7 Tips On How To Plan The Perfect Beach Vacation

Plan your vacation from start to finish like a pro!

Ring Ring! The beach is calling… and you must go! We’ve all been there. Minding our own business in life and getting on with it. Suddenly as you readjust in your office chair looking for a comfier position that doesn’t flare up your sciatica, you get a welcoming and gentle little nudge in your mind. “Oh, hey Susan. I’m just over here, you know… calmly lapping my lovely turquoise waters gently on this soft white sand over here wondering. . . where is Susan?” This is when you know the beach IS calling and you REALLY must go! So, you start researching affordable options of beach vacations.

You begin scrolling through Airbnb or Vrbo with thousands of different beach destinations for a few minutes and you become inundated with all the options to pick from! There are sooo many types of beach vacations! When you do end up finding somewhere to go you feel like you’ve got all kinds of things to do but nothing is coming to mind except pack a bag… right? Wrong! I’ve comprised 7 tips on how to plan a perfect vacation from start to finish, no matter what kind of vacation you are looking for!

Adding these 7 tasks to your planning will elevate your vacation experience to the next level allowing for rich memories that won’t fade away.

Being that I am an owner and manager of beachfront vacations in Florida… I’m absolutely going to plug in my vacation options for you throughout this post! But, if my beachfront condominiums don’t resonate with what you’re looking for, feel free to take as many little “sea shells” of advice I’m dropping down below with you!

7 Tips On How To Plan The Perfect Beach Vacation

1.Your WHY

When you book a vacation you have to remember your “WHY” just like anything else in life. Why am I taking a vacation? That answer will lead you to how exactly you want to build a custom vacation that fits your needs. Perhaps you are so exhausted from work that you just want more of a sleep-cation rather than an adventure-cation. You’ll probably want to spend a lot of your time lounging around rather than on the go. So opt for rooms or homes that focus on just that. Get something with great reviews on comfort and relaxation. Since you won’t be spending much on excursions and activities, maybe you can splurge a little on your space with all the amenities like a spectacular view and a spot where you can plant a beach chair right up next to a beautiful ocean! Something that would help you to slip into relaxation a little more.  For this occasion, I would choose The Emerald Vista at Waterscape, one of our beachfront units with an epic ocean view in Fort Walton Beach, Florida!

Or… Maybe you feel like you’re looking for ADVENTURE!  If so, you’ll definitely want to pad your excursions budget a little more. If you opt for a room or home that is more budget friendly, you’ll have more funds for what matters the most to you during this vacation. You might not get the best view… but you won’t be in the unit much except to sleep anyways! Focus on finding a space with great reviews on the host and proximity to the action. We recommend choosing The Emerald Oasis at Waterscape for those that want more adventure and less room expenses.

And lastly, maybe your sole reason to get away is to remove yourself from daily distractions and be more present with your immediate family. If this is you, focus on finding a single family home that has fun things to do onsite. This will allow you to be close with your family and have plenty of fun things to do without having to spend too much drive time getting to different places. For this type of vacation, I would definitely recommend The Emerald Bungalow at Waterscape. This unit is a one bedroom unit with triple bunks so the whole family has plenty of space. And the best part is that it walks right out to the pools at Waterscape! Not only is Waterscape beachfront, but it has amazing resort style pools so you don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want to! Check it all out here.  

2. Group Huddle Time!

This can be a fun start to the trip before you even depart! Find a time to sit down with your guests, yes… even the littlest one. Have everyone write down 3 things that they want to do while on the vacation. Chances are that most have some common interests that you can explore. Maybe you have plans to read a whole book in one week. Combine reading time with someone else’s request for plenty of beach or pool time!

Dad wants to learn something new and brother wants to see wild animals… you can tack those together in an amazing dolphin cruise, a trip to the a wild life santucary like the Gulfarium, or a fishing charter. This way every one will get at least one thing on their list that they wanted to do and it makes everyone feel like apart of the decision! Go team, GO! 

3. Make an Itinerary

I know what some of you are thinking… I don’t want an itinerary, I just want to forget about time completely while on vacation! I get it! I love those days, too. Is it Monday, or Friday? Who knows! That’s when you know that you are really enjoying yourself. Even still, after going on numerous vacations with family, friends, and even just by myself, I’ve learned that the best way to vacation is with an itinerary. There is no rule that says you HAVE to follow it to a Tee. But, when you have a schedule to fall back on (especially with other people in your group) it eliminates the time wasted when everyone sits around for 2 hours wondering what you’re all going to do next together.  Create your itinerary before you leave and make sure to gather the funds of any excursions you have planned with other non-family group members. Print out the itinerary or send it via PDF so everyone has it on their phones. This way, if some of the group wants to go shopping and some decide they don’t, then they need to make other plans for themselves.

4. Plan Out Your Meals

Similar to above, you certainly don’t have to follow the schedule for meals, but at least you have an idea of what you’ll be needing and about how much budget to set for eating out vs. eating in. This is especially helpful if you are traveling with multiple families and staying in one space. You’ll be able to split grocery costs before you even arrive which helps cut down on future financial drama during the vacation.

5. Pack Like a Pro

When packing I always do 3 things:

  • Create a packing list- The list will make sure you don’t forget anything. Categorize it into sections like clothes, toiletries, digital, beach extras, house extras, misc, and carry-on bag essentials. Once you do this once you can save it for every beach travel occasion!
  • Start packing earlier than you think- I used to pack the night before. But, I always found myself going to bed later than I wanted to, forgetting things I wanted to take, and having to forgo home tasks that I wanted to finish before I left. Give yourself 3-4 days of having your bag out on the floor so you can pack a little each day and expand your time thinking about necessities.
  • Build a beach wardrobe that is interchangeable- This one is something that may take time as not all of us have the means to gather an entire week long wardrobe in one swoop! When shopping for outfits be conscious about sticking to 1 or 2 color schemes that fit your complexion. All your clothing items should co-mingle creating multiple outfits with just a few pieces. Otherwise you’re going to end up with way to much luggage to carry around!

6.Read The Guidebook

Read over the hosts home guidebook BEFORE departing. Some hosts live close by and supply many things that you may not need to bring while other hosts live far away and aren’t able to provide little amenities like ziplock bags. Or if you’re in a hotel, read over what they include in their nightly rate. Whatever the case may be, every home/hotel is completely different and it’s important for you to know what to expect. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment over something as small as ziplock bags once you arrive! We are owners of vacation rentals and we make sure to let our guests know of everything we offer to be sure there are no surprises. Check out what we supply in our rentals here

7. Push “Play” on the Good Times ASAP!!

Make sure to start your vacation fun as early as possible! If you are planning out your vacation and it isn’t a surprise…why not make the most of the initial excitement right when you book?! Begin planning with your friends and family, start a Pinterest board like ours, or a playlist of beach songs! Click here to view our beach country playlist on Amazon Music! Share cocktail recipes and funny beach memes. Sit with your kids at night and set the scene for them as they lay in bed and answer all their questions. This will point your mind to a happier place which will release endorphins without you even stepping foot on a beach.. and I mean isn’t all about those coveted endorphins after all? Who wouldn’t want to get the most out of their vacation by starting the excitement early on and carrying it right to the soft sandy beaches!?!

I hope that I inspired you to dig a little deeper into your decision of going on a beach vacation! Adding these 7 tasks to your planning will elevate your vacation experience to the next level allowing for rich memories that won’t fade away. The more effort we give something, the more wonderful the fruits of our labor will be! 

Happy vacationing to you, my friend! Until next time!