Celebrate Christmas on St. George Island

Celebrate Christmas on SGI

Four reasons why your family should celebrate Christmas on St. George Island.

It’s almost that time of year again…HOLIDAY SEASON!

The time when we get together with family and friends in our flashy ugly Christmas sweaters to watch the mean green Grinch and childhood shows like Charlie Brown’s Christmas while sipping hot chocolate in front of the fireplace for what feels like the tenth year in a row. Maybe it’s time for something different. Something non-traditional, like celebrating Christmas on the beach! Here are four reasons why your family should celebrate Christmas on St. George Island.

Start a New Family Tradition

 Traditions are what makes a family unique. They give us a sense of security knowing that together, there’s a shared interest. Family traditions create priceless memories that will have you itching to tell others about. Let this year be the year your family starts a new family tradition by celebrating Christmas on sunny St. George Island and build memories generation after generation.

The kids are sure to love this idea, and they’ll go back to school with the best Christmas vacation story ever!

100% Family Time

No need to worry about people crowding the beach. This is the perfect time for the whole family to be together and enjoy one another; like taking a nice stroll on the island’s crystal white 27-mile long beach. The weather should be pleasant, probably too cold to get in the water, but fine enough for a beach picnic, making ‘sand snowmen and snow angels’, and having friendly competition playing “reindeer games.” So don’t forget the badminton and volleyball set.

Enjoy being creative and coming up with different ideas together. For example, if your family is really crafty, use this time to come up with a list of fun family DIY projects to complete for the new year. While on your stay, use the well-equipped kitchen to make yummy, jolly holiday treats for old St. Nick. There are neat DIY activity and holiday food ideas on our Pinterest page.

Christmas Spirit on St. George

Want to see how others on the island are showing their Christmas Spirit? Then, you would love the Holiday Lights Contest. Businesses and homes are decorated with twinkling lights, Christmas palm trees and you may even see an illuminated boat or two. This event goes on until the end of the month and the winners will be announced on December 21st.  Visit the local shops to find wonderful coastal holiday trinkets or gifts for your friends back home and you must stop by Weber’s Little Donut Shop for the most unique, delicious donuts you will ever eat. Tell them we sent you!

Even if you plan to take your trip before Christmas, you can still enjoy

Outdoor Adventures

Christmas outdoors…comfortably, sounds like a blast! No snow, no black ice, or bone-dry hurting cold. Only sand, the gulf, and nature at its finest.

Have you heard? There’s treasure on St. George Island! Take the family geocaching and find out where Pirate Captain Bowels buried his treasure. Read our blog on geocaching to learn more about it on the island. While you’re searching for that treasure, be on the lookout for painted rocks. Visitors and locals alike, paint rocks and hide them around St. George, a trend that started with The Kindness Rocks Project and has gone viral. If you find one, simply take a picture of it and post it on social media. What’s even more awesome, is you can do it too. Paint and hide a rock and try to find it on your next visit!   And if you like coffee, then you will love Coffee in the Campground at the St. George Island State Park. Park rangers will give an interpretive presentation and provide more information about wildlife on the island.

 

Try something uncommon, escape the frigid tempts and take your family to St. George Island this holiday season. Instead of a Winter Wonderland, create a ‘Sandy Christmas Vacation’ and enjoy precious moments with the ones you love.

Paint a rock and leave it behind….for next time…on the Forgotten Coast.

 

Let’s Start a Tradition. View our Specials!

Tips to a 5-Star Rating: Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals

 

Tips For Getting 5-Star Reviews on St. George Island

Think of the last time you took your family on a vacation. Your vacation rental process probably started with reviewing photos of the homes that will accommodate you and your guests, right?  Besides price and location, what were some deciding factors towards choosing your accommodations?

 

Now more than ever guests expect updated appliances and décor. If the rental offers unique character…that’s even better.   Now, let’s say, after checking in, you discover the bed is uncomfortable, the refrigerator is decades old and there is a leak in the bathroom. That place will definitely be off your list for the next visit, right? In addition to not booking another stay at that home, you would probably tell friends and family about the stay and may even go online to write a review ranking the home one or two stars.

