Your Florida Summer Beach Vacation – Tips on Selecting Your Beach Vacation Destination and Rental!

Summer is just around the corner, and for many families that means a trip to Fabulous Florida and one of the gorgeous beaches that cover more than 660 miles of the Sunshine State’s coastlines. No matter where you are in the vacation planning process, we’ll start at the beginning and work forward. If you have already covered some of the steps below, maybe these tips will come in handy next time!


First things first, of course, and the most basic decision you have to make is where in those 600-plus miles of beaches do you want to spend your precious vacation time? There are many factors to consider — distance from your hometown and travel time involved, vacation rental price, features and availability; activities that are important to your family, such as boating, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, hiking, etc.; and for some, pet-friendly beaches and accommodations. Some beaches are bustling and busy, like Panama City, Clearwater, Siesta, Destin, Miami and others. Accommodations vary as well — some have lots of high-rise condominiums and therefore a lot more rental units as well as a lot more guests. Other vacation spots tend toward lower density and smaller number of units, like Cape San Blas, for example. There are about a dozen areas of the state that have a pet-friendly beach. Read the restrictions for the various destinations so you fully understand what limitations, if any, there are to bringing your dog. For example, at Cape San Blas, dogs are welcomed on leash on the beaches of Gulf County with the exception of within St. Joseph’s Peninsula State park, where they are not permitted. Some beaches have limited areas where dogs are permitted or certain hours.

The wonders of the Internet make narrowing your choice of location a lot easier than it once was! Using a Google search for phrases that describe what you are looking for can give you a list of locations to begin researching more carefully. Try searches like “Pet-friendly Family Florida Beach Rentals” or “Uncrowded Florida Beach Rentals” or other search strings that appeal to your family. Ask for recommendations from others who have had positive vacation experiences. Many counties or cities will have tourist forums, where you can log on and ask questions. If someplace is a serious consideration for you, visit their forum and see what people have to share.

Everybody has a “perfect” beach destination they love. Just like some folks prefer chocolate and some vanilla, I am not going to try to tell you what I think would be your best choices. I can tell you what beaches I like, but that’s about it. My current favorite is Cape San Blas, where we have our rental business and two homes. Why do we love the Cape? We like the low density, the gorgeous sunsets, the fabulous beaches, the fishing and scalloping (St. Joe Bay is considered a Pristine Florida Water, and the oysters, fish and scallops are amazing). We like hiking in the State Park and riding horses on the beach. We love that our dogs are allowed on the beach as well. But again, there are many wonderful beaches in Florida. Just find the best fit for your family and go for it!


Okay, you’ve picked a destination. Good for you! Now you need to select a vacation rental unit. Just like there were lots of factors to consider when choosing a beach that fits your family’s needs, the same is true for picking the right property. Finding the right combination of bedrooms, amenities, views, features, and price can seem daunting at first. It’s best to decide your priorities before you start making inquiries on rental sites or calling vacation rental companies or hotels. Why? If your budget is $4000 for the week, stumbling over that $10,000 a week mansion with use of your own motorboat is just going to leave you feeling deprived. My tips for you when considering your rental options:

1. The closer to the gulf and the beach, the more expensive the unit will be. If budget is a big factor, accepting a walk of even 125 to 200 steps (about 2 minutes’ walk) can save you big on the bottom line for your home or condo or hotel room. But if it’s beachfront or nothing, baby, well, just know you will pay a little more. I always insisted on gulf-front for my family’s one week in paradise each year too, and it was worth every dime extra we paid to hear those ocean waves, feel that sea breeze and watch the sunset from the deck every day.

2. Amenities come at a price tag. If a private pool is a “must” for you, know you’ll pay more for that rental home than one with a community pool or no pool at all. An elevator may be great for the loading in and loading out, but if everybody in your party is able-bodied, you can save a few bucks bypassing the homes with the elevators — and get some cardio during the week taking the stairs, too. More basic amenities like free Internet don’t add much to the price these days, but they can be important to traveling business owners or students with papers to turn in during vacation.

3. Maximum occupancy and bedding configurations. I always counsel my guests if you can avoid using the sleeper sofa, do it. One of my personal vacation rentals offers a sleeper sofa in the loft, and it gives you more privacy and can be a good option for teenagers especially. But if you have no option but to use the sleeper in the main living room, so be it. Also look at the various bedding configurations. If you need 1 king bed and 2 queens, you’ll narrow down your search and eliminate rentals with twin beds and bunk beds.

