How to Pick a Vacation Home Away From Home

By: Susan Finch

You found that Southwest Florida vacation destination you fell in love with and want to make it your new home away from home. But unlike breezing in and out of town looking for a hotel, condo, or vacation rental home you’re tasked with finding a place you want to come back to year after year. That familiarity of creating a vacation nesting spot can also open the door to lifelong memories, especially when kids are in tow. Studies show that young kids enjoy the nostalgia of returning to the same places and that vacation makes them happier than stuff. We think adults tend to feel the same way, too.

Find a home away from home. Here are five tips for finding your perfect Florida vacation rental, hotel, or condo.

Not sure where to start narrowing down your Southwest Florida vacation rentals? Here are five tips for finding your perfect vacation rental, hotel, or condo.

1. Set Your Budget

Before scouring your list of Florida vacation rentals, sit down with your family or travel companions, and figure out your budget. You may decide to stay right on the beach is worth the extra splurge, but might require the kids doubling up in a room. Or, you might want to stay slightly off the beaten path with your travel buddies to save a little and stock up on groceries to turn your getaway it into a daily cookout. You can cross-reference price points and amenities to find that perfect vacation rental from booking engines like Vrbo and Airbnb, or use a local vacation rental property management company like Altez Vacations for a more personalized experience. 

2. Think Location

Just like with setting your budget, figuring out your location is key to choosing between Florida vacation rentals. Staying just a few miles away from beachfront resorts in Naples may prove less expensive than in the middle of it all. Of course, staying in the middle of it all may be well worth the splurge if you’re looking to indulge in a little luxury and make it into a well-earned annual vacation. Make sure you also think about location factors like quiet and solitude. A beachfront condo or resort is perfect if you want to be in the middle of the action in an area like Fort Myers Beach while a rental vacation home on laidback Sanibel or Captiva Island may offer the peace and quiet you’re looking for.

3. Opt for Convenience

Unless you’re into ruffing it, a vacation isn’t the time to put yourself to work. Carefully consider the conveniences that are the most important to you before booking that rental. A beachfront condo can be convenient and affordable, especially if you’re choosing a less expensive unit that’s farther away from the main access point to the waterfront. And depending on the type of vacation you’re looking for; conveniences should also include options like swimming pool, hot tub, free parking, proximity to restaurants and live entertainment, and a full kitchen to make cooking easy.  

4. Scour the Online Reviews

There is plenty of competition when it comes to Southwest Florida vacation rentals, making it easier to choose the right spot for you. Look around online or ask for referrals about the vacation property, resort or hotel you discovered. But remember, not all negative reviews are necessarily bad. Someone complaining that they could hear live music from a nearby Fort Myers Beach bar may sound just perfect to you. Meanwhile, someone disappointed by how far they were from the action in Siesta Key Village may seem like your dream Sarasota vacation. Instead, look for complaints about how the management dealt with any issues, the quality of the accommodations, and amenities.

5. Keep Safety in Mind

Safety should also be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to picking a home away from home on vacation. If you’re staying in a vacation rental home or condo, ask about their safety features like whether or not it’s in a gated community. Making a quick note of where the closest urgent care or emergency room is can also help keep you in control of your safety while on vacation. 

Florida vacation rentals make it easy to turn your dream of an annual trip to Sarasota, Siesta Key, Fort Myers, Sanibel, Naples or Marco Island into a reality. But once you’re confident you’ve found your perfect go-to destination, you can also work with a realtor to find your own home away from home. The only thing left to do is pack your bags and enjoy the sunshine. 

Explore all the things you can do in Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples, Florida

How to pick a Florida vacation rental home away from home. Here are 5 tips for finding the perfect vacation rental, hotel or condo.

Written by: Susan Finch | Author Website

Susan Finch is a travel writer and content marketer for the tourism industry who spends her time obsessing over the latest travel trends, wrangling her small kids, and planning her family's next big adventure.