 

DON’T let this be your vacation home.

Updating your vacation rental is a great way to promote guests returning year after year! Here are a few tips on how to reach that 5-star rating.

 

Update your vacation rental

 

Appliances

Do your current appliances make your guest think they have time traveled a few decades in the past? Consider updating your appliances. The last thing you would want is for the microwave to give out on a guest during their stay. It’s important that your guests have confidence using your vacation rental’s appliances.

 

In addition to having confidence in the safety of the available appliances, they need to be user-friendly and clean. Additionally, choosing modern items which match the layout and color of your vacation rental are sure to catch the eye of would-be renters. As a bonus, with the new energy-saving options available, updating the appliances in your rental home benefits the environment and your wallet by lowering energy consumption.

Some small items to consider updating that could make a big difference are a microwave, toaster oven, or coffee maker.

 

Bedroom: Mattress & Pillows

When was the last time you changed the mattresses in your vacation home? A mattress can be a huge deal breaker for guests wanting to book your home again. The idea is to ensure each guest has a good night sleep. No one wants to start their day with a stiff back.

Check your mattresses. If there are signs of tears, sagging, or stains, you should consider replacing them.

 

We want your guests to continuously rent your vacation home. Here are some things to consider when you’re revamping the beds:

  • Mattress: A bad mattress can lead to a number of problems, besides running a guest away, including back pain, lack of sleep, and irritation from allergies. Invest in a mattress that supports and comforts the whole body. Sometimes, something a small as adding a mattress topper might provide additional comfort.

Older mattress holds on to dust mites which can be detrimental to someone that has an allergy reaction. It causes sneezing, itching, coughing, and other symptoms that no one wants to deal with while they are on vacation. A high-quality waterproof mattress cover will keep out bed bugs, dust mites, and allergens.

 

  • Pillows: Pillows are just as important as mattresses. They provide support to the neck and spine. The article, Pillow Support, and Comfort explains the importance of having good pillows.

 

Kitchen

We have all heard of the saying, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” This saying even applies vacation homes. The key to preparing a vacation rental kitchen is simplicity. Make it easy for guests to utilize what’s in the kitchen.

Look at some of these tips:

  • Good quality cookware: Invest in cookware that will last a while and won’t start to chip after a few uses. Cheaper cookware will start to look bad and even change the way the food tastes. That’s not good!
  • Dinnerware: Visually, matching plates would indicate good quality. We suggest offering twice as many plates and bowls than the total number of guest your rental accommodates. Meaning, if a home sleeps 6 then home should have 12 plates and 12 bowls available.

Wine glasses are optional of course, but it’s something great to keep on hand. Go for the wine glasses without a stem because they are a little more durable than stemmed glasses.  We have many of these items on hand if you need – just ask!

 

Maintenance

From inside to the outside, maintaining your home a little can go a long way!  Any little leaks or cracks can quickly become huge leaks or cracks, which can ruin any vacation. At Fickling Vacation Rentals we understand the importance of routine maintenance and regular inspections. That is why we always notify you when your home is in need of a repair.  Often we hear that maintaining your home is too expensive, but look at it like it’s a re-investment…guests will want to come back if the home is well maintained by the owner – or – if you put something off it could result in us having to relocate a guest to another home during their stay.

 

Guests write reviews on places they really loved and places they would never recommend. Just by keeping your vacation rental up-to-date, you’re sure to keep a 5-star rating. If you need any assistance or advice, feel free to contact us. We will gladly help with ideas to update your fantastic vacation home.

Geocaching on St. George Island

What Is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt, using our ‘modern day’ maps, the GPS!  When we break down the word geocache, ‘geo’ refers to the term location, while a ‘cache’ would be items that are hidden or stored away…TREASURE! This adventurous activity allows participants to strap on their boots, grab a friend, and explore the world around them. The idea behind geocaching is to find trinkets that other individuals have hidden and shared the location’s coordinates on the Geocache website. Then, after your successful find, record it in the log book that’s located in the cache box and CELEBRATE!

According to Geocaching.com, millions of people consider themselves ‘Geocachers,’ logging in the over 2 million caches worldwide! So, why not join the global party?

