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How to plan a budget surf trip

How to plan a budget surf trip

If you want to make a budget surf trip, you have come to the right place! Planning a surf trip that doesn’t ruin your bank account seems impossible, but with a bit of research and the right tips, you can make your dream trip a reality. Read on to find out how.

Tips for a budget surf trip

Choose the best surf destination

Surf destination Sri Lanka
Photo by Fredrik Öhlander in Unsplash

First and foremost, decide where you want to go. Consider your surfing level, the type of waves you want to surf, and the season.

For beginners, beach breaks with sandy bottoms, like those in Portugal or Costa Rica, are ideal. More experienced surfers may prefer the reef breaks in Indonesia.

The year’s seasons are also crucial since the best surfing conditions vary throughout the year, depending on the destination.

This is where it will make a difference when you are looking to save money on your surf trip.

The peak season months, which usually mark the summer in each country, are when prices rise exponentially. After all, half the world takes vacations at that time.

But these may not be the months of the best waves.

To try to escape the peak tourist season, you have three choices:

1. Choose a destination where the peak surfing season doesn’t clash with the summer months. You’ll probably get colder weather, but the prices are lower;

2. Choose a destination that has good waves all year round. That way, you can opt for the off-season months;

3. Choose the intermediate seasons. That’s when the best surfing season is almost over, but there are still good waves, and the high season hasn’t started yet.


To research the best times of the year for surfing in each country, use sites like Surfline.

Portugal: With consistent waves and affordable living costs, Portugal is a top choice for surfers looking to save money.
Morocco: Known for right-hand waves and affordable accommodations, Morocco is always a good choice.
Indonesia: In Bali, it’s 8 or 80. You can spend an absolute fortune or make a cheap living. You’ll find several warungs that offer accommodation and food at very affordable prices.
Costa Rica: With year-round warm water and a wide variety of peaks, Costa Rica is perfect for those looking to surf in a tropical destination without putting a dent in their wallet.
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka is gaining popularity among surfers due to its accessible waves and low cost of living.

Book the cheapest flight

surf trip cheapest flights
Photo by Chanas in Unsplash

Early booking and flexibility are key to getting cheap flights.

Use comparison sites like Skyscanner to get an overview of prices and set Google Alerts for flights you are interested in.

Look into connecting to different airports and try to have time to make your trip. A direct flight takes less time but is more expensive than making one, two, or more stopovers.

Be open to flying during the week or at odd hours, as these flights tend to be cheaper.

Also, remember that when we buy a flight, we are charged for many extras, whether it’s baggage, seat selection, or cancellation fees.

Finally, find out about the rates charged by the airline for transporting surfboards. There are cheaper flights, but the airline company will charge you an amount for each surfboard you carry. On the other hand, some flights are a little more expensive. Still, the company will consider your surfboards as checked baggage if you stay within the allowance.

Find out in this post how much airlines charge for the transportation of surfboards.

Opt for the cheapest accommodation and meals

Budget surf accommodations
Photo by M. Cooper in Unsplash

Accommodation and meals are the most significant travel expenses after flights.

Surf camps and hostels are excellent options for saving money on accommodation and food. Many surf camps offer packages that include meals, lessons, and equipment rental.

Alternatively, consider staying in a hostel to save money on your stay and cook your meals.

Cooking your own meals is one of the best ways to save money on your surf trip, but if you want to avoid going to that trouble, choose smaller restaurants with local food or even street food. Asking a local is the best way to find where to eat well and cheaply.

Bring your surfing equipment

Surf gear
Photo by James Lee in Unsplash

Although you can rent a surfboard at the destination you are going to, be aware of the costs. Daily rental fees can make your trip more expensive.

If you are planning an extended surf trip, buying a second-hand board upon arrival and reselling it before you leave is more cost-effective.

If you have your own equipment and think you’ll be doing a lot of surfing, you can take it to save money. Of course, as I mentioned above, it will also depend on whether the airline charges extra for transportation.

Other expenses

As much as you want to make a budget surf trip, there are other expenses that you should take into account:

Travel Insurance

You should only go on a surf trip after first getting travel insurance. Heymondo’s travel insurance is one of the cheapest on the market. It works very well and includes adventure sports like surfing. And I’ll even give you a 5% discount for being a Marlene On The Move reader!

5% off your Heymondo travel insurance from Marlene On The Move


If you stay at a surf camp, many organize pick-up and drop-off at the airport and provide transportation during your stay. However, renting a car is the best way to get around if you are traveling without anything scheduled.

Search with Discover Cars to get a vehicle at the best value.


Having internet is now a must on any trip, so buy a SIM card when you arrive in the country. If you do it at small stores or gas stations, you can get a better price than at the airport. If you don’t want the hassle and expense of getting it on location, buy an eSIM, and you’ll have internet upon arrival. 


Depending on your surfing destination, you may have to pay for a visa to enter the country. The amount varies a lot, and getting informed is essential to avoid surprises.

Unexpected expenses

You never know what might happen on a surf trip, so remember to bring extra money for any unexpected expenses.

Like any other trip, preparing for a budget surf trip can be challenging. Still, with careful planning and smart choices, you can do everything you want without going broke.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. If you have more to add, post them in the comment box! I’ll love to hear about it.

Master the art of budget surf trip planning! Dive into this comprehensive article for for smart savings, ideal stays, and transportation hacks.
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Prepare your trip with Marlene On The Move’s partners!

By using these links or others set in this article to make your reservations, you will not pay more, and it makes all the difference to me! It’s with these partnerships that I manage to maintain the blog, so your help is precious! Thank you in advance!

Marlene On The Move

Marlene Marques

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures around the world. It is not unusual for her to set off to discover new countries and cultures with a surfboard as luggage.



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