Have you ever gone on a one-week vacation and returned home with the feeling that it just wasn’t long enough? Like you could go back and spend a month there and still not see and do everything you wanted to experience? A vacation is not just time off or a simple weekend getaway. If you truly want to know what a real vacation is, then you’ll need to take at least a month to experience the major life event of a vacation spent the right way – over four weeks.
If you’ve been wondering how to take a month-long vacation (an annual event to be remembered for sure), you probably already know the benefits of getting out and enjoying regular vacation time. However, you’ve probably also wondered how feasible it is to spend four weeks at the beach. After all, it might seem like getting the time off, planning for an extended trip, and figuring out what you’re going to do are difficult. But it’s really not that difficult to plan your own sensational “beach trip event of the year.”
Why Should You Take a 4-Week Vacation?
The benefits of taking an extended vacation are worth every minute you devote to planning. Finding out how to spend a month at the beach will open up a world of possibilities for that long vacation, making it easier for you to relax and get the most out of everything during your stay on Siesta Key. There are considerable benefits to taking a break and recharging your batteries. Studies have shown that taking a longer vacation can:
- allow for rest and relaxation
- contribute to higher positive emotional levels
- fight depression
- lower your blood pressure
- reduce stress levels
- build stronger connections with family and friends
- increase productivity
- improve job performance upon return
And it doesn’t stop there! The benefits last longer than the four weeks while you’re away. Think of it as a mini-sabbatical. A time to unplug and renew. Yes, it can be a big, scary step, but it’s worth it – and it’s doable.
The biggest step in planning the extended trip of your dreams is knowing how to plan a vacation most effectively. With the right vacation planning that includes a detailed vacation checklist, you can be on your way to planning a trip in no time.
10 Steps for a Successful Month-long Beach Vacation
Taking a 4-week trip to the beach is no small feat. It requires a huge time and money commitment, but it’s totally doable. This checklist will help you take the necessary steps to ensure a successful month-long beach event.
- Decide you want to spend four weeks at the beach.
- Pick a location to visit.
- Choose the best time of year for you to travel.
- Convince your boss to say, “YES!”
- Book a beautiful vacation rental.
- Plan for life while you’re gone for four weeks.
- Make your travel plans.
- Create an itinerary for your month-long trip.
- Pack your bags.
- Enjoy your stay at Peppertree Bay – you have plenty of things to do in Siesta Key!
1. Decide to Spend 4 Weeks on Vacation
Before you decide that you want to spend four weeks at the beach, you’ll have to shift your mindset. Believe that it is indeed something you can accomplish. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re at, extended vacations are still possible. If you have children or teens, take your vacation in the middle of the summer. If you have little bitty ones, most places offer all kinds of baby rental equipment and supplies so that you don’t have to pack your stroller, crib, bassinet, playpen, and other large baby items.
When you decide that you want the benefits of a long vacation, it’s easier to convince yourself that you really want to make the trip. Instead of insisting that the money in your savings account must be for Junior’s college fund, the next home renovation, a down payment on a third vehicle, or an emergency fund that’s bursting at the seams, take a portion and invest in some family memories that will last a lifetime.
2. Pick a Location to Visit
You can choose the mountains, the desert, the African savannah, the Australian Outback, Old World Europe, or the sandy shores of a pristine beach. You likely have an idea of where you might want to visit. Perhaps it’s a place you’ve visited in the past or a place you’ve never been before. Either way, follow these three simple steps to choose the best location for your next vacation.
- The first step is to choose your general overarching locale, like the beach.
- Second, narrow it to a region, like Florida.
- Finally, narrow it to a more specific location, like the isle of Siesta Key.
If you’re headed to the beach, Florida is a popular option. Obviously, we’re partial to Siesta Key, so that’s where we’d suggest you visit! Even more specifically, Peppertree Bay. With our beautiful condo options on the beach, we can help make your vacation one to remember.
Our guests compare staying at Peppertree Bay to a vacation in the Caribbean. It’s relaxing, quiet, and has a different atmosphere than the rest of the island. Choosing a location for your vacation is probably the easiest part of planning your trip, so have fun with it!
3. Choose the Best Time to Travel
Choose the best time of year for you to travel and mark it on your calendar. There are many things to consider when deciding what month to plan your vacation. Birthdays and anniversaries, holidays, school, summer, work, and more.
- Are you trying to get away from colder weather?
- Do you want to celebrate an anniversary or birthday?
- Are you trying to get together with extended family or long lost friends?
- Do you want to travel during peak holiday seasons?
- Are you trying to create an annual summer getaway?