4. What’s supplied? In our vacation community, there’s a vast difference from unit to unit on what’s included in your rental as standard options. Some provide linens and towels as part of the rent. Some provide them for an additional charge. Some don’t provide them at all, and you have to bring them from home. Same is true for things like beach chairs, beach cart for a unit that is a distance from the gulf, gas grills, games, puzzles, movie libraries, starters of kitchen and laundry supplies, pet towels and sheets in pet-friendly units and much more. When you compare Rental A to Rental B, be sure that they’re comparably appointed. If not, consider if there is a price savings to “tote your own” and whether it’s worth it to you to have the savings, if any, or the convenience.

Whew, that was hard work. Now it’s time to get ready to go, finally! More to come in my article, Your Florida Summer Beach Vacation – What to Bring & How to Pack for the Best Family Fun in the Sun!

Vacation Rentals – The Best Way to Get Away!

The vacation rental is an excellent option for the vacationing family. It is a superior option for families and groups. I say this, because the vacation rental allows a much lower per person cost for accommodations and meals.

I can illustrate this by detailing the following account of my vacation in the island paradise of Boracay, Philippines.

I won’t bore you with travel arrangements; that is to say, the “getting there” part. I will focus on the vacation rental details. My college friends and I are avid sun worshipers and “want to be” beach bums. We readily agreed that Boracay would be an excellent choice. Famous for it’s beautiful white sand beaches, snorkeling, water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing, diving, windsurfing, sailing, and sightseeing, we knew that we would have a spectacular time! The island of Boracay is just an inexpensive, short flight from Manila. We could explore the “Pearl of the Orient” any time we liked.

So how exactly did four “beach bums” arrive at the decision to rent a vacation home? Research! Research! Research! Accommodations can often be the most costly element of your vacation. If you can hold down costs on accommodations and food, you can travel farther and remain longer at your chosen destination. Those were our goals. An exotic destination and the longest stay possible. The third variable is transportation. You can watch for “specials” on airfares but it is unlikely that you can coordinate these with your scheduled vacation time and find accommodations in a timely manner. Your best bet for cost control lies in the area of accommodations and food.

That said, we began to explore the cost of hotel rooms in Boracay. We knew we wanted something beachfront, cable TV and Internet.

We located a resort hotel in Boracay that met all our requirements, at a cost of $760.00 per night for the four of us in two rooms. That is $190.00 per night, per person. This does not include food, gratuities or laundry. Our next step was to consider the vacation rental option. Clearly, we needed to reduce the cost of our stay from $190.00 plus!

We quickly located the perfect vacation rental at a cost of $257.00 per night, which works out to $64.25 per night, per person. Even better, we have our own kitchen, a living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom and we would all be together. We had, effectively, reduced the cost of our accommodations by more than $125.00 per person, per night! This doesn’t even take into account the money we will save by preparing our own meals, snacks and drinks! Moreover, we will be able to handle our laundry needs at greatly reduced costs.

The structured atmosphere, inherent in hotel accommodations, is eliminated by the vacation rental concept. You feel like you are home. Come and go as you please. Eat when you please. No tipping, no waiting for towels, soap, and clean linens! No concerns about where to get a good snack when you wake up hungry in the middle of the night. The advantages of the vacation rental go on and on.

Travel Adventures in the Holidays

Travel is an adventure. In fact, that’s why most of us traveling. Not for relaxation, not for a change of scenery and routine, but solely for the adventure that awaits.

Working day to day can be very boring. All of us need the adrenaline rush from time to time. There are things you can do with your holiday time has nothing to do with relaxation.

Holiday vacation days including mountain climbing, white water rafting, sky diving, bungee jumping, zip-line tours, hiking Machu Picchu, hot air balloon, sled dogs and space flight orbital sub-just to mention a few. Virgin Galactic is the flight testing of the orbital, so that sub-someday we can even vacation in outer space!

Baby boomers, the healthier and stronger than retirees from generations past, looking for a vacation destination that corresponds to an active lifestyle. Travel site are countless on the internet serving the boomer and capture their share of a growing market.

In my opinion, the holidays can be considered exotic in terms of destinations, exotic in terms of what you do when you arrive or exotic in terms of objectives and activities.

Holiday offers exotic destinations and the opportunity for exotic activities. Why not get the most bang for your buck with travel to exotic destinations with opportunities for exotic activities?

