Save money with meal-planning trip tips

We all know vacations can empty the bank account. Budgeting for a cost-effective vacation for the whole family can be challenging, but rest assured there is a way to cut down your vacation costs drastically – MEAL PLANNING!

Let’s face it… we throw a lot of money out the window when we’re hungry, especially when we’re out of town and don’t know where the cheapest tasty burger is. It’s a game of Google and hope for the best!

If you come up with a simple meal plan for your vacation, you can save loads of cash. This will leave you with more money for memory making!

Here’s a quick guide to meal planning for your sunny vacation on the Gulf coast.

  1. Count your meals ahead of time. First and foremost, you must know how many meals you’re planning for. Simply count how many meals you will need during your stay and for how many people. If you have a family of four going to the beach for seven days, that’s about 21 meals total for the week that will each feed four people. It is also important to have snacks just in case you get hungry in between meals, about one or two a day. That’s about 10-14 snacks each for four people. That may seem like a lot, but you’ll likely end up hitting the local eateries throughout the week so plan accordingly.
  2. Make a menu. Write it out or type it out on your phone! It will come in handy and make for a more relaxing trip. Leave empty spaces for the restaurant splurge trips you will take. Also, plan on transforming your dinner leftovers into the next day’s beachside lunches. Here’s some examples for basic meals to give you an idea of how the dinner ingredients work hand in hand as lunchtime leftovers.
  3. Dinners: Most of the planning will go into dinners. Base your meal around the main dish, which is normally the meat (unless you are vegetarian, then there are additional options). Based on how many meals you and your family would like to eat out, to save money plan to eat in for at least half of your nights. Try grilled chicken kabobs (easy way to cook meat and vegetables at the same time), spaghetti and meatballs, hamburgers and hot dogs or even BBQ chicken wings one night. For easy side dishes, think mac and cheese, rice or canned vegetables.
  4. Lunches: This is where you can really save money! Take leftovers from dinner you ate the night before and put a little twist on it. For example, if you made chicken kabobs the night before, throw it in a pita wrap and pair it with some pretzel chips with hummus and there you go, a delicious beach picnic! Other ideas include leftover mac and cheese in a cup or shred the chicken from the BBQ chicken wings and make a pulled BBQ chicken sandwich.
  5. Breakfasts: Think simple cereals, granola bars, fruit, pancakes, eggs, French toast and maybe even bacon or sausage for a special morning.
  6. Go to the grocery store. Twice actually. Once before you go to get packing essentials, such as coolers, totes and reusable water bottles. You also need to get some snacks for the road! Then, you’ll want to go shopping the first day of your vacation to buy your food for the week. Remind yourself when you are at the store to cost-effective shop. Every penny counts when it comes to saving! Brand names are often just a price mark-up for the name on the packaging.

Save your money for the things that really matter- making memories with the ones you love.

Book your next cost-friendly vacation with delicious cuisine at NavarreListings.com today!

Ready to run on Navarre Beach?

The opportunity is coming up in October with 12th annual Run for the Reef.

Scheduled for Oct. 10, the event features both a 5K and 10K course as well as a one-mile Kids Fun Run.

The 5K course is a beautiful out and back run along Gulf Boulevard, with the run starting near the boat ramp parking lot. Walking is an option for the course as well.

The 10K course is similar to the 5K while the fun run for children 12 and under will kick off from the sea turtle center on the beach right after the 5K is finished.

Head  on over after your run to Windjammers on the Pier for an after race party that includes free food and refreshments. The awards ceremony will also take place then, with recognition going to the top runner in each division (Overall, Masters, Grand Masters and Senior Grand Masters Male/Female). Second and third-place prizes will be given out in each age group while first-place awards will be given to those that walk the course in each division. All runners in the kids run will receive an award.

This run provides a great opportunity to enjoy a fall morning along the Gulf Coast and the event

Benefits the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary Snorkeling and Diving Reefs.

Registration information can be done online at https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/Navarre/RunfortheReef10K5KOneMileFunRun. The 5K run or walk costs $20 if you register by Aug. 30 while the 5K run costs $25. Race day registration will take place from 6 a.m. until 7 a.m. The fun run is $15 and registration for that ends Oct. 8.

For more information, check out https://navarrebeachmarinesanctuary.org/run-for-the-reef-5/. So pack up your running shoes and book your beachfront condo today at NavarreListings.com.

Last-minute getaways a breeze on Navarre Beach

For many places, school has been pushed back a few weeks meaning there is one last chance to eke out some summer fun!

If you and your family are looking for a last-minute weekend getaway, look no further than Navarre Beach. Check out NavarreListings.com to see which one of our fabulous beachfront condos is a good fit for your family, pack up the car and head our way!

In addition to beautiful beaches (with plenty of social distancing), there are countless other ways to get some safe fun ahead of the start of school. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Gulf Breeze Zoo- Located just a few miles up the road, this sprawling outdoor facility offers a chance to feed giraffes and alligators while seeing hundreds of exotic species.
  • Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center- They are fully open and taking extra precautions to protect visitors. Get up close with our resident sea turtle Sweet Pea and many of the critters that call the Gulf of Mexico home. Masks are required.
  • Yoga at the pier- Free yoga is offered every Saturday at 4 p.m. along the beach at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. Grab some dinner afterward at the pier restaurant, Windjammers.
  • Navarre Park- This waterfront park offers walking areas, water access and a splash pad for the little ones. Enjoy a picnic lunch and a little leisure time.   
  • Rent paddle boards or bicycles- Enjoy the beach with a little exercise. Sage Paddle Co. and Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors Grill both offer rentals for beachfront fun.

Regardless of how you get out there, make some memories with the family before the summer is gone. Book your last-minute weekend escape at NavarreListings.com!

Why do we slow down on the bridge?

Odds are if you’ve come over the Navarre Beach Causeway in the last few months for some fun in the gulf coast sun, you’ve noticed traffic slows down right at the entrance to the beach.

So, why is everybody moving like molasses? It’s for the birds!

This time of year, our nesting shorebirds are in town, and the sandy sides of our beach bridge are the perfect place for them to nest, flat and open, right near the shoreline. Two species nest in this area each summer.

Black skimmers are the bigger of our nesting birds and are listed as threatened by state law. These awkward looking fellows appear to be wearing suits, and they have an unusually shaped beak that resembles a blunt pair of scissors. This design is perfect for skimming the surface of the water with their bottom jaw, then snapping shut on tasty fish. Their long-legged, spotted offspring can be seen by onlookers that give the nesting colony a little space. They’re very cute.

Accompanying the skimmers are our least terns, a much smaller shore dweller that is listed as threatened by state law. These tiny birds sound a bit like flying dog toys as they squeak to one another. Mostly white in color, they and their chicks are excellent at hiding along the ground of the nesting area. Keen eyes with a good camera zoom or binoculars can spot their speckled chicks in the nesting area.

While protective fencing typically keeps the chicks out of harms way, slowing down on the bridge prevents collisions with the adults that fly low around the bridge. It also offers a chance for passengers in the car to see the nesting area up close.

Slowing down on the bridge for the short nesting span impacts drive time by a few seconds. So, take a moment to slow down and get a peak of our cute chicks before they migrate back down to South America, then enjoy the rest of your vacay on our beautiful shores! Book your stay today at NavarreListings.com.