- Are there periods at your job that make it easier or more difficult to get away and travel extensively?
When you answer these questions, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision. Keep in mind that people who live in colder areas of the nation enjoy staying for longer periods in the warmer Florida beaches during the winter months. Spring Break is the most popular time to travel and plans must be made well in advance. If you don’t have children living at home, Peppertree Bay is the perfect option for your month-long getaway during Spring Break. Summertime is a peak time for traveling, but take note that the premium prices of travel during the summer reflect that. Give yourself plenty of time to book your monthly Siesta Key vacation rental and make the necessary plans to prepare for your trip.
4. Convince Your Boss to Say Yes
One of the biggest challenges of planning a month-long vacation is convincing your boss to let you have time off – unless you’re retired. This idea may seem like a tough sell to your boss, but don’t give up too quickly. Modern society puts a lot of emphasis on working to the point of overworking, where you might feel like you’re doing something wrong by asking for time off. But go ahead and try it.
Think of taking your extended vacation at the beach as a chance to implement better systems at work. Here are some things to try that will help sway your supervisor’s answer toward, “Yes, of course you can take four weeks off work to take a vacation!”
- Look into the company’s time-off policies. Ask if you can use sick days as vacation days or if you can “buy” days from the upcoming year.
- Use your yearly review as an opportunity to negotiate extra time off. Maybe you could trade part of a raise for an extra week’s vacation.
- Take the initiative to let your boss know how you intend to help others help you by setting up any substitutions and systems ahead of time.
- If paid time off is a dealbreaker for your employer, agree to take the difference as unpaid leave.
- Explain your reasons for wanting this trip. Share why it’s so important to you.
- And lastly, share how the company will benefit from having a well-rested employee return with extra vigor and commitment.
If your company requires having all hands on deck during the time of your planned vacation, consider requesting your vacation at another time. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re imposing on the goodwill of your workplace. Once you get a yes, it’s time to move onto the next step.
5. Book Your Siesta Key Vacation Rental
Once you have chosen the locale for your 4-week stay away from home, and gotten the A-Okay from your job, it’s time to find the perfect Siesta Key monthly rental with availability to match your intended time of travel. Generally speaking, most people want the prettiest property at the most affordable rates. They’ll spend hours scouring the internet for vacation rentals in their general locale or region.
To make life easier for you, Peppertree Bay has an availability calendar to help you find which beachside rentals will fit your schedule. Or do a search on our “View All Vacation Rentals” page and input the first day of the month you want to stay. Make sure that the departure date is the first day of the following month. For example, put 07/01/2018 to 08/01/2018 and it will show images of all the condos we have available for that month. All you have to do is choose the one you think looks the nicest, matches your style, and speaks to your heart.
6. Plan For Life While You’re Away on Vacation
Obviously, if you’re going to be gone from home for a month, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of. You might need a pet sitter or a house sitter. You might need someone to water your plants or tend to your lawn. You’ll also need to unplug your appliances, lock all your windows, and turn off your water. You may want someone to check your mail for you while you’re away, or you could get a temporary forwarding address. Take note of the things specific to you and make plans to have them taken care of while you’re gone.
7. Preparing Travel for Your 4-week Siesta Key Vacation
Extended vacation planning doesn’t have to be stressful, but it should still be thorough enough that you don’t overlook anything important. You are now ready to buy your airfare or map out the driving route you’ll take to reach your destination.
When you set out for your beach vacation, allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport if you choose to fly (to Florida – yes, we’re partial to the area). If you’ll be driving to get to Siesta Key, make sure you get on the road with plenty of time to spare. It will help you feel less stress while traveling through the peak traffic hours and ensure you’re more relaxed when you arrive at Peppertree Bay.
If you’re driving and kids are traveling with you, do what you can to make everything more comfortable during the trip. A picnic lunch and plenty of snacks will help reduce the need to make a lot of stops along the way. Consider driving in the late afternoon and early evening hours so your kids will be more inclined to rest during the drive.
8. Create an Itinerary
You will likely create a list of places to go, things to do, and activities to try before you even pack your bags. If you’ve ever been to Siesta Key before, you know there are a LOT of options to occupy your time on the 7-mile island. And if you’ve never been to Siesta Key before, now’s a fine time to learn what’s available!
There are things to do for foodies, wine lovers, nature lovers, adventure lovers, beach lovers, art lovers, and more! In the greater Sarasota region, there are even more things to do and see: golf, amusement centers, museums, parks, and more!
