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Getting the Best Value out of Vacation Apartments -- Apartments make good sense for families and for any traveler who wants to self-cater to save money. Because the Gold Coast has a dramatic oversupply of apartments that stand empty except during school vacations, you can get a spacious modern unit with ocean views for the cost of a midrange hotel. Apartment-block developers got in quick to snag the best beachfront spots when the Gold Coast boomed in the 1970s, so apartment buildings, not hotels, have the best ocean views. The Gold Coast Booking Centre (tel. 1300/553 800; www.gcbc.com.au) offers great deals on more than 1,200 apartments.

Avoid Holiday Madness: Book Ahead -- Most accommodations require a 1-week minimum stay during school holiday periods and a 4-day minimum stay at Easter. When the Gold Coast SuperGP car race takes over the town for 4 days in October, hotel rates skyrocket and most hostelries demand a minimum stay of 3 or 4 nights. Contact Gold Coast Tourism (tel. 07/5538 4419; www.visitgoldcoast.com.au) to find out the exact dates.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.