5 Tips For Having A Successful Vacation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many well-known reasons to take a vacation. Among numerous other benefits, vacations relieve stress, help workers focus, make them happier, strengthen relationships, and make employees more productive when they return to work.

But it’s important to remember that simply taking time off does not guarantee a vacation will be successful. To fully reap the benefits, there are a few things workers should do before, during and after their vacations, said Bill Watts, employee relations manager for SH Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Gulf Shores, Ala.-based Meyer Vacation Rentals.

Bill WattsWatts is responsible for counseling and assisting employees with work-related or personal concerns and otherwise providing employee support as needed. His services are one of the many ways Meyer parent company SH Enterprises Inc., recently voted one of the Best Companies to Work for in Alabama in 2017, works to help employees stay happy, healthy and productive.

“It’s very important not to let work cause stress in our personal and family lives—not just for ourselves but also for our families. When someone gives everything to their job, something is left out. And, most of the time, it’s our families,” Watts said.

Watts entered the ministry as a pastor in 1976 but also held a job in the corporate world and attended college at the same time. As a minister, he provided support to members of his congregation while also managing his own busy work and family life.

As he worked, attended school and raised a family, retired from the ministry and one corporate career, and embarked on a completely new career at SH Enterprises in 2011, Watts said he learned some very important lessons about work-life balance that he passes on to his SH Enterprises colleagues today.

“For 37 years, I was a pastor of a church and almost all of that time worked a secular job. Because of that, many times, when my children were involved in activities, I did not get to spend the time with them that they would have liked for me to,” he said. “I didn’t realize until they were adults that they often felt shortchanged. They had resentment I didn’t understand until they were adults. It’s very important to pay attention to the needs of our families. And one of those needs is for our time.”

Watts said taking time to care for our own loved ones—and ourselves — is vital to finding happiness at work.

“Simply put, we are not going to be happy or successful in our work lives if our home lives are not happy. It is especially important to plan time to be with family, not just spend time with them when you have a few minutes.”

To make the most of time off the job, there are five things Watts suggested everyone do before, during and after a vacation.

1. Tie Up Loose Ends & Communicate

If you know you’re going to be away a month from now, try to leave as few loose ends as possible, Watts suggested. “Also, communicate to your colleagues that you are going to be away on vacation and that you will not be as accessible as you normally would be. Make them aware you won’t be checking emails every time you hear a ding or that you’ll only look at emails once or twice a day. At the same time, if there is a real emergency—if someone needs something right then—tell them they should call you and that if you don’t answer, you will call them back. This creates peace of mind for you and instills confidence and trust in your team.”

2. Lean On Your Team

It takes discipline to disconnect from regular work duties during vacation. However, giving direction to teammates about handling important tasks that may come up in your absence can help relieve pressure and help you focus your attention on the family.

“Empower whoever is going to be in charge in your absence to make decisions within certain parameters. Let them know that they can make whatever decision is needed. Not only will this help you vacation with greater confidence, but it will also help your teammates grow and develop in their own jobs.  While you’re away, you don’t need to worry about what’s not getting done. Enjoy your family. If there’s something that the person you’ve empowered can’t manage, realize that you can deal with it when you get back. There’s likely nothing you could do while you are out anyway.”

3. Limit Work Interruptions

“Remember that time away means time away. I urge people here all the time when we talk about stress and planning for vacation to realize that a true vacation can’t really happen if they still answer all their calls or emails. Many of our team members are in the position of taking calls from guests or vacation rental owners and feel like they can’t really get away because they must always be available to meet others’ needs.”

Watts advised that if workers simply must review emails while on vacation, they should only respond to those that simply cannot wait or be rerouted to a colleague to handle.

4. Prioritize Your Work Upon Your Return

Watts said when he plans for a vacation, he organizes and completes important tasks in advance. However, he is prepared for there to be numerous tasks to manage upon his return.

Rather than allowing himself to become overwhelmed when he returns to work, he prioritizes emails and tasks by deciding which ones must be handled immediately and which ones can wait until the next day or even the day after that.

“Prioritizing is a way to organize your time and energies or efforts to help you manage the workload when you return,” Watts said.

5. Kick The Fear

Watts said many people avoid taking time off from work because they fear their employer will find they can get along without them or their role in the company. This fear is unfounded, he cautioned.

