Summer Vacation Tips from the “Locals”

As school winds down and summer is just around the corner, families are making their plans for their summer vacation  — typically to the beach. Whether you go to the same place every year or venture to a new coastal area each year, it is always great to get summer vacation tips from the people there – the “locals.”

Waiting on a drawbridge to come down at Anna Maria IslandExpect Traffic Delays

The weekends are brutal – Saturdays are check out/check in days for most vacation rentals and people living on the mainland come out each day for their own beach time.  With all these people descending on a small community, you have to expect traffic delays. Also, remember, that if you are heading to an island, you may hit bridge delays. Instead of getting impatient, remember you’re on vacation – roll down the windows and feel the sea breeze blow through your car. It’s almost magical!

Go Fishing

Fishing is a favorite pasttime for locals.  They head out early on any morning they have the time. There are more than a handful offishing charters that depart from any island community each morning. If that is something you’ve always wanted to do, it is easy to plan a trip either inshore and offshore with alocal fishing charter. No matter what is in season, spending a day on a local fishing charter brings so much excitement and maybe even home dinner for your group. The local fishermen are like Wikipedia on the water and love to share their knowledge and wisdom about fishing, boating and living in a coastal community or on an island.

Explore the Area

In Florida or any other coastal community, inevitably, there is going to be rain at some point during each afternoon – it’s just part of the atmosphere and part of life. That’s why everyone needs plans for a rainy day or maybe even a day out of the sun. There are tons of non-beach activities so plan an excursion.  You can talk to the staff at the vacation rental management company or ask a local. Any of them can offer up suggestions for something to do.

Sea turtle nest excavationRespect Nature

One thing for sure is that people who live in beach towns have a love for nature that others may not understand. From plant life the sea life to the birds and animals that inhabited the coastal area long before people ever stepped foot on it, locals take great care in protecting their environment. One of the best must-do summer vacation tips is to keep an eye out is the Turtle Watch patrol. Each year between May 1 and October 31, a volunteer group patrols the beach every morning just as the sun comes up to look for new sea turtle nests prepared by “mama” turtles over the last night. Sometimes, they take release baby turtles into the surf or excavate a nest to check out the hatched eggs. Vacation rental management companies often know when these events are about to take place so ask about it when you check in.

Eat Local

Many vacation rentals have great and well-equipped kitchens so take advantage of that – save money going out and eat local seafood.  There several local seafood markets that offer freshly caught fish, shrimp and other provisions from the local waters.  In terms of cost, it is typically less expensive than buying it from the grocery stores – plus it’s locally caught not shipped in from Chile.

Make it easier to walk to the beachTravel Light

If you watch people as they come out on the beach, most of the people who travel light are the locals. They come with a chair, a towel, sunscreen and drinks.  That’s it. There’s no need to bring everything but the kitchen sink with you each day. One of the greatest inventions is the beach chair with shoulder straps and pockets on the back. You can put your sunscreen in one pocket and, if the other pocket has padding, you can pop your drinks in the other along with a little ice or ice packs. This way you have free hands for a beach bag with toys and snacks or an umbrella or tent if you need one (take the tent down each day during turtle season).

Everyone looks forward to their week on the beach. These summer vacation tips help you take it one step further so you can live like a local while you’re there!

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