Do your 2021 vacation plans include a road trip? Get the family ready, pack up the car, and hit the open road on the ultimate getaway. Road trips are a classic American vacation, and the perfect excuse to see some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. Whether you want to plan multiple stops or one destination, road trips are a flexible and convenient way to travel. Plus, it’s usually less expensive than paying for airfare!
If you’re planning a summer family road trip, use our tips and advice to help you create a lifetime of memories.
Pick Your Perfect Destination
Your first choice has to be the destination. Your destination will depend on where you live and how long you’d like to drive, as well as whether or not you’d like to make stops along the way. If surf and sand are calling your name, consider Sanibel and Captiva Islands for crystal clear water and pristine beaches.
Located in Southwest Florida, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are the perfect destination if you’re planning a longer trip or multiple stops along the coast. Sanibel is near Fort Myers and Naples, offering world-class shelling, untouched nature preserves, beautiful beaches, and quintessential island culture. There are tons of things to do here whether you prefer relaxing vacations or exploring.
Create an Action Plan
Get a plan together for your trip to your destination and back home, planning any short or overnight stops along the way. Map your route for arriving at your destination and note any alternative routes. While you can expect to have service for the drive, have an offline map available on your phone or get a paper map to have on hand just in case. It’s also helpful to plan out your stops along the way, whether they are for food, gas, or fun.
Tip: Give yourself wiggle room in case you find an interesting spot to stop or need to take an unexpected break. Being on a tight schedule can cause more stress then it’s worth!
Get Your Car Ready for the Road
Check your car to be certain that it is running well and is up to date on all its services. Before hitting the road, be sure that you are up to date on getting an oil change and won’t go over time or mileage during your vacation. Get a tune-up if you haven’t in a while to be sure there are no other maintenance concerns. It’s also a great idea to clean the interior of your car as well. Remove any extra items from your car that you won’t need on your trip, vacuum the carpets, and wipe down all surfaces.
Tip: Be sure to have a car emergency kit with you, including a spare tire, wheel wrench, tripod jack, jumper cables, flashlight, brightly colored and reflective jacket, multipurpose utility tool, and anything else that might be helpful.
Ensure Your Home is Protected While You’re Away
Be sure to secure your house before you leave. These days, there are many digital security systems available that allow you to watch over your house even while you’re away. These systems can make it possible to set timers for your home’s lighting and thermostat, among other things. It’s even better if you have a neighbor or close friend to watch over your home.
Don’t post anything about leaving on social media, and refrain from posting until you get back home. That way no one will know that you’re not in your home, and you’ll also be able to stay more present while on vacation.
Tip: See if a friend or family member can stop by to get your mail, water plants, and any other things you need to do daily. It will look as though someone is home if there are people coming and going regularly.
Pack All the Essentials
Get your car packed with everything you need for the drive and once you arrive for your vacation in Sanibel. Since you have to fit a lot of stuff into your car, you’ll need to strategize placement or organization a bit. It’s helpful to have a bag of luggage with everything you’ll need at your vacation rental, and a car bag with necessities for the road.
Things that you should have on you in the car include a car charger, electronics, necessary medications, snacks, beverages, and car games. Bring a cooler as well so that you can have cold beverages for the whole family without spending too much money at convenience stores. If your drive isn’t going to be too far, pack a picnic and find a spot along the route to enjoy the scenery.
Tip: Make a list of things you’ll need and pack everything the night before you leave so you don’t have to worry about forgetting something before hitting the road.
Things to Bring With on Your Trip
- Extra cleaning and disinfecting products (sanitizing wipes, surface cleaner, hand sanitizer)
- Extra paper products (paper towels, tissue, toilet paper)
- Beach blankets and towels
- Beach toys
- Bug Repellent
- Clothing (multiple layers, swimsuit, beach clothes)
- Shoes (comfortable walking shoes, sandals)
Driving Distances From Major Metro Areas
Here are some directions to a few of the region’s major metro areas.
- Tampa-St. Petersburg
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
- Atlanta, GA
- Nashville, TN
- Columbia, SC
- Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
- Charlotte, NC
- West Palm Beach
- Raleigh-Durham, NC
- Knoxville, TN
Plan Your Sanibel Island Vacation in 2021
Sanibel Island is a beautiful and scenic island off the coast of Southwest Florida. Here you can view wild manatees, go shelling, or spend your days unwinding on our beaches. Book one of our vacation rentals on Sanibel or Captiva Islands online and start planning your beach getaway today. You can check out our current specials or reach out to us directly for more information on our accommodation options.