If you have never vacationed in a Gulf Coast condo or beach home before, or if this is your first time with Southern Vacation Rentals, you may have a few questions about what to expect of us and your rental. Read through our frequently asked rental questions to learn more about vacationing in a Southern condo or home. If you still have questions, please feel free to call, email or live chat with a member of our team.
You may already know that your packing list needs to contain bathing suits, beach toys and sunscreen. But, if you have never vacationed in a condo rental or vacation home before, you may be wondering what extra things you need to bring or be prepared to purchase when you arrive.
While our Gulf Coast vacation rentals are stocked with many of the comforts of home, including bedding and kitchen essentials such as dishware and utensils, there are a few more items you will want to pack.
Upon arriving for your Florida or Alabama beach vacation, you will find your rental has been stocked with an initial supply of toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap and trash bags. These should get you through your first 24 hours, but you will want to pick up additional supplies to get you through the remainder of your stay. Napkins, condiments, cooking spices and coffee filters are other things you may want to purchase while at the store.
Other items you might want to consider bringing, or renting from a local company, include cribs, pack-n-plays, highchairs and any other items required by the youngest travelers in your group. And, while bath towels are provided, beach towels are not, so be sure to bring yours from home.
Below you will find a list of items we recommend you bring with you or plan to buy upon arriving for your vacation in Northwest Florida or Coastal Alabama. For additional information on what to expect when staying in a Southern condo rental or vacation home, check out these Frequently Asked Rental Questions.
|Paper Towels||Toilet Paper|
|Trash Bags||Hair Dryer|
A Gulf Coast beach vacation is a financial investment, and like any investment, you will want to protect it. That’s why Southern Vacation Rentals offers optional CSA Vacation Rental Insurance, sometimes referred to as cancellation insurance. We highly recommend purchasing this travel protection as it provides a significant level of coverage when unexpected circumstances threaten your Gulf Coast getaway.
CSA Vacation Rental Insurance takes care of you before, during and after your vacation. Our travel insurance plans cover you door to door – from the day after you buy your policy until you return home. All plans include CSA’s renowned 24-Hour Emergency Assistance Service for worldwide help whenever and wherever needed.
This travel protection plan protects your deposit and any monies paid in the event you are unable to take your vacation. Covered events include cancellation due to sickness or injury, layoff, termination of previously granted military leave and adverse weather, including hurricanes. Other benefits include pre-existing medical conditions, identity theft and travel delays.
You have ten (10) days to decline the CSA Vacation Rental Insurance. To opt-out, you must sign and return the Refusal of Travel Insurance form included with your reservation confirmation.
For more information on included coverages, please see our travel insurance coverage PDF.
The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are as inviting as they are beautiful. We want you to enjoy your time riding the emerald waves and splashing in the saltwater while on vacation to the Gulf Coast. We also want each of our guests to remain safe while doing so and ask that you remain vigilant regarding surf conditions.
Begin each beach trip by checking the flag color for the day. The local flag warning system is universal across each of our beaches, from Gulf Shores to Cape San Blas. Lifeguarded public beaches are also available in each of our Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama vacation destinations mid-March through September.
Double Red Flag: Water is closed to public due to dangerous water conditions
Red Flag: High hazard due to surf and/or strong currents
Yellow Flag: Medium surf and/or current hazard
Green Flag: Low hazard and calm conditions, remain vigilant
Purple Flag: Marine pests present, such as jellyfish, stingrays or dangerous fish
Rip currents, powerful currents of water moving away from shore, are also something you should heed while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. These currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.
Waves break further out to sea on either side of a rip current
Waves are smaller and unorganized along more evenly breaking waves
Sand is stirred up by rip currents causing the water to appear murky and brown
The water is deeper, as indicated by darker colored water
Notify a lifeguard and have someone call 911
Do not enter the water.
Throw person a floatation device and do not lose sight of them
If You are Caught in a Rip Current
Do not panic or swim against the current
Try to relax and float until the current dissipates
Swim parallel to coastline until you can reach the shore
While monitoring the beach conditions is certainly a huge part of beach safety, we also want to remind you to put on sunscreen and reapply often while enjoying your time on the beaches of Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama! Nothing ruins a good time like a painful burn. You may even want to consider investing in a beach umbrella for those long days spent in the sun with friends and family. You can rent an umbrella from the onsite beach service or a local business, such as our friends at La Dolce Vita.
Check-in is after 4PM local time, and check-out is by 9AM. Early check-in and late check-out are available for purchase on select rentals. Ask your reservation agent if your rental qualifies, or if you have already reserved, contact our team to make your request.
Approximately 85% of our properties have keyless locks and it is noted on the property page online. This keyless system allows entry into the vacation rental through the issue of a “code” rather than a physical key. The code changes for every reservation so it is an incredibly safe alternative. By issuing the code prior to arrival, the check-in process is much easier.
If your rental has a keyless lock, please go directly to your rental. Physical check-in at our office is not required during your stay. If your property requires a key for access and our office is closed, your arrival packets and rental keys will be placed in a secure lockbox at our local office. Your pre-arrival email will contain access instructions, including a code for the lockbox.
Yes. We do not rent to vacationing students or singles under 25 years of age.
Southern Vacation Rentals provides a departure clean on all stays. We also provide an initial supply of towels and linens, as well as trash liners, toilet paper, bath soap and dishwasher soap. Laundry facilities are provided either in the rental property or on the grounds. A mid-week clean can be provided for an additional fee.
All of our vacation rentals are furnished and have a kitchen or kitchenette with amenities including a microwave, coffee maker, toaster and blender. Each property is stocked with all cooking and serving including plates, bowls and utensils, as well as a can opener, corkscrew measuring spoons and more. While we do provide bath towels and bed linens, we do ask that you bring your own beach towels.
Book as early as possible if planning to travel for spring break, during our busy summer season or during fall break. It is also best to book early if planning to travel around a major holiday, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day.
One week minimum stays will apply for certain properties during summer and holiday periods, with Friday or Saturday arrival and departure. During the off-season, we are typically more flexible with minimum nights, but it is dependent on the vacation rental.
Several of our Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama vacation rentals accept small pets under 25lbs for a nominal fee.
We require a reservation deposit at time of booking. The remaining balance is due no later than 45 days prior to arrival.