Hank’s Vacation: Dollars and Cents!

Hank’s Florida Vacation: the dollars and cents.

I report on tourism and I am a Florida tourist. Yep, I too vacation in Florida. We drive. It beats flying somewhere; flying back fatigued wondering where the relaxation went. My wife and I have often vacationed in state. It works, at the end of the week we feel like we have been “on vacation.”
Over the years I have often reported on the “drive market.” It is the bread and butter business that folks like Andy Newman of the Florida Keys Tourism Development Council like to talk about. These are instate tourist, the Florida folks we interview during holidays at the Citgo Station on the Turnpike just south of Miami who are Florida people heading for a vacation in the state.
We like Marco Island. It is 86 miles from our front door to the condo we often rent. We have over the years been part of the 25% or so of Collier County visitors who come from Florida.
Tourism is our principal industry here in the Sunshine State and the tourism officials like to bombard us with statistics about the number of visitors, what they spend, where they come from. Lots of the numbers are estimates based on general statistics generated by the industry. Rarely do you get to get a real numbers look at what a tourist actually spends.
So I offer a snap shot, the dollars and cents behind one vacation taken by a couple in Florida who are from Florida. We are members of the drive market!
This vacation plan was simple: rent a condo, chill on the beach, read a book, hang out in the water, breakfast and lunch in the condo and have blow out dinners in the area restaurants. That coupled with some shopping and a visit to one attraction in Fort Meyers that we have always wanted to see and you have the format of what we were up to.
Dollars and Cents:
Condo Rental $600.00
Gas 43.63
Food &Drink for Condo 167.81
Shopping 435.23
Edison& Ford Estate 60.00
Blow out Dinners 644.23
Misc Cash 100.00

That all adds up to about $2,050.00 bucks. Figured out on a daily basis it is about $300 a day to enjoy great meals, a wonderful beach, placid water, spectacular sunsets and dolphins performing in front of your balcony.
Since this was a low key, hang out vacation, we did not take advantage of the local charter fishing fleet or any of the fun stuff like para sailing or the water bike tours.
We do enjoy dining out and each time we head to the West Coast of Florida we go armed with a list of restaurants that friends have suggested. Our investment paid off this year. We had two of the best ever dinners, one in Naples and another in Marco.
We do enjoy talking to waiters and service personal and they have told us that “business” is a little slower this year than last, they tell us that fear of hurricanes still has an effect on potential visitors, and that water front restaurants are being bought up by condo developers, but the service personal said that they have not a problem with work, but gratuities have been a little slim.
Marco was still torn up on their main street as they are apparently putting in a major sewer upgrade. However this time of year the crowds are slim and the traffic issue is not serious. What’s good about Southwest Florida in the summer? The answer: no waits in the restaurants. Winter tourism season can be a big hassle, that’s why we like Marco in the summer and why we feel the dollars are well spent.
So, that’s the dollar and cents/sense of a Florida Vacation for the two of us. For us a pretty good bargain compared what we could have spent flying out of state our out of country and we got home relaxed, rested and tan, ready to go! By the way, my lovely wife does the driving, how sweet it is

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