I shared a Reel on Instagram about saving money on a tropical vacation by staying right here on mainland USA. The clip I shared was from the front yard of our recent stay in Naples, Florida, and I had a few folks who were very interested in seeing more. So here it is! Since we were visiting Florida with two extended family members and sharing the cost, we decided to splurge on the amenities and have a hayday. Boy, was it worth it!
Here’s what we loved…
This place felt like home. I’m a sucker for clean, bright whites with an inviting contrast of color and this place beckoned us inside from the get-go. The front yard is gorgeous and private, the inside is warm and welcoming, the beds were very comfortable, and the entire home was decorated beautifully. 10/10.
The kitchen was amazing and well stocked with pots and utensils. One of the many ways we save money when traveling is to book AirBNB stays that offer kitchenettes or full kitchens so we can prepare our own meals. I love cooking. Yes, even on vacation! The home provided almost everything I needed with the exception of a couple spices that we purchased ourselves. The huge kitchen island provided a great work space with ample room for food prep, serving, and dining.
The pool (and the included pool toys). Florida is hot, especially for folks like us who look forward to winter and enjoy the chilly-living in Montana. The beach was way too hot for us by midday, so we loved having our own oasis just outside the back patio door. The rental included floats, dive toys, goggles, and buckets, with really comfortable patio loungers and a matching patio dining set.
*For those with small children who may worry about children having pool access during vacation, the back patio door has a standard lock, but there was also an anti-theft rod that my son could not undo on his own. This gave me great peace of mind and I hope it does the same for you and your family too!
The TV on the lanai made so we could watch a show from the pool. I don’t get to watch a lot of TV, so I got up early one morning, turned on the tube, and had myself a morning float in the pool. Having the quiet time to myself while everyone slept was one of my favorite things.
The huge laundry room. I am not above using a laundromat on vacation, let me be clear. But having our own washer and dryer was a really nice amenity. The rental included a starter pack of detergent for our use. Traveling to a humid destination guaranteed our clothes would be soaked with sweat and sea, and I could remedy both while enjoying the pool in between loads.
Beach supplies were included with the rental. Most often I’m traveling light, which means I don’t have room for things like enormous amounts of beach gear for the family. Our rental home included the following beach gear: beach chairs, umbrella, a beach bag, and towels.
Located just one mile from Vanderbilt Beach. Another way to save money on vacation is to stay near the beach, not on it. We are used to hiking at elevation, so a mild one-mile walk to the beach was not a deal breaker for us by any stretch. There’s also a parking garage approximately two blocks from the beach that is very affordable and convenient. We utilized the parking garage in the evening so we could watch sunset and then drive back safely in the dark.
We already want to go back!
We actually started planning another trip already, and hopefully we can convince my husband and father-in-law to join us next time!
P.S. This rental has steep discounts in the shoulder season from September to October, right after summer and right before the holiday madness! Be sure to add it to your favorites in your AirBNB profile!