 

Geocaching is a game for all ages and it’s simple to get started with only a few steps to follow:

  1. Register for a FREE account on Geocache-CREATE AN ACCOUNT
  2. Navigate to ‘Hide & Seek a cache’
  3. Enter your location.
  4. Choose a cache from the list.
  5. Enter the coordinates into your GPS and find the hidden geocache.
  6. Log your findings and share a picture of your awesome finds!

 

 

Geocaching: The Added Benefits

Not only are you enjoying the ‘Great Outdoors’ with your family, but there are other positive and health-related benefits that go along with ‘caching.’

  • Physical Activity: One of the greatest benefits of geocaching is being physically active. After you find one cache, you will want to find even more and before you know it, you would have walked a whole 8 miles!
  • Social Interaction: Geocaching is a great way to network with others while problem-solving, brainstorming, and decision making. Geocaching with families or groups helps strengthen those skills, especially with kids!
  • Educational: Learning is the BEST benefit to get out of geocaching. This type of learning takes place outdoors, where nature abounds! Exploration teaches us how to be brave and discover something new, while creativity allows us to use our imagination and become innovative in our search.

Geocaching on St. George Island

Once, you get to St. George Island, there are caches waiting to be found. Whether you are at the St. George Island State Park, the unforgettable lighthouse, or snagging a fabulous family photo next to the St. George Island welcome sign, you are sure to find a cache nearby.  So, while you’re enjoying your stay in one of our beautiful beach homes, take a day and discover the island’s geocaches. After all, why not tap into your creative side and pretend that you’re on a mission and the goal is to find the treasures of the Forgotten Coast.

 

 

References: Geocaching.com, https://www.geocaching.com/play

3D Virtual Tours on St. George Island

Fickling Vacation Rentals Now Offers 3D Virtual Tours

Our staff understands how difficult it can be for vacationers to choose the best home for their vacationing needs, sometimes photos are just not enough to really show the layout of a home.

“We started thinking about ways to help display the homes we manage to enhance the booking experience for potential visitors. Then it came to us, if a photo is worth a million words then a 3D virtual tour should be the full novel,” said Kim Cook, Director of Fickling Vacation Rentals.

Visitors searching for rental homes will be able to tour the entire property, including the outdoor pools.

Check out some of our current tours:

Diamond Beach

Island Breeze

Little Surfer Girl

The Third Wish

 

Our Top 5 Places to Eat on St. George Island, Florida

Our Top 5 Places to Eat

1.  Sweet Surf
(Next to Dail’s Seafood) 60 E Gulf Beach Dr, St George Island, FL 32328
(215) 565-6175

If smoothies and Italian ices if your thing, then you must stop by Sweet Surf! Also, make sure to try their key lime pie dipped in chocolate! Yes, dipped in chocolate.

2.  Weber’s Little Donut Shop
65 W Gorrie Dr, Eastpoint, FL 32328
(740) 755-5452

Donut, donuts, and more donuts made fresh daily…so many delicious flavors. Make sure to get in line EARLY – when they sell out there gone!  Our favorite is the OREO! Oh and “donut” forget to stop by there on Fridays for their old fashion donuts. Yum!

3.  Doc Myers Island Pub – BRAND NEW!
36 W Pine Ave, Saint George Island FL 32328
(850) 544-6174

This beautiful bar offers live music and several TV’s to watch your favorite game! They specialize in delicious shrimp Po’ boy, smoked wings, and the fresh catch of the day sandwich. Oh, and how could we forget, their homemade chips are delicious!

4.  Paddy’s Raw Bar
240 East 3rd Street St. George Island, FL 32328
850-927-2299

Enjoy a good beverage and ice cold raw oysters! Paddy’s offers guest a friendly atmosphere, gorgeous sunset views, and live music. Ahhh, island life is good!

Image result for bj's pizza & subs st george island

5. BJ’s Pizza & Subs
105 Gulf Beach Dr. W, St George Island, FL 32328
(850) 927-2805

Can’t beat BJ’s Pizza and Subs! BJ’s has homemade pizzas and the best sandwiches – they make their ranch homemade and their breadsticks with the salads are always fresh!