I Live in Paradise

family_adventureI had to run some errands Saturday afternoon, one of which included the weekly trip to the supermarket. Yes I do the grocery shopping in our house, since I do most of the cooking. Anyway, I noticed that the parking lot of the supermarket was almost filled to capacity which is not often the case. Being inquisitive by nature I checked the vehicles’ license plates and noticed a large out-of-state presence, which is not unusual for a June weekend in our small resort town on the beach. The beaches are “packed” from 9am to 9pm for as far as you can pack almost 12 miles of beach. Inside the supermarket all cash registers were running and ringing like Las Vegas slot machines,while I grabbed the last of two remaining shopping carts. Wow, season in full swing was my thought and that in an economy that makes people think twice about spending money on vacations.

Well it turns out that people still need and want their vacation but today they are much more cost conscious. They work up a budget and decide from there which route to take; hotel with full amenities, vacation rental, bed and breakfast, home exchange or family and friends. Obviously there is a wide range of budgets attached to these options. Scouring for deals and methods to cut costs while on vacation has never been more important. The most budget-friendly without losing the real vacation feel trend has emerged as the solution for those who want to travel for less: vacation home rental.

And the main reason for this trend is that vacation homes usually come equipped with all the necessities to cook meals. Just cutting one group meal a day out of a vacation budget can save hundreds of dollars over the course of the trip. By eliminating all of those little extra food outings and instead stocking up at local grocery stores, travelers can possibly cut trip costs in half. So when calling to inquire about a vacation home,people should always ask what supplies are provided in the kitchen and how far away the nearest grocery store is from the home’s location. This will help determine whether dining at home will be a good option for that property. Well on our island there are many well stocked grocery stores and chain supermarkets at a stone’s throw from the beach.

The other saving money advantage of a vacation home rental is a larger space, so more people can travel together and split the cost of the rental. With multigenerational travel on the rise — grandma, aunt, mom, dad and kids all traveling together — it’s an easy way to be comfortable and share intimate travel memories together in a larger space.
Do the math. If renting a four-bedroom villa for a week costs $1,000, two families of four will pay only $500 each for accommodations; that same price sometimes only covers two to three nights in a hotel. Financially, vacation rentals make a lot of sense for people who like traveling with friends and families.

The ability to truly feel ‘at home’ while on vacation is a big draw, especially for families with children. Many vacation rental properties offer private pools, deepwater dockage, hot tubs, large porches and easy access to the beach and ocean, all providing desired beach vacation amenities.

Amelia Island is a magnificent place to look for vacation rentals because they are so plentiful along the 12-mile stretch of coastline as well as more inland. Choosing from a condo with a full kitchen or a massive home on the beach, with hundreds of rental options, travelers are sure to find one to fit specific needs and price ranges.
Besides having a spectrum of vacation rentals to choose from, Amelia Island offers many attractions and activities that are free or very affordable, adding even greater value to a summer vacation trip. Fort Clinch State Park, mini golf on Main Beach or Sadler Rd, “window” shopping on historic Centre Street, playing a quick game of golf on one of the 4 designer courses, fishing from the shore or offshore, there are plenty of options to have fun on a budget. With vacation rentals, there is no need to feel guilty about taking the annual family vacation.

On my way out in the parking lot I had a quick exchange with Joanie and Mark from Atlanta who were down here with their three kids. “It’s only a five hour drive to escape from the oppressive heat of Summer in Atlanta. Even with gas prices going up a bit, this is an absolutely perfect Summer Beach vacation at a price that fits our budget,” said Joanie.
Mark adds: “for the price I save today on dinner out, I can play a round of golf with Joanie, rent a cart while our teenagers are roaming the beach with their peers. Can’t get any better.”

Life’s good I think while driving home with my groceries for the week. I live here, I don’t need a vacation.

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