A Day at This Beach Is No Day at the Beach – It Could Cost You $365

Source: davidstanleytravel / Flickr

Summer may be waning, but there are still plenty of beach days left. Beaches define summer — sun, sand, and surf; a beach towel and a colorful umbrella; ice cream, or maybe (depending on the beach) a frosty beer…. It all adds up to a seasonal paradise.

It can also all add up, period.

There are many public beaches around the world, and apart from possible parking fees, they’re virtually free — assuming that you bring your own refreshments, towels, umbrellas, and such. If you don’t, however, a day at the beach can be as pricey as a fancy dinner — or worse.

The Welsh company We Are Promotional Products, which sells beach towels, umbrellas, deck chairs, and other vacation necessities, has identified what it says are the most and least expensive of the world’s most popular beaches.

Based on the cost of parking, lunch, ice cream, beach beers, watersports, and, where available, beach chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, and wet suits (should you want to go skin diving), the site identifies Renaissance Island on the Caribbean island of Aruba as the most expensive of all, with an estimated daily cost of $364.58 per person.

Close behind Aruba, believe it or not, is Coney Island, New York ($312.87), followed by South Beach, Florida ($210.67); Bournemouth Beach, ($187.22); and Biarritz, France ($176.81). They may be expensive, but they are also very well-known and loved by many.And, fortunately, we are not in danger of losing them in a few years, unlike the beach towns that will soon be underwater.

Among the study’s other statistics: Railay Beach in Thailand sells the most expensive ice cream ($27.62 from an official Häagen-Dazs shop); Santa Monica Beach in Florida has the priciest cabanas ($265.88); and a beach chair and an umbrella will cost you the most on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii ($48.30).

We Are Promotional recommends that another way to keep costs down, besides bringing your own refreshments and towels, etc., is to look for local vendors selling ice cream or snacks on the beach — whose wares will often be cheaper than those at stands or in restaurants.

Of course a seaside excursion doesn’t have to cost a lot. The study identifies the cheapest beaches as Huiquan Bathing Beach in China, Rabbit Beach in Sicily, Navagio Beach in Greece, Valparaiso Beach in Chile, and Ipanema Beach in Brazil. Daily costs at those venues range from $10.78 for Huiquan to $31.14 for Ipanema. They’re not on this list, but these are the 10 best, most affordable beach towns in the world.