If you don’t already have a summer vacay planned, you might want to listen up.

By Marisa Spyker
POJCHEEWIN YAPRASERT/Getty Images

As editors who think, write, and dream about the coast all day long, we’ve long subscribed to one simple fact: Deficiency in “Vitamin Sea” leads to serious FOMO.

Which is precisely why we were surprised—horrified?—to learn that, according to a new survey from Airbnb, the most common travel-related regret people had at the end of 2018 was not taking a beach vacation.

To gather the data, Airbnb polled 2,000 Americans on their travel habits. Of the sample, two-thirds admitted to not taking a beach vacation and regretting it. When asked what the biggest barriers to not taking a beach vacation were, participants pointed to financial constraints and limited vacation days.

Related: The 10 Best Beach Towns To Visit in Winter: 

When you consider the benefits of basking by the sea, it’s not exactly surprising to hear that missing out on that beach fix might disappoint. Over the years, numerous scientific studies have found that being in, on, or near the water can positively affect our minds and bodies in many ways, including lowering stress, decreasing heart rate, and increasing our overall sense of well-being. (Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols calls the mildly meditative state we tend to fall into when near the ocean our “Blue Mind.”) And in terms of physical health, those who are lucky enough to reside near the coast consistently rank among the fittest in America.

So there you have it: Booking a beach vacation really is good for you. And nothing—be it money or vacation time—should stop you from planning an epic one in 2019. Ready to get started? Here are the cheapest beach destinations to visit this year, and our favorite PTO-free weekend getaways. (And some really cute Airbnbs in the Caribbean, all for $150 a night or less.)

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