“You shouldn’t worry that just because a team member can cover your duties for a few days, the managers are going to think they can get along without your position,” Watts said. “You must realize and accept your value and your position’s value to the company and understand that just because a co-worker can double up for a short time does not mean they can do it for an extended period of time.”

When such thoughts pop up in your mind during a vacation, Watts had this advice: “Turn to your family or return what you were doing. Refocus on enjoying the moment.”

Watts reinforced the need for workers to plan and enjoy productive vacations. “We are mentally, emotionally and physically healthier when we enjoy planned time away from work. Through a bit of self-management, we can vacation with confidence and return to work refreshed and more productive.”

ABOUT SH ENTERPRISES: Voted one of the Best Companies to Work for in Alabama in 2017, SH Enterprises Inc. is the umbrella company for CENTURY 21 Meyer Real Estate for real estate sales and long-term rentals; Meyer Vacation Rentals for vacation rental management on the Alabama/Northwest Florida Gulf Coast; and Starr Textile Services of Alabama and Louisiana, with two commercial laundry facilities serving the Gulf Coast hospitality industry.

Why You Should Take A Week For Vacation

Spend A Week In Paradise In Gulf Shores

To gain the maximum benefits of a vacation, experts advise taking at least a week off. Vacation-related happiness peaks at eight days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To gain the maximum benefits of a vacation, eight days is likely the ideal number of days to take off, according to researchers from Finland who followed vacationers for the duration of their getaways.

The study measured the highest and lows of their happiness and satisfaction as their vacations, which spanned over 23 days, progressed.

Researchers discovered that vacation-related happiness peaked at eight days. “Eight days seems about right,” said Tim Sackett, an HR expert and blogger who commented on the study. “You take off on a Friday after work, maybe sneak out a little early. You then have Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Also psychologically beneficial is the period of time used to plan and anticipate the vacation, according to some psychologists whose experiment asked participants to imagine a vacation.

Psychologists concluded that mere anticipation led to more intense and satisfying emotions than the act of remembering past experiences.

To experience the excitement of planning a vacation and to maximize your vacation joy, plan for a weeklong vacation at the beach. Below are popular summer weeks along the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast. 

Book your beach house or condo in Gulf ShoresFort MorganOrange Beach or Perdido Key now to begin your journey toward a fun vacation in 2018.

Book now to ensure you are able to secure your family’s favorite vacation rental.

CHOOSE YOUR WEEK!

MAY 26-JUNE 2

JUNE 2

JUNE 9

JUNE 16

JUNE 23
JUNE 30

JULY 7

JULY 14

JULY 21

4 Reasons That It’s Smart To Book Your Vacation Early

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many reasons to book your beach vacation to the Gulf Shores area early, not the least of which is giving yourself something extra special to look forward to.

It’s so much easier to manage the tasks of the typical daily grind if you know you are looking forward to spending some downtime on the beach, right?

Here are our top reasons for booking your next beach vacation early.

The Planning Can Be As Much Fun As The Vacationing

According to a research study of more than 1,500 people, planning a trip can actually bring even more joy than remembering the trip afterward.

The mere anticipation of a vacation boosted happiness in participants for eight weeks before the trip.

“For most, the enjoyment starts weeks, even months, before the holiday actually begins, said authors of a study called “Applied Research in Quality of Life.”

Get A Bigger Selection Of Vacation Rentals To Choose From

The closer to your preferred vacation date you wait to book, the more difficult it can be to find the right property.

Say your group would like to stay in a beachfront house with a private pool in July. Well, those vacation rentals tend to book first not only because July is within the peak summer season for the beach but also because vacationers are able to book their favorite properties up to 24 months in advance. For some vacationers, this means booking their preferred property for the following year before they’ve even finished this year’s vacation!

See Our Seasonal Calendar Here

Or, say your family wants to stay within walking distance of the Annual National Shrimp Festival, held in October every year. The beach condos closest to the festival site book more than a year in advance because they are so popular.

To avoid having to reorganize family schedules or dash vacation expectations, it’s best to research and select your desired property. (Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About A Vacation Rental)

Here is our very best advice on the best booking timeframes for maximum selection:

No less than 9 months prior to your desired vacation date: Select properties with four or more bedrooms in which you plan to stay for a longer period of time, i.e., seven nights.

