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Renting a vacation home for your family’s next travel adventure is a smart choice. From cozy beachfront bungalows to slick city condos, there’s a vacation rental perfect for your family. Enjoying the perfect rental comes easy. Explore these 10 vacation home rental tips for families in Florida and make the most of your rental home stay!

Making the most of your family’s vacation rental stay comes with opportunities to make great memories that will last a lifetime. Learn more about what it takes to enjoy your family’s vacation rental with these 10 smart vacation home rental tips.

10 Vacation Home Rental Tips for Families in Florida

Get the most bang for your vacation buck by following the 10 vacation home rental tips below:

1. Start Your Search Early and Book in Advance

Royal Shell books vacation rental properties up to 52 weeks in advance. This allows guests to have plenty of time to plan their vacation and really weigh your options. Florida has a ton to offer. From chic cosmopolitan city experiences to relaxing white sand beaches, you’ll need to consider the best options for your family. Booking 6 to 12 months in advance can help ensure you get the dream vacation property you have your heart set on.


2. Don’t Forget to Get the Details

When you’re knee-deep in the vacation planning process, it’s important to get down to the nitty gritty details. Think about what you’ll want to know when you’re enjoying the rental. Ask how far the rental is to the beach. Where is the closest supermarket? Does the vacation rental have a pool? How do check in and check out work? What are the rental’s cleaning fees? Do you need to bring your own laundry detergent? Who supplies the toilet paper? Think about what you’ll need to know and get the details from your rental agent or realtor.


3. Look for Deals

If saving money is your game, consider booking a trip during the off season. Spring and fall are considered the off seasons in the Sunshine State. These are still great times to travel to Southwest Florida, though. You’ll find just as many fun activities and perfect beach days, just without the crowds.

4. Understand the Amenities

The minimum stay at many Florida vacation rentals ranges between 3 days and a week. You might be staying longer. With a longer stay, there are a few amenities you’ll likely want to look for. You’ll likely want a washer and dryer for a longer stay. A dishwasher might be a nice amenity to have, too. It might also be wise to consider amenities like Wi-Fi; beach gear like towels, chairs and umbrellas; a grill; convenient parking; outdoor areas like balconies and porches; and canoes or kayaks if your rental is on the water. Looking for the right amenities can help you make the most of your vacation.


5. Read the Lease or Terms and Conditions

It might seem counterintuitive: The more thorough your contract is, the more fun you’re likely to have on vacation. This is because the details are handled and clear, and you won’t be left in the lurch or face surprise fees and expenses. Rental companies and agents that have thorough contracts often run a tight ship and provide clear expectations of the terms and conditions.

6. Have Fun Delegating Space

Your vacation rental has room for everyone. Why not let the kids choose their own bedrooms before you arrive? Take a video tour of the home, and let little ones select where they’ll sleep. This can help kids get excited about the upcoming trip and help minimize bickering over bedrooms upon arrival.


7. Make the Most of The Extras

Unless you plan on eating out every meal, chances are you’ll need to purchase groceries for your vacation rental. Make the most of purchasing the extras by taking advantage of the local market. Venture away from the beach and into town to the closest supermarket. You’ll likely want to grocery shop after arrival, so you know what you’ll need for your stay. You might need to pick up staples like salt and pepper, aluminum foil and paper towels. Don’t feel like grocery shopping? Consider having your vacation groceries delivered to your home away from home!


8. Take Pictures on Day One

Not only will you want to take pictures to preserve the memory of your vacation digs, it might also be wise to take pictures to document any existing damage to your rental home. See a scuff on the wall before you settle in? Snap a photo of it and any other problem areas. This can help prevent you from being charged for any damages that occurred before your family settled in.


9. Protect Your Investment

It is smart to double check all the policies for your vacation rental. You’ll want to be sure of the cancellation policy and be aware of any extra fees associated with your vacation rental. It also might be wise to consider travel insurance for your stay. You can get a separate policy through a travel insurance provider. Just ask your vacation planner about travel insurance.


10. Have Fun!

Bottom line, your vacation rental gives you a place to kick back and relax. Make the most of your time in the sun by letting go of the stress of the working world and having some fun!

Let these vacation home rental tips make your next trip easy. Enjoy your time in Southwest Florida and make memories that will last a lifetime.

There’s more than fun and sun in Southwest Florida. Along with the beautiful beaches, scrumptious restaurants and serious shopping, you’ll find a world of arts, culture and history. One way to take in everything Southwest Florida has to offer is by checking out one or more of the region’s museums. Learn about Southwest Florida museums and start planning your next day of learning and fun.

