hot air blasts you as soon as you open the door, There are attractions and restaurants you can walk to. Good luck

Pittsburgh...
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7. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

I would agree with lenk that there is a lot of flexibility in expenses for food. You could spend as much or as little as you like. We usually eat breakfast & lunch at our condo and even 2 dinners. Then when we go out for dinner - it varies - we might order pizza one night - relatively cheap - say $25 for all 5 of us. We like River City Cafe - good food and pretty inexpensive for 5 and then we go out and try new places a couple times too - with no worry about price. Seems there are plenty of pizza & sub shops if you are looking to keep you food costs down. What I find expensive is the costs of entertainment - and we don't really do much beyond the beach. For one or two people, $9 to play mini golf seems ok but for 5 - we're talking $40 - 45 dollars. I know it's vacation - it just feels like a lot of money. Dolphin cruise - same thing - it was tons of fun and a great experience - I'm just not used to shelling out that much $$ for entertainment. I think you are smart to try to be prepared. For most activities - you can get a good idea of the costs before you go and then it won't be a surprise. There are also plenty of coupons to be had for many adventures and mini golf - just watch for the restrictions. MB is a great vacation destination and, no doubt, one of the most affordable anywhere. (We went to OBX last summer and spent significantly more) Going on a budget just requires some planning :)

Dayton, Ohio
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113 posts
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8. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

We always do some "happy hours" with most being kid friendly and great prices to check out new restaurants before choosing to spend full dinner prices. Google "myrtlebeachhappyhours" and you will get a great site from local who posts reviews from his own personal experiences along with specials. You will probably be surprised at what restaurants you will find. While I am not a fan of chain restaurants while on vacation, my son loves BW3's... Can't go wrong with half price apps for early dinner on a rainy day!

Dayton, Ohio
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113 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

We always do some "happy hours" with most being kid friendly and great prices to check out new restaurants before choosing to spend full dinner prices. Google "myrtlebeachhappyhours" and you will get a great site from local who posts reviews from his own personal experiences along with specials. You will probably be surprised at what restaurants you will find. While I am not a fan of chain restaurants while on vacation, my son loves BW3's... Can't go wrong with half price apps for early dinner on a rainy day!

Hillsborough, North...
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75 posts
51 reviews
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10. Re: Food and Entertainment budget

A couple of thoughts about saving some money on food. The large seafood buffet restaurants seem many times like a great deal; lots of variety, all you can eat, something for everyone, more immediate eating once seated. I have found though that the quality suffers, a lot of filler foods are thrown into the mix for the sake of having "X" items as advertised and I have always left not as satisfied by the experience as I had thought I would be. I'd look for the local places the locals eat at.

I want seafood when I go to the beach but being raised in SC about an hour inland from the coast for me seafood is fried shrimp, scallops, flounder, crab in the tradition of Calabash. That's not what a lot of folks from other places think of, so to give you specific suggestions while probably my favs might not turn you on at all. But I will say that at a lot of places if you want seared rare ahi tuna or seafood of that type you may well be dissappointed.

The cheap way to eat a great seafood meal at the beach, for me, is to head for one of the more local grocery store (Bouilineaus in NMB for example). They will sell you fresh shrimp and steam them no charge while you wait. If you have access to the most basic of kitchens you can nuke some bakers, make a basic salad, and dig into a couple of pounds of peel and eat shrimp for a fraction of going out and without a whole lot of cleanup.

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