No less than 6 months prior to your desired vacation date: Select smaller properties, with three or fewer bedrooms, in which you plan to stay for a longer period of time, i.e., seven nights.

No less than 3 months prior to your desired vacation date: Select smaller properties, with three or fewer bedrooms, in which you plan to stay for a shorter period of time, i.e., three, four or five nights.

Use advanced search capabilities to find exactly the features and amenities your group wants. Or, our local, experienced, in-house vacation planners are available 24/7 by calling (866) 382-9635 to help match your family’s vacation rental priorities to the perfect property.

Relax, The Big Task Is Out Of The Way

Once you’ve made the best vacation rental selection and booked it, you can set about the really fun stuff—figuring out what activities your family might enjoy doing, planning where you’re going to eat dinner and imagining yourself already there.

Another way to deepen your sense of satisfaction and well-being is to protect the investment you make in your trip with an inexpensive vacation insurance policy.

No one wants to think about unexpected issues that could arise that would keep you from taking your well-deserved vacation. However, should something get in the way of your trip, travel protection insurance allows you to recover your vacation rental investment and have the ability to plan again. Travel protection insurance is designed to protect your investment, belongs and, most importantly, you and your family.

Meyer Vacation Rentals has partnered with Red Sky Travel Insurance to provide two different policies. The Sun Trip Preserver option provides cancellation and interruption services as well as emergency assistance and travel services, covering financial losses. This policy protects in the event of storm evacuations and family emergencies such as illness or death in the family.

Another option, called Cancel for Any Reason, is a benefit that allows cancellation up to 48 hours prior to departure for any reason to receive up to 75 percent trip reimbursement.

Learn More About Trip Insurance Here

Pay For Your Trip On Your Own Schedule

When you book your vacation early, you will have more time to pay for your reservation. In fact, consider the extra time and ability to set your own payment schedule a little like a “vacation layaway plan.”

At booking, you will make an initial reservation payment. If your arrival date is more than a year in advance, a non-refundable processing fee plus 10 percent of base rent is due at the time of reservation.

The remaining balance of the initial reservation payment is due one year from the date of your stay.

Payment in full at the time of reservation is required if arrival occurs within 30 days for properties with four or fewer bedrooms or 90 days for properties with five or more bedrooms.

Final payment—or the balance due after the initial reservation payment has been paid—is required 30 days prior to arrival for properties with four or fewer bedrooms and 90 days prior to arrival for properties with five or more bedrooms.

Online reservation payments can be made anytime at meyerRE.com/pay by entering your confirmation number and arrival date or by calling one of our 24/7 local vacation planners at (866) 382-9635.

See Frequently Asked Questions Here

With so many benefits to booking vacations early, don’t wait another minute to get started. Book your vacation stay to Gulf ShoresFort MorganOrange Beach or Perdido Key today.

Why Local Is Better When It Comes To Vacation Rentals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the rise of mega-sized online vacation rental marketing websites (called online travel agents or OTAs) in the last few years, it can be difficult to know whether to trust a website with a seemingly endless list of properties all over the world for your family’s vacation or call on a local expert in your favorite destination, such as Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Here’s why it pays to book your vacation direct with a local vacation rental management company like Meyer Vacation Rentals.

Skip The Middleman

When you book with an OTA, simply put, you pay more. With HomeAway, VRBO or countless others out there, for example, their add-on guest fees could end up being $499 more per reservation.

Then, once you’ve committed to the reservation—and their additional guest fee—your vacation is turned over to the owner or property manager, such as Meyer, immediately.

Right away, Meyer will begin sending you confirmation information and details about your property, express check-in and check-out, protecting your vacation, and ideas for making your vacation planning easy and fun. 

REAL People Help You Find The RIGHT Place

Real people who know our areaSay you have questions about a property or properties you are interested in. The OTAs are booking engines powered only to serve up listed properties that fit a defined set of filters.

When you call the OTA, you’ll be speaking with an out-of-town call center worker who has no idea about Meyer’s rental policies or properties.

When you call Meyer, you’ll reach one of our local vacation planners who likely has visited your property and can describe in detail the finer points of enjoying a vacation on the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast.