Once you make a list of the possible places to visit and experience a month of beach fun on Siesta Key, map your stops, create a budget, schedule your days, but stay flexible. To experience the best of Siesta Key, your travel itinerary should include visits to historical sites, places of cultural interest, sporting events, educational locations, or natural attractions of interest to you.
Consider the time of travel to your destination of choice. There may be local holidays, large sporting events, or major festivals that could impact your itinerary. Perhaps you’d like to include one of those events in your travel plans, or maybe you’d like to avoid that area during your stay. Either way, creating an itinerary will help you maximize your time during your Siesta Key 4-week vacation.
Here’s an example of a travel itinerary for a 1-week vacation. You can certainly purchase your own food and save money when you cook in your Siesta Key vacation rental kitchen, or you could explore the area and experience 1-3 new restaurants each day. This sample leisurely itinerary doesn’t include meals. You’re smart enough to know when you want to cook and where you might want to eat out.
- Sunday: Arrive and check in, unpack your bags, walk along the beach, go out to dinner, sit on the lanai and enjoy each other’s company.
- Monday: AM: art museum; PM: bike ride.
- Tuesday: AM: beach time; PM: historical landmark.
- Wednesday: AM: local shops; PM: music concert.
- Thursday: AM: snorkeling; PM: wine tasting.
- Friday: AM: tennis or golf; PM: local attraction.
- Saturday: Pack your bags, check out and re-book for next year, go to breakfast, gas up, and hit the road (or head to the airport).
9. What to Pack for Your 4 Weeks at the Beach
Your vacation checklist should include items you intend to pack for your extended vacation. Your beach vacation packing list should include the following essentials:
- BEACH NECESSITIES: Bathing suits, cover-ups, swim trunks, towels, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, beach bag, flip-flops, sandals, water shoes, insect repellant, pool/beach toys, cooler, water bottle, books/magazines, beach chairs, umbrellas, lip balm
- CLOTHING: shorts, pants, capris, jeans, skirts, dresses, shirts, tops, sweater(s), light jacket, shoes, belts, accessories, basics (socks, underwear, bras, undershirts, pajamas).
- TOILETRIES/BEAUTY: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, tweezers, band-aids, nail clippers, emery board, shampoo, conditioner, hair products, soap, shaving supplies, face wash, body lotion, feminine products, glasses, contacts/solution, makeup, curling iron, hairdryer, hairspray, perfume/cologne,
- IMPORTANT: Passport/visa if you’re traveling abroad, boarding passes if you’re traveling the skies, any tickets you’ve pre-purchased, driver’s license, credit cards, cash, cell phones, car chargers, other electronic chargers, games and other amusements to occupy children during drives, medical insurance card, medications (over-the-counter and prescription), and last but not least your itinerary.
10. Top 5 Things to Experience While on Siesta Key
Siesta Key is one of the top destinations to visit in Florida. Just a few of the things you’ll want to experience include:
- Visit Our BeachesYou can hang out on one of our popular beaches: Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, or Turtle Beach, each unique in its own way. Crescent Beach is one of the finest white sand beaches in Florida where you can also go jogging, play volleyball or enjoy other activities. If you need a bit of a break from all the activity on Crescent Beach for quiet reading, head a little further south to Turtle Beach. Read more about the three beaches on Siesta Key.
- Go Snorkeling at Point of RocksAt the southern tip of Crescent Beach, you can enjoy the popular Point of Rocks, one of the best places for snorkelers in Siesta Key. It offers plenty of chances to interact with colorful sea life while enjoying the clear blue waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Visit Marie Selby Botanical GardensThe Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota is only 7.2 miles (or 19 minutes) from the Peppertree Bay resort properties. They are named one of America’s Top 10 botanical gardens to visit. They have a huge collection of orchids, epiphytes, and bromeliads, with more than 20,000 plants on display.
- See the Siesta Key Drum CircleImagine watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico while listening to a cacophony of drummers beating their hearts out. This drum group gathers every Sunday evening for an unforgettable experience of tribal drumming and belly dancers. You’ve never experienced nightlife like this!
- Go for a Bike RideTwo places to take a leisurely bike ride are Siesta Key Village and Myakka State Park. The Village has great beer, local pizza, and plenty of restaurants and shops for souvenirs. The park has 38 miles of hiking trails. Sarasota’s Legacy Trail has 10 miles of trails for biking, hiking, and running.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our extensive blog article about how to plan a 4-week vacation. With all the steps laid out for you, it’s clear to see that the path is easy to follow. Once you make a few key decisions, you’ll be on your way to experiencing your very first month-long beach vacation in Florida. At Peppertree Bay, all our condo rentals have a one-month minimum. Hope to see you soon!