Sanibel Island is one of the top destinations in the world for migratory birds, bottlenose dolphins, manatees and sea turtles. About half of the Island is set aside for conservation, and there are lots of opportunities to observe the wildlife. A good set of binoculars is a a great way to get an up close & personal look! Bushnell makes a great pair which are compact and affordable and has perma-focus technology which makes viewing easy! There are plenty of other good quality mini-binoculars which fit easily into your suitcase available from Amazon or your local retailer. Some even have universal phone adapters which allow you to take great quality photos using the binoculars!
#7 Cell Phone or Camera
People rarely leave home without a cell phone, but having one with a good camera is a must on Sanibel. A Go-Pro or underwater camera is also a great idea. For those outdoor adventures, you can bring a weather resistant camera and leave your expensive and easily damaged phone in your room, backpack or purse. There are so many great photo-ops on Sanibel, you will want to capture every moment.
#6: Toiletry Bag
Every traveler on-the-go needs a good toiletries bag. Make sure to choose one that is big enough to fit the type of products you need to put in it. You may be okay with a small compact toiletries bag if just hanging out by the beach or pool. If you plan to eat out or celebrate a special occasion, you might prefer to bring a larger-sized option for shampoo and cosmetics. Some prefer to compartmentalize their toiletries into smaller areas so you can hang them up once you get to your destination, or you might want to keep everything together in one central spot. Either way, you have various options to choose from for your toiletries bag. Make sure to bring lots of sunscreen!
#5 Mini-Emergency Kit
It's always good to have a backup emergency kit for those spontaneous situations. Mini-Emergency kits are light, portable, and contain many useful items. There are multiple versions available, with some kits even allowing you to customize your contents. Typically a mini-emergency kit will include things like breath mints, sewing kits, pain relievers, nail polish, hair spray, or stain remover. There are a lot of shells, trees and wildlife on Sanibel so it is good to be prepared. Remember to bring bug spray or anti-itch lotion if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.
#4: Compact Umbrella
No, we're not talking about your typical bulky umbrella for rain, wind and snow! It is good to have a small umbrella to protect you from the Florida sun. You want to choose something that is lightweight and easy to carry around. Compact umbrellas are tiny and typically only a few inches tall. They can be stored easily in a bag or backpack to take around with you and protect you from the sun while shopping, walking or sightseeing! Having an umbrella in Florida is always a good idea for those brief afternoon showers in the summer.
#3: Journal and a Pen
Even though everything can be recorded or typed on our phones, you can't go wrong with keeping a pen and journal by your side. There might be an instance when you meet someone and need to give them important information, or you need to quickly jot something down like the name of a store, town, restaurant, or a random thought in your head. Plus, this is a great way to encourage your kids to have a love of reading and writing. This is also a great way to record your vacation for posterity, in a way that is truly memorable.
#2: Beach hat or Scarf
When you think of a scarf or a hat, it usually conjures images of cold weather. But scarves and hats are multi-functional and useful accessories! When you're traveling to Sanibel, whether by train, plane, or even your own car, you might start to get chilly in the A/C. It can be uncomfortable to feel cold and can even lower your immune system. A scarf or hat can be used to keep yourself warm while traveling. Having a beach scarf will not only keep you warm during travel but will make the perfect accessory for your time on the beach. Great for chilly walks on the beach after sundown, and can also be used during the day to prevent sunburn on your face and neck. Hats are also great for preventing sunburn, and they look cute too!
#1: Phone battery charger!
We use our phones now more than ever, which means you're likely to drain your phone battery life quickly taking so many pictures in Florida, especially if you're using it as a map or to take pictures. It's a smart idea to always carry a battery extender or a portable solar charger with you wherever you go. We hope you enjoyed this list, and find it helpful when planning your next vacation to Sanibel Island. When you are ready to take that long-awaited vacation, give us a call to nook the perfect stay! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are located right here on Sanibel, and can give you plenty more suggestions on what to bring, and what to leave at home! After all, at Select Vacation Properties "vacation" is our middle name!