Here are a few examples. Sint Maarten is probably one of the most exotic Caribbean destinations and quite unique. Here’s the reason. Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, is now one of the four constituent countries of the Kingdom of Netherlands. Rather, half of the island, with the other half (Saint-Martin) becomes a French overseas collectivity. The range of cultural influences that can be experienced in the area of Sint Maarten. Originally settled around 800AD by the Arawakan Indians from South America and Carib Indians, then migration has been ruled by a succession of countries, including Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and of course, most recently, the Netherlands. United Kingdom language is the most commonly used language. Travel between the Netherlands and France, the island is mostly limited and gives you a unique opportunity to make a comparison with the cultural side. A rich and varied cuisine with the influence of France, Spain, the Caribbean and the Netherlands. The magnificent beaches and duty free shopping galore. A fantastic vacation options that are available with a variety of price points.

Planning a Family Vacation

Vote for the holidays is one of the best ways to keep a grip on your family vacation. Vacation, rental cottage or cabin can be a great way to stretch Your vacation budget too!

Not only will this vacation rental weeks generally costs less than the same time stay in the hotel premises, you will save more on food because you have access to the kitchen.

Most of the major holiday resorts and regions have dozens or even hundreds of short term vacations are available throughout the holiday season, and sometimes round the year. Choosing the right family vacation rental is a matter of figuring out what you want your family and find a rented cottage or cabin that fits the Bill. There are some special things that you should consider when looking for last minute holidays.


Where to rent your vacation is going to be as important as what it is. Look for a cottage rental close to main attractions, especially the people who are important to you. Some vacation destinations will offer much more flexibility in than others. If you have chosen one week on Cape Cod, for example, your main interest and lazing on the beach for hours, you can find a suitable cottage in Wellfleet, Truro, Onset, Orleans, Brewster, Dennis, or any of a dozen other small cities with long stretches of beach and sea.

If, on the other hand, you are planning a family vacation with a specific goal in mind, you will want to make sure that everything you want to see are located. If you decide on a Disney vacation, for example, you will find many vacation in Orlando.

You’ll want to check out the map to see how far they are from the Park you want to visit so that you don’t waste valuable vacation time stuck in traffic.


Make sure there is room for everyone on your holiday rental. While it is not necessary-or even economically – to find a vacation rental with private bedrooms for each Member of your family, you want to make sure that there is enough room for everyone to feel comfortable. Most vacation rentals cottages and homes are designed to sleep a couple of people per room. Make sure that you know not only how much room, but how many beds are available.

Carefully store and you can find bargains like a three bedroom vacation rental in Big Sur, a few blocks from the beach, for as little as $ 40 per night. One caution, though. Be sure to check the fine print for what is included in the price of rent. Cleans and per person costs can quickly add and a basement bargain price spiral out of the roof.

On a longer vacation trip, you’ll want to ensure that certain facilities are included. Your budget will be grateful if laundry and kitchen facilities are included in the rental home of your choice. The money you save on restaurant meals and laundry could easily add up to the cost of entry to the nearest water park or a day shopping in the city.

Thinking of Vacation Condo Rentals

Vacation Condo Rentals using the Condo Vacation Membership for travel

Thinking of going on holiday this year? Well, you probably have, but with the economic downturn, you may have given up on that idea. You don’t have to. You can still have your holidays been missed, even if your budget is a bit tighter than last year. How, you ask? A lifetime membership in the condominium. One of the companies is now offering a special membership vacation condo that you can purchase so that it can easily afford to travel. This allows you to go on a vacation that is affordable for you.

Today you will find that going on vacation can be expensive with all the cost of hotels, but for a number of much cheaper you can get Bargains condos that make a vacation more affordable. Let’s take a closer look at how membership can boost this condo your vacation and allow you to get a condo vacation rentals are very good for a reasonable price.

Who can Benefit?

Anyone can benefit from having a condo vacation membership. This membership allows people to make purchases and get more cost-saving vacation rentals. If you own a condominium, you are assured membership save large amounts of money. So, if you miss to go on vacation and looking for an affordable way to do this, you are the one who will be able to benefit from this program.

What is this Membership?

This is a special membership that you buy, and after making a purchase, you receive a membership and then reactivate it after receiving it. After you make a purchase, membership is good for your life. When you activate your membership, there are special websites that you can use. You can find condos worldwide. With this membership, you will be able to book a condo online, quickly and easily. You also have access to a representative who can assist you with any questions or reservations.

