Our Florida ‘Winter Summerland’ escape took a strange twist this weekend. I was at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona auto race and saw a random text from someone named ‘Andy’. I looked at it and realized it had something to do with our February month-long AirBNB rental outside of Orlando.
Andy was the AirBNB ‘host’ and he said our reservation was immediately CANCELLED “due to COVID”.
Just that quick, we were 3 days from being homeless in Florida for the next month.
It turns out that a maid who had been cleaning the unit in preparation for our arrival had contracted CV19. AirBNB bizarre “mandatory policy” requires the host to basically quarantine the property for 14 days. He says no one can go in – no guests, no hosts, no cleaners. Andy said the unit hadn’t been fully cleaned and it would probably take him 3 weeks to pass the quarantine period and get someone in the unit to clean it.
What a travesty all around. He’s out rent, we’re out a great place to stay.
As you might expect, finding a month-long rental on 2 days notice that is also pet friendly is a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, money can help solve such an issue and we ended up with a cottage in Orlando’s nice Margaritaville for an extra $100/night. That works out to an incremental $3,000 grand for the month, but still a good value compared to what we were paying on Cocoa Beach and will pay in Sarasota, adjusting for length of stay & quality of property.
The chart illustrates just how much location drives cost in the winter in Florida. It makes a huge difference (I know, “location, location, location”). There are a lot of vacation properties in Orlando for families, but in the winter the kids are (mostly) in school. In the summer and over the holidays, I’m guessing the numbers flip.
Here’s the cost comparison for each of the locations if one were to rent for 75 days at a 3.5 star place over the winter. The differences are major: $10-$15K more to stay on the coasts versus Orlando. We haven’t done any more work on our Florida Project, but you can see why location will be the biggest decision we make.
I know it’s great to be on the beach, but I’m still shocked by what a difference it makes.
Image Credit: Margaritaville Orlando