A beach getaway doesn't have to be exorbitant. There are plenty of hotels and resorts where prices are $150 a night or less -- if you know where to look and when to visit. Here are some places to spend a few days watching the waves roll in and out without completely emptying your wallet. All prices were researched in May and are based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
Daytona Beach, FL
Famous for being a spring break getaway, Daytona Beach offers abundant sun and sand. Summer rooms can drop as low as $98 a night at the 3½-star Plaza Resort & Spa, where guests get free weeknight beverages as an apology for some post-hurricane construction. The 322-room resort features suites overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or the Halifax River. There's also a 15,000-square-foot spa to pamper yourself, and a pool that's open year-round.
A Historic Hotel of America and named the South's best hotel by Southern Living, Jekyll Island Club Resort is a grand property that dates back 131 years. It's a place where the rich and famous such as the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers socialized for years. Thanks to abundant sunshine and mild temperatures, the resort's pool is open year-round. There are also manicured lawns, sunken gardens, acres of forest, and, of course, miles of beach all waiting to be explored. In late summer, prices drop as low as $168 a day.
One of the top budget-friendly resorts recommended by TravelPirates, White Sands Negril is an intimate resort ideal for travelers in search of low-key, family-owned beachfront property. It's on world-famous Negril Beach and is walking distance to nearby popular restaurants, bars, and water activities. Visit from mid-April to mid-December and you'll find rooms as low as $60 a night.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Playa del Carmen has become a popular alternative to Cancun. It's known for its funky little public square, blocks of notable eateries, and a variety of colorful shops. It's also close to the ancient ruins of Tulum. One of the top properties here is the all-inclusive, four-star Allegro Playacar. The resort includes three restaurants, five bars (including swim-up bars), and plenty of beach to enjoy. When not meditating on the sounds of the surf, there's also diving, beach volleyball, tennis, and more to keep you busy. Rooms in August and September start at $171 per night.
Costa Chica, Mexico
The chic, modern Manta Raya Hotel is on Costa Chica's nearly deserted Salchi Beach, the only white-sand beach in the region. At this boutique property with just seven rooms, guests can spend days disconnecting, hanging out poolside or at the beach. There's also horseback riding, fishing, and local plantations that are open for tours. Rooms start at $78 nightly.
A little-known island that's repeatedly recognized for being one of the top destinations in the world for sustainable tourism, Bonaire is also home to the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino. In addition to being a great base for scuba diving and snorkeling, the resort includes two freshwater pools and an on-site spa. What's more, the island capital town of Kralendijk is a five-minute walk away. The resort is offering a winter special: Book by June 30 for room as low as $155 a night.
La Paz, Mexico
The alluring capital of Baja California Sur, La Paz is a place to stroll along the seafront promenade taking in the beach, parks, and artwork by Mexican and international artists. CostaBaja Resort & Spa is the first and only luxury hotel and spa in the city. Located five minutes from downtown, the 115-room boutique hotel offers a variety of gourmet dining options, and two pools, including a beach club. A nearby marina provides access to various sea sports and activities on the Sea of Cortez. Rooms get as low as $124 a night booked 90 days or more in advance..
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Biloxi is best-known for its casinos, but there's also plenty of beach to enjoy. Additional highlights include the Biloxi Lighthouse, and the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, which showcases (as the name indicates) exhibits about the local boatbuilding and seafood-processing industries. Biloxi's Margaritaville Resort is a family-friendly hotel that includes the largest entertainment complex on the Gulf Coast and a water park. In mid-October room prices drop to $129 per night.
Tybee Island, GA
Tybee Island is certainly a charmer when it comes to beach escapes. A barrier island near Savannah, Georgia, it's known for wide, sandy beaches and its still-functioning 18th century lighthouse. Tybee's only beachfront hotel is the DeSoto, a small property with a pool and complimentary continental breakfast. November and February (when average temperatures are in the low to upper 60s) are the among the two most budget-friendly times to visit this hotel. Prices drop to between $126 to $133 per night.