Understand The Benefits

There are many benefits to buying those special membership. First of all, you will find that you can save big time on vacation. In fact, you’ll pay a lot less for rentals of condominiums you will pay for hotel rooms. Another benefit is that vacation rental will be much larger than hotel rooms. You will be able to have the whole family with you if you choose to. Use this membership makes it very easy and affordable to rent a vacation condo and have a vacation that you deserve.

How Are They Used?

Many people wonder how the membership of this condo can be used. Well, you just use it to get the best deals on condo rental. You will find that you can use your membership to get a condo vacation rentals are very good and in some cases, you may even be able to use it to get a villa for your holiday, too. A special “hot deal” offered to those who have enabled membership. This offer very special rates offered per week to rent the condo. In fact, you’ll even get a special email to remind you this special offer each week. For vacation fun, lifetime membership can be used to find the best Deals on condo deals without having to worry about booking fees and no blackout dates.

When Using Membership Condo

So, when you should use Your condo rental membership? Well, anytime you want to book a vacation condo rental, you can use the membership. In fact, if you go on a vacation every year or ten membership, vacation condo you are good. There are available condominiums vacation rentals around the world. Some place where you can enjoy a vacation rentals including over 200 countries including Mexico, Canada, South America, the Caribbean, various venues around the United States, in Europe, and much much more.

This is obviously a deal worth exploring. Your vacation doesn’t have to be out of reach this year. Lifetime membership with condos, you can save big time. Search vacation rental condo that you want, use the membership of your condo, book it, and then go on holiday — which is long overdue.

This is definitely easy to see that condo rentals are a great option when you’re longing for a relaxing getaway. So many benefits that are available to the membership and condo rental, you can save big time, which allows you to go on vacation is nice, even when your budget is a bit on the tight side. Why continue to postpone the holiday? With the offer of a condo you can order great holiday today without having to spend large amounts of money.

Compare Prices on Holiday Rentals

It’s easy to compare the price of one another versus Hotel; the industry has to science. But when it comes to compare prices on holiday it can be tough to find one Apple let alone two. Here’s how to make sure you’re comparing the same vacation rental rates.

Seasonal and holiday rental rates.

Vacation rental prices can fluctuate wildly because the region and season. For example, some Aspen, Colorado vacation rates may fluctuate more than 100% based only on the time of year you rent. This is important if you are going to rent during the change of seasons. If you are traveling in a “transition period,” gaining a solid understanding of when exactly “high season” stops and “low season” begins. There may be a difference of one day between the two holidays are the same and their definition of “low season” but one day, as in the Aspen property, could be significant.

Locations, rental fees, and tax holidays.

Location, location, location. Whether the property is five steps from the beach or five hundred steps from the beach? What is ski-in, ski-out or it’s a shuttle to the parking lot and then a half mile trek to the gondola? It’s essential.

The location also affects the tax rates. One side of the road as possible in one area while the other side might be in a different area; variances in local tax rates can be enormous. Just ask the citizens of Cook county Illinois who lives across the street from one of their neighbors in other counties of Illinois. Taxes can be applied to all the items on an invoice or only certain items. Where physical properties sitting to determine taxes.

The number of beds, bath was very important but remember: interior layout, design, and vintage influences.

Two condos in the same floor, with the same layout and view may ask a very different prices for what, at first glance, seems to be the same thing. Why? Ask about the interiors of vacation rentals? When constructed or last update? Whether you are staying in the place of Archie Bunker, or Donald Trump? Ask the owner/agent to provide you with the latest photos of the interior.

If the property sits on, or have access to, the resort, the associated costs are there to use it? Sometimes referred to as “the cost of convenience.”

Many vacation sitting on-property resorts. If that is the case, is there a resort fee? What if I don’t want to use it? Do I still have to pay a resort fee? You may find the owner/agent is willing to negotiate with you about these costs. Just ask about them and get a clear understanding that, if you have to pay, what do you get for your money.

Cleaning and parking costs.

In the past ten plus years I was living in a vacation, has been my experience, that most agents and owners are willing to negotiate on the cost of cleaning and parking. I can’t tell you how many times the owner/agent will either discount them or removing these costs completely. But, let’s be clear here, it is good karma to always leave money behind for cleaning even if you pay for the cleanup.

Once you have a perfect understanding of what you will pay and what the benefits of these costs, you now have a clear way to compare vacation rental rates. Additional benefits are inevitable from this exercise is that you’ll learn something about the region and about the owner/agent of vacation rental.