Southwest Florida museums offer something for everyone. From history buffs to art lovers, there’s a museum here you’ll enjoy taking in and soaking up. Have fun browsing artifacts, artworks, photographs, videos and more at one of these 10 Southwest Florida museums to see.

Explore Southwest Florida’s Museums

Take day on your Southwest Florida vacation to check out some of the region’s top museums. Here’s a list of 10 Southwest Florida museums to see.

1. Southwest Florida Museum of History

Located in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Museum of History offers an insider’s view into the back story about how the region came to be the area you love. Explore a the roaring twenties on a 1929 Private Pullman Rail Car and see what life was like for the region’s early settlers in an authentic Florida Cracker house. Participate in educational programs like a downtown walking tour. In addition to the permanent exhibits like the railcar and cracker house, you’ll find annual traveling exhibits at the museum, too. Recent traveling exhibits include Beatle’s photography,  Treasures of Eden, King Tut and the Roswell Exhibit. The museum can be found at at 2031 Jackson Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901.


2. Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

Spanning 105 acres, this vast nature center lets you go back in time to when the Calusa inhabited southwest Florida. This is a family friendly destination with something for everyone. Three walking trails let you wander back in time, while other attractions here include a museum, planetarium, butterfly and bird aviaries, and picnic areas. Educational programs let give you an insight into the region’s history of the Calusa and other native peoples, along with live animal shows, a kids laser show and more. The Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is located at 3450 Oritz Avenue, Fort Myers, FL, 33905.


3. IMAG History and Science Center

The IMAG History and Science Center is among the newest museum offering in Southwest Florida. Explore both history and science under a single roof. Use Virtual Reality goggles to take a trip back in time to the original Fort Myers. Learn about the lost airmen of WWII. The Tanked exhibit lets you see regional Gulf fish in their natural habitat, while the Lost World 3-D movie experience lets you practically walk with dinosaurs. The museum is a great attraction for the region. The IMAG History and Science Center can be found at 2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers, FL, 33916.


4. Edison Ford Museum and Winter Estates

Did you know that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had neighboring winter estates in Fort Myers? Edison had a botanic laboratory and worked on many inventions during his winters in Southwest Florida. Today you can tour the Edison Ford Winter Estates and learn more about these two American innovators. The estates feature 21 acres of botanical gardens, a botanic research laboratory, and 9 buildings. You’ll also find special tours and exhibits at the estates. The Edison Ford Winter Estates museum is located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL, 33901.


5. Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida

It was one of the darkest times in recent world history, but it’s important to learn from the past to prevent future atrocity. The Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida honors those who lost their lives while educating visitors. The museum offers education activities and programs to help students and visitors learn about the Holocaust. Here you’ll find artifacts, traveling exhibits, photographs, a lending library, and a memorial to Anne Frank. The Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida is located at 760 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 7, Naples, FL, 34103.


6. Naples Depot Museum

Technology and transportation are always evolving, and the Naples Depot Museum demonstrates this in its exhibits. The museum is housed in the restored Seaboard Air Line Railway station. The station use used in the 1920s and features some of the opulence of the era. You’ll find quite a few interactive exhibits explaining the how travel has advanced throughout Southwest and South Florida. The Naples Train Museum is also located within the Naples Depot Museum. The Naples Depot Museum is located at 1051 5th Avenue South, Naples, FL, 34102.


7. Mound House

Located on Estero Island, Mound House is the island’s oldest standing structure. It has been restored to its 1921 glory, with era appropriate furnishings and more. The house is called Mound House because it sits atop a 2,000 Calusa Indian Mound. Today the restored house serves as a cultural learning center. Programs offered at Mound House range from guided home tours to kayak tours. You will find Mound House located at 451 Connecticut Street, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931.


8. Baker Museum

The Baker Museum is a famous institution in Naples. Home to 15 galleries, the museum features modern and contemporary fine art. The museum hosts a lecture series, which brings notable speakers to the region. Partner events with the Naples Philharmonic and other local favorites make the Baker Museum a celebrated part of the community. The Baker Museum is located at 5833 Pelican Bay Boulevard, Naples, FL, 34108.


9. The Revs Institute

Rev up your engine and make a trip to The Revs Institute part of your Southwest Florida experience. Here you’ll take a walk through automotive history. The Revs Institute museum consists of 3 floors of cars, with more than 100 restored cars dating back from 1896 to as recent as 1995. People from around the world visit The Revs Institute, so it might be wise to purchase tickets in advance of your visit. The Revs Institute is located at 2500 South Horseshoe Drive, Naples, FL, 34104.


