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  • Writer's pictureShelley McKinley

Planning a Vacation Stress Free

Vacations can be so stressful when you think about it. You have to first pick the location, decide where to stay, what to bring, what activities you are going to do, how to get to your final destination, stops along the way....and the list goes on and on. So here are a few tips that may help to ease some of that stress and make for a very relaxing vacation!


Plan Ahead

The first step is to plan ahead of time. This year may have been an exception due to Covid, but at the Jersey shore, just about all of the prime rentals were taken by early March. Our condo was sold out before January for the 2021 summer season! Getting a head start on choosing your location is key. There is a lot to consider - amenities, price, location, host interaction, and activities locally so make sure you have a good idea of what you are looking for first. Once you have your budget in mind, the location and what amenities you are after, you can start looking through the various resources online to find your perfect vacation rental. If you like the Wildwood beaches and enjoy both the pool and the beach, you may want to consider Seapointe Village where they have 4 pools, a private beach, a huge array of amenities and is centrally located between Wildwood Boardwalk and Cape May. If you want to bring along your fur babies, you may want to check out Sandy Paws, a website dedicated to pet friendly rental and activities in Cape May County.


Prepare

Once you have decided on where you want to stay, preparing for your vacation is critical. Don't wait until the last minute - that creates stress! We've put together a vacation planning guide to help. While this is designed for guests of our rental, ask the host of the property you are staying at for something similar. At the very least, they should be able to tell you want is available in their unit so you know if you have to lug that Keurig machine or not!

Vacation Planning List
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I would also suggest scoping out what activities they have at the location you are traveling to. If you are traveling to Wildwood, we've made it easy and listed out the activities and excursions in Cape May County. Make sure you check for deals and coupons. The earlier you plan, the more money saving opportunities there are. For example, if you are headed to Wildwood and enjoy the piers, Morey's always has a sale at Christmas which is the cheapest you will find their tickets. If you miss out, there is the Easter sale and if you miss that, well you are paying the boardwalk rates unless you have a membership to AAA where you can still buy the wristbands for $49!



Many restaurants at the Jersey shore will also sell gift cards at a discounted rate meaning, buy $100 of gift cards and get $125 to use. This year the owners of Mudhen and Poppi's Brickoven Pizza did this at Easter and it works out great for those then traveling down to the shore in the summer - especially since Poppi's delivers to the beach! To stay up to date on these offers, join our Facebook group. I post everyday specials, offers and events going on locally in Wildwood. If you are not traveling to Wildwood, check out other similar FB groups that may do the same thing. And while we are on the topic of restaurants, plan ahead with your reservations! The most popular restaurants fill up fast so don't miss out. Most of them allow you to cancel anytime without penalty so don't wait until the week you are there. Make reservations now. For a list of suggested family friendly restaurants that accept reservations, please check out our list of suggestions in Wildwood and Cape May NJ.


Another way to prepare is to buy bulk ahead of time. When things like suntan lotion go on sale at the end of this season, buy it up for next season. Look for deals on paper products (especially if you are renting a condo and need to bring your own). Costco is great for this!


Grocery Delivery

We recently started getting into grocery delivery as a result of Covid but it has been a life saver when traveling to the shore as well. I don't have to worry anymore about shopping ahead of time, bringing all of the food down in coolers and shoving it in the back trunk along with the luggage, beach toys, towels, and everything else that you need to bring to the shore. About a week before we are set to arrive, I go to Walmart's grocery delivery site and pre order all of my food (I have already created a menu of what we are going to each every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner including the places we are eating out at). I place the order, set it for the day we arrive and about an hour after I expect to arrive and that's it. They bring it directly to our front door and I put it all away - super easy! The best part? They text me updates throughout the entire process - when they are selecting the food, when they are on their way and when they have arrived. If this is something you would be interested in, I highly recommend it and even better, if you are a first time customer - you get $10 off using this referral link!




Rentals

Depending on where you are staying, they may already have beach chairs and umbrella's available to you but if not, you may want to consider renting them instead of bringing them down in the car. Yes, it's one extra expense but it will save you the aggravation of storing the chairs and umbrella in the car and having to drag it down to the beach every day and back every night. At Seapointe, where we have our condo, they offer chair and umbrella rentals. They will set up the chairs and umbrella anywhere you want every morning and when you are done with them, they will bring them all back in for you. All you have to do is point to where you want to sit! Easy! And better part, if you rent for more than 5 days, you get 15% off! If you are not staying at Seapointe, then maybe consider Island's Best Rentals. We found that they had the most competitive rates. If you want a 5% coupon, you can find it here.


For more information on things do to in Wildwood, ways to save and updates to our condo in Seapointe Village, please follow our blog and join our FB group!




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