These were the words and question I asked Kristen last weekend. We haven't been able to travel as much since she started school and we have been wanting to go to the beach all summer and just never fit it in the schedule. So we thought this would be a great opportunity. And since Kristen is a college student again, we thought we would try to make it as cheap as we could - so we set the goal of doing it for less than 100$.
Well first off, we have some benefits, we are pretty close to the beach being in Raleigh. Depending on which beach you want to go to, you can drive 2+ hours and be on the sand ( minus finding a parking spot.) So we packed up and met our friends Chad and Emily and carpooled down early Saturday morning, with the plan to make it around lunch.
![blogPics](/static/img/118/main0.jpg "Hitting the road")
We decided to go to Carolina beach, which was one of our favorite beaches from our past outer banks motorcycle trip. We ended up getting there around 1pm. Parking was a real pain and cut into our budget more than we expected. Next time we'll do more research to see how we can park for cheaper. Thankfully we were saved from buying lunch because we pre-packed our Classic PB&J sammiches. Before hitting the sand we snagged a nice picnic table on the boardwalk area and enjoyed a nice view while snacking on lunch.
![blogPics](/static/img/118/main1.jpg/ "Beachside picnic")
After lunch we got down to the beach and the weather was excellent. We could see rain coming for later, but at the time it was great beach weather and the water was cool and relaxing. We enjoyed playing some frisbee, volleyball and body surfing in the water. We had a blast - and got totally burnt. But so far we were still under budget (gas+parking at this point - and our prepacked sammmiches).
After we got off the beach, we decided to get some ice cream because as Kristen says "Ice cream is always in the budget".
We checked into some different lodging options, but couldn't find an AirBnB or hotel that would keep us in budget, so we had a campsite reserved at Carolina State Park just down the road. Which was a risk - it was supposed to storm this evening and it was still pretty hot out. What we didn’t know/expect though, was that the campsite we were at was a breeding ground for mosquito's! I don’t know if we have ever been swarmed immediately by so many. We had a mosquito repellent candle that did really help make a difference and we brought some bug spray which was also essential, bug by the next morning I'm pretty sure you could play connect the dots on all of our backs.
![blogPics](/static/img/118/main3.jpg/ "Camping setup in mostquito land")
We cooked our dinner over the fire which turned out great - chicken sausages, broccoli and couscous. Chad and Emily went a bit fancy and had some steaks with silver turtle vegetables which also smelled fantastic.
We introduced Chad and Emily to the best dessert EVER - banana boats.
Eventually we hit the showers and bee lined it for the tents to take shelter from the swarming mosquitoes. The relief from the insects was nice, but the tent was like a large pre-heating oven. We had an air mattress and a real pillow which was a MAJOR upgrade from our normal camping arrangements, but the heat was stifling and made it difficult to sleep for me (Kristen), but impossible for Kenny.
In the morning we basically threw everything in the back of Chad's truck and hightailed it back to the beachfront to get away from the mosquitoes. We broke out the jetboil in the beach parking lot for some hot breakfast and then hit the beach for another few hours. The early morning hours were a lot more peaceful and less crowded.
##### Our final budget (for the two of us):
| Expense | Cost |
| --- | :---: |
| Parking | $15 |
| Camping | $13 |
| Icecream | $7 |
| Wood | $7 |
| Gas | $25 |
| Food | $15.50 |
| **Total** | **$82.50** |
*We did end up being under our budget, but it also helps to be close-ish to the beach ( we are only about 2.5 hours away). we also teamed up with our friends Chad and Emily. We had a total combined final cost of about 150-160$ so we were well below our $100 budget for just the two of use and $200 combined goal.
##### Pro Tips:
- Find somewhere to park that is not at the beach front
- Hit the beach early to avoid the crowds
- Be prepared for mosquito breeding zone if you're camping at Carolina Beach
##### What we would like to do next time:
- Stay in a cabin/shelter from the mosquitoes
- Go to Britt's donuts (supposed to be an AWESOME donut)
- Get some fresh seafood
- Check out the sunrise
Let us know what you might add to a $100 beach budget! Let us know if we are out of our minds! let us know what we should try next!