Our vacation planners are on duty 24/7 to answer questions, discuss amenities and help you select the property best suited to your family’s needs.

We Have 50 Years Of Experience To Share With You

50 Years of ExperienceVacationers have trusted Meyer Vacation Rentals to help them create happy family memories since 1967, even before the area became the popular destination it is today.

Our vacation rental management team is made up of people who live here and love to share their ideas for how you can create a vacation your family will never forget.

Want a sandcastle building lesson? We can tell you how to line one up. Want to know which restaurants the locals love? We know! Thinking about taking a dolphin watching cruise? We’ll tell you who’s the best.

You Will Get 24/7 On-The-Ground Support

We always offer 24/7 supportOnce you arrive, say something doesn’t go as planned. A call to the OTA won’t help smooth the path. They’ll send you to Meyer for assistance, so why not just skip the middleman altogether?

When you book through Meyer, ensuring your family’s vacation is a success is our #1 goal. When there’s a problem, we send a member of our in-house maintenance team directly to the property to resolve the issue or select a vendor from our list of preferred vendors to make sure the problem is handled quickly and you can go on with your vacation.

Next time you are planning a vacation in the Gulf Shores area, bypass the OTAs and book directly at MeyerRE.com. You’ll spend less money, avoid headaches, have the confidence that a team of professionals is behind you, and get the 24/7 support of a team of locals whose only business is making your vacation a success.

*Best price guarantee is for the exact property.

Beach Houses Are Right-Sized For The Family

A 1- to 4-bedroom house on the beach can be the perfect-sized accommodations for your family’s vacation

When planning a vacation to the beach, it is often more cost-effective to choose a beach house over a hotel room. In a nutshell, you get more space for your money.

A typical hotel room is only 325 square feet in size and has a tiny bathroom. When you’re bringing the family, all their beach gear, sunscreen, swimsuits, flip flops, coolers and more, you’re shoving an awful lot of stuff into a pretty cramped space.

In a family-sized beach house—one with anywhere from 1-4 bedrooms—there’s room for the adults and kids to spread out and enjoy their own private spaces.

No tiny bathroom for everyone to share, no pool noodles and skim boards strewn across the entryway, no sharing one single closet, no piling on beds in wet swimsuits to watch TV, no sharing a tiny table or countertop to eat meals, and no packing wet and dirty clothes in a bag to take home or haul down to the Laundromat.

Unlike hotels, beach houses not only feature private bedrooms and bathrooms, but they also have fully equipped kitchens with full-sized appliances, a washer and dryer, their own balconies, multiple TVs, comfortable living areas and more.

A recent search of two- and three-bedroom houses in Meyer Vacation Rentals’ inventory of 1,100+ condos and beach houses during summer yielded some interesting results.

We found that during a peak summer week in June, vacationers could rent a three-bedroom beach house in Fort Morgan that sleeps up to 10 people for just a few dollars more than a typical hotel room with two queen beds. “So, for a few dollars per night more, Meyer offers two more bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. That’s a pretty good deal,” said Meyer Vacation Rentals Operations Specialist Sarah Kuzma. “It’s definitely worth the time for vacation shoppers to take the time to compare.”

Meyer offers many one- to four-bedroom houses with a variety of view options. These houses sleep anywhere from two to 15 people. Some even feature their own pools and other fun amenities.

To sleep up to 4 people, browse one-bedroom houses.

To sleep up to 10 people, browse two-bedroom houses.

To sleep up to 13 people, browse three-bedroom houses.

To sleep up to 15 people, browse four-bedroom houses.

For larger groups, browse five- or more bedroom houses.

Alabama’s Beaches: Pristine, Playful, Refreshing & Relaxing

We hear it all the time. “Alabama has beaches?” Why, yes, as a matter of fact. Alabama DOES have beaches—and they are some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the world.

Our little slice of pure paradise, recognized as one of the best Gulf Coast beaches according to the Travel Channel, stretches east nearly 40 miles from Fort Morgan to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, and to Perdido Key, Florida.

Each beach community has its own distinct personality and is uniquely appealing to vacationers, making the area perfect for a quick weekend getaway, a weeklong vacation or even a month-long (or longer) stay in the wintertime.

