Finding the right golf vacation package is a bit akin to finding the best deal on Club Med. If you find the right trip, then you get an all-in-one trip that doesn’t bust the proverbial piggy bank, and that’s great fun to boot. If you don’t find the right golf trip, then you wind up literally and metaphorically sunburned, over budget, and ready to head home on the next red-eye flight.
In this short guide, we take a look at some of the factors you need to keep in mind as you’re planning your destination golf vacation. You’ll learn how to take advantage of deals, as well as how to plan your trip. Finally, we’ll talk about some ways to keep yourself on budget. This will allow you to spend your golf vacation playing golf rather than worrying about how your time on the golf course might send you over your spending limit.
Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck: How to Find a Golf Trip
Book During the Shoulder Months
If you don’t know about the shoulder season in the travel industry, you’re likely missing out on some excellent travel deals! The shoulder season is the time just before and after the peak travel season. Because it’s off-peak, many travel-related industries, like aviation, resorts, and restaurants, offer discounts and specials to entice travelers to spend money.
These deals help both the vendors and the travelers who take advantage of them. Vendors get to make up for the loss of revenue they experience during the off-season, and travelers get to go on vacations at a much lower price and maybe even visit destinations that wouldn’t be financially feasible otherwise. It’s a win-win deal for both parties.
For avid golfers like you, this means that you can afford to book more “involved” stay and play golf vacation packages. It also means that you can afford to spend time at some of your favorite golf courses in the Southeast and continue to play your favorite game on into the cooler months of the year. And you’ll probably have a better time of it, too, because the links won’t be as busy.
Golf trips during this time of year are especially great for deals on multi-activity golf packages, like those that some resorts plan during football season and other special events. If you’re booking a group golf vacation trip, this benefit is particularly nice because the non-golfers in your group also find fun things to do. For example, while you’re on the links, they’re out hiking the hills, improving their aim on the archery range, or burning some calories on the pedal boats.
Research Your Destination and Set a Budget for Your Upcoming Stay and Play Golf Vacation
In our experience, researching and choosing a destination and setting a budget usually go hand-in-hand. What’s more, the process of getting these two factors to align is often iterative.
This means that you may set a budget for $1,000 per person (for example) but find that you’re either priced out of the places you’d like to go or that you’re willing to up your budget a bit within reason. Because of this, you need to go back to the proverbial drawing board and alter your plans and/ or your budget a bit until you settle on the right destination for you.
A subset of this part of the process also includes a decision to postpone your golf vacation slightly. This usually happens when you decide that you need a couple more months to save up for your golf vacation, or that you’ve found a better deal that’s happening at a later time than you had originally planned to take a vacation.
Stacking Deals for Your Upcoming Golf Vacation
In the latter case, you might have been planning on taking a fall golf trip, but discover during the research process that your favorite golf course in the Southeast has a Christmas special.
If you find a deal like this, you then want to see if you can stack some deals. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to book a Christmas vacation at an Alabama golf course because you’ve found a deal that includes activities like:
- Painting your pet
- A cooking class with a famous chef
- And a holiday wine dinner
Or the deal includes:
- Christmas Eve dinner
- Activities by the firepit, including S’mores
- A family wagon ride
- UTV fun
As is, these deals are expected to last three days, but you know that you want to take a six- or seven-day golf vacation. So, here’s what you do before you start making your golf trip packing list. You want to see if you can find some other golf deals, too, for the same resort.
For example, find out if your destination golf resort offers mid-week deals. Then, if you find two golf vacation packages that overlap, meaning one is the intended holiday special and the other is a mid-week golf special, you can then book the two separate deals back-to-back to stack the savings.
It’s also good to remember that, usually, golf packages come with more than just your tee time. Many destination golf courses also include a golf cart, lodging, golf balls, and more in the packaged deals, so be sure to look for that.
They may also include meals and other activities. You’ll also want to preview the golf course to see what kind of playing conditions and alternative activities the resorts offer.
The Contingency Plan for Your Golf Trip
However, it’s best to do your homework to find all of this out ahead of time. This allows you to earmark money so that you can include certain activities in your budget, as well as save money on other parts of the vacation.
For example, if you stay in a cabin on the grounds of the golf resort, find out if your cabin has a kitchen so that you can cook some of your meals. This option allows you to save some money, too. This type of money-saving option will be particularly helpful if you’re traveling with a group, which costs more.
And chances are, since you’re booking a mid-week trip, you’ll find some good deals on airline flights, too. According to Nerd Wallet, you’ll save the most money on plane tickets if you book on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
Finally, don’t forget to talk to the resort about group discounts. If you’re traveling with a number of people, then you’ll want to budget and plan for that, too, and get the best deals possible in the process.
Final Thoughts on Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck on Your Golf Vacation
If you’re thinking about taking a golf vacation but are worried about the trip going over your spending limit, reach out to us. We offer vacation package deals throughout the year, including stay and play golf packages that will fit your budget and offer your group a great time to boot!