One of Mexico's most popular beach destinations, Acapulco is known for golden-sand beaches, high-energy nightlife, and incredible cliffs (and cliff divers). One of the most budget-friendly properties here is Las Brisas, an iconic property known for its pink and white casitas. Most of the houses have private pools, and continental breakfast is delivered daily. Many of the casitas have terraces overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Summer prices can be found at $92 nightly.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Yet another iconic Mexican vacation destination, Puerto Vallarta is all about its beaches, water sports, and nightlife. There's also a charming cobblestone city center that includes the ornate Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe church, and numerous boutique shops. Experience all that this popular destination has to offer little more than $100 nightly at the Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta. The four-star property includes sprawling pools that resemble a tropical oasis, a spa, a kids' club, and a beach club.
A Central American destination famous for being home to the Belize Barrier Reef and hundreds of low-lying islands called cayes, Belize is the ultimate beach and fun in the sun getaway. The Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa is a quaint and laid-back option that includes a full-service spa, beachfront dining, a kids' pool, and a heated infinity pool with a swim up tiki bar. The hotel is also a great base for adventure travelers, offering access to everything from zip-lining to waterfall rappelling. Room rates for ocean view cabanas at this resort are as low as $119 nightly from March and November, which is 60 percent off.
Perched on the scenic cliffs of Negril's Pristine Cove, this casually chic boutique hotel is just steps away from the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. A three-time winner of the "Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel" from the World Travel Awards, RockHouse sits on 8 acres of lush gardens and offers world-class dining, a spa, and wellness activities. The resort offers a variety of rooms during the fall at $95 to $125 per night.
A luxury tent resort in a nature preserve by the beach, Bahari Beach Bungalows offer a truly unique tropical getaway. The bungalows are scattered around a pool. There's also a Jacuzzi surrounded by a garden. From your bungalow, you can hear the surf and birds singing in the preserve. Don't miss horseback riding through the rainforest while here to see nearby waterfalls, or riding along the beach. The most budget-friendly room rates range from $90 to $135 per night depending on when you visit and whether you are booking a double or single room.
Playa Venao, Panama
Panama is becoming an increasingly popular destination, due in large part to its beaches and affordable accommodations. The El Sitio Hotel in Playa Venao is on a picturesque beach and offers a variety of activities that make the most of its location. Surf lessons, deep-water fishing, horseback riding, and stand-up paddleboard are just a few of the options at this rustic beach resort. Smaller rooms start at $99, and beach-level family rooms accommodating three to four people range from $129 to $139.
If you don't mind staying in a courtyard room without patio or ocean views, the Mango Beach Inn is a great way to visit the stunning island of St. Lucia without busting a budget. Rooms start at $110 per night in low season (June, September and October) and max out at $150 per night in high season (December through April). An Eastern Caribbean island, St. Lucia is known as a lush, unspoiled destination that is breathtakingly beautiful.
Finding an all-inclusive beach resort under $150 a night is a rare treat. Legends in Negril, however, offers a variety of pricing options including standard garden-view rooms that range throughout the year from $112 to $131 a night. Want to make it even cheaper? Opt to book without the all-inclusive features such as food and drinks and rates drop to $51 to $83 a night. Located along a 7-mile white sand beach, the resort also offers two freshwater pools (one oceanside and one in the gardens), and a beachfront restaurant and bar.
Caye Caulker, Belize
A property voted the No.1 bargain in Central America by TripAdvisor, Colinda Cabanas is perched on a quiet sandy beach on the east side of Caye Caulker. This hotel includes just 14 cabanas facing Belize's famous reef. Popular pastimes include listening to the surf, keeping your eyes peeled for the many migratory birds and reptiles and stargazing. There's a private, 175-foot pier on the property. Cabanas start at $64 per night during the low season (Jan. 5 through Dec. 19).
Guadeloupe, French West Indies
Club Med offers a variety of bargains at its many beach resorts, among them stays starting at $102 a night during October or December visits to the all-inclusive Caravelle resort. Located on one of the finest beaches in the heart of the Caribbean, the resort is a great base for exploring everything from rainforests, to coral reefs and local markets. Resort amenities include a variety of restaurants, a pool, multiple bars, and kids' clubs tailored to various age groups.
A convenient getaway from Southern California (just a few hours south of the border), Rosarito is known for its nightlife and miles of beaches. The Rosarito Beach Hotel & Spa offers getaway specials for standard rooms as low as $94 a night (for its anniversary special, ending June 20). One of Baja's largest beachfront resorts, the property opened in 1925 and has hosted movie stars, presidents, and international royalty. The property's most notable amenity is its spa, where guests can pamper themselves with everything from Swedish massages to hydrotherapy at prices far cheaper than in the United States.