Gulf Shores (Search Available Properties)
Gulf Shores, AlabamaWith its earliest beginnings as a sleepy beach town that was home to local fishermen, Gulf Shores today is a friendly, bustling beach community known for its welcoming locals; family-oriented amusements; variety of on- and off-beach boutiques for shopping; hiking and biking trails; Gulf State Park; and other opportunities for exploration.

One of the most popular areas is the main Gulf Shores Public Beach area, located at the intersection of Ala. Hwy. 59 and Ala. Hwy. 182, also known as the Beach Road.

Nearby, you will find the iconic Hangout Restaurant and entertainment venue, numerous large surf and beach shops, the always fun Pink Pony Pub, and several restaurants.

This main public beach entrance is also where the annual Hangout Music Fest, the National Annual Shrimp Festival, and sporting events, such as NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships, are held. With a pedestrian-friendly boardwalk, plenty of parking and green spaces, visitors are drawn to this area all year long.

Gulf Shores is also home to restaurants to suit every palate and budget, golf courses, Gulf State Park, and fun attractions like Waterville USA and The Track Family Recreation Center, to keep kids of all ages busy.

Fort Morgan (Search Available Properties)

Fort Morgan, AlabamaJust west of Gulf Shores is Fort Morgan, an area some like to call “the quiet side of paradise.”

At the end of the Fort Morgan peninsula, where Mobile Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, is a historic Civil War fort, inviting visitors to walk where soldiers lived and worked. Go at the right time, and you might even get to hear the cannon fired and see living history actors perform the duties of soldiers and those who supported their efforts. It’s a must-see when you visit this area for sure.

Fort Morgan is also home to several laid-back seafood restaurants, beach accesses, charter fishing operations and the 6,000-acre Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, a great spot to experience nature and see coastal wildlife up close and personal.

Orange Beach (Search Available Properties)
Orange Beach, AlabamaWith its roots in fishing, Orange Beach is a fisherman’s paradise. The city is home to one of the region’s largest fleets of charter fishing boats, so it’s a breeze to book a fishing trip either on the Gulf of Mexico or in the area’s beautiful back bays.

There are also numerous dolphin, nature and even dinner cruise excursions to enjoy.

A favorite activity of locals and visitors is a boating trip out to the “islands” of Robinson Island and Boat Island. Purchased by the city of Orange Beach to protect them and the wildlife that nests there from being developed, the islands are sanctuaries for nesting birds and have sensitive grass beds. While people must avoid certain sensitive areas, there are beach areas where boaters are welcomed to dock, grill and play. On busy days, it is not uncommon to see a line of boats anchored just off the islands.

Restaurants in Orange Beach range from camp-styled seafood shacks like Doc’s to fine dining restaurants like Cobalt or Cosmo’s.

Orange Beach also features numerous amusements and beach shops for boutique browsers. Perhaps the pinnacle of entertainment is The Wharf, where restaurants, a movie theater, shops and restaurants may be explored. Also on site at The Wharf is a 10,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, where entertainers ranging from Jimmy Buffett to Alabama perform. See concert schedule here.

Perdido Key (Search Available Properties)
Perdido Key, AlabamaJust east of Orange Beach and across the Florida state line is an area known for its abundant federal and state parklands. The barrier island of Perdido Key is peaceful and consistently ranks among the nation’s top 20 beaches as named by “Dr. Beach.”

A little busier part of the Key is the spot where you’ll find the famous Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar, home of the annual Interstate Mullet Toss, an event that is truly unlike any other! Always held in April, this event draws thousands to the beach in front of the iconic gathering spot to toss a mullet (dead, of course) across the state line. Throw it the farthest in your category, and you win!

Other unique must-do events in Perdido Key include the Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival, the New Year’s Polar Bear Dip and the Perdido Key Wine Festival.

Places to explore the bountiful natural beauty of Perdido Key include Lost Key Golf Club, a designated Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary golf course, and Gulf Islands National Seashore, where you’ll find Fort Pickens and Fort McRee, which defended Pensacola Bay during the Civil War.

Whatever type of beach experience you are looking for—quiet, busy, fun-filled, focused on nature—the beaches of the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast will fill the bill.

Read more about Alabama’s Beaches.

Browse properties in Gulf Shores.

Browse properties in Fort Morgan.

Browse properties in Orange Beach.

Browse properties in Perdido Key.

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