10. Immokalee Pioneer Museum

Immokalee history dates back all the way to the era of the Calusa Indians, but cattle ranchers really put the place on the map. This Collier County museum is was originally the home of famed rancher Robert Roberts and is the oldest working cattle ranch in South Florida. The Museum is a 13-acre historic site with 15 carefully preserved original buildings. At the Immokalee Pioneer Museum you’ll be presented with an opportunity to experience an early pioneer homestead, cattle ranch and citrus grove. You’ll find the museum about 45 miles east of Naples at 1215 Roberts Avenue, Immokalee, FL, 34142.

Which of these 10 Southwest Florida Museums are you most excited about visiting? Make learning and fun part of your Gulf Coast vacation by spending a day at the museum.

If you’re staying at your vacation rental for a week or more, you’re likely planning on doing at least a little cooking. That might mean taking advantage of the full kitchen for gourmet meals or frying eggs and bacon for everyone each morning. If you plan on cooking, you’ll need to hit the grocery store for supplies. You’ll need a vacation grocery list to help you make the most of your time in the sun.

One easy way to get the items on your vacation grocery list is via a delivery service. You’ll find lots grocery delivery service options in Southwest Florida. Learn more about what to put on your vacation grocery list and how to get these staples delivered to your rental’s front door. Maximize your time spent relaxing and enjoying your time away from home.

If you’re staying on Sanibel or Captiva Island, you have a couple of choices to get groceries delivered to your vacation rental. Bailey’s General Store is a full-service hardware and grocery store located in the heart of Sanibel Island. Look forward to a full-service deli, fresh produce, an in-house bakery and fresh cuts of meat. There is also a coffee bar and a hearty selection of gluten-free products to choose from.

Jerry’s Foods is a colorful grocery store that can also deliver groceries straight to your vacation rental. Be sure to try their key lime pie. Some people call it the “best in the world.” The deli features fresh Boars Head meat and cheese. Jerry’s also has fresh seafood, a bakery, salad bar, wine and beer, a Redbox video service, and online ordering and delivery.

What to Put on Your Vacation Grocery List

Before you go stocking up on burgers, buns and chips, it’s important to put a little thought into what the groceries you’ll need during your vacation. Even though your kitchen might be stocked with essentials like utensils and pots and pans, think about what’s missing. Here are a few suggestions on what to put on your vacation grocery list:



Don’t just take our word for it. Customize your grocery list and make it unique to you.

Tips for Stocking Your Vacation Rental Kitchen

When you’re filling out your vacation grocery list, you’ll want to have a menu plan in mind. Everything from BBQ chicken with corn on the cob to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can make tasty memories when you’re traveling. Your vacation meal plan should reflect your tastes and preferences.

Other things to keep in mind when stocking your vacation rental pantry and writing out your shopping list include:



How to Get Your Vacation Grocery List Delivered

Now that you have your grocery list in mind, it’s time to do your shopping. Time spent in the grocery story is time spent away from the beach or off the golf course, so consider leaving it the the pros. You’ll find a few options for grocery delivery service to make shopping simple and painless. Get your groceries delivered to your vacation rental’s front door so you can enjoy more time making memories.

One of the best things about Florida and the Southeast is Publix Super Markets. From Pub Subs to your favorite groceries, this supermarket chain makes it easy to get your groceries delivered. Publix has partnered with Instacart to make grocery delivery fast and hassle-free. From Naples to Ft. Myers to Bonita Springs, this simple service means you can have your groceries delivered to your vacation rental home with just a few clicks of the mouse. Simply create an account, fill out your online list, and wait for your groceries to arrive. Your groceries can arrive in as little as one hour.

If you’re staying on Sanibel or Captiva Island, you can also choose to have your groceries delivered via Bailey’s General Store or Jerry’s Foods.

Shipt also offers easy grocery delivery in Southwest Florida. Choose from retailers like Target, Publix, Costco and Winn Dixie. Browse online for the items on your list, submit your order, and sit back and relax. Same-day delivery is an option. Your items will be hand selected and should arrive quickly.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can take advantage of Prime Pantry to have food and household items shipped right to your front door. Items can arrive in less than 2 days, making it easy to have staples on hand quickly. Consider placing your order in advance of your arrival so you’ll get your shipment at your vacation rental when you get there.

Make the most of your time time on the beach by making out a vacation grocery list and having your items delivered to your rental’s door. Learn more about Royal Shell vacation rentals and start planning your dream trip.

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