Tis the Season - Vaga Bond Bingo

You need to live in Florida full-time to truly grasp the insanity of Snowbird Season. Starting in February and ramping up as we head toward March, the visitor/tourist population goes as nuclear as Chernobyl. Granted, St. Pete has some odd traffic patterns especially around 4th Street plus we’re seeing plenty of construction, festival, and Grand Prix detours so I get why out-of-state drivers are so confused. I’ve found that the best defensive driving survival strategy is to kick back, find my Florida Zen, and give everyone else plenty of room to maneuver.


What I didn’t plan on was a 100% booking rate on my temporary Vaga Bond housing situation. During the season, weekend prices have doubled since December, if and when you can find any openings. Rentals in Pinellas County from Clearwater to Gulfport to Downtown St. Pete are booked solid. I got a little nervous until I narrowed my search down to “days” versus “weeks.” I discovered a secret: visitors book up the higher rate weekends. As long as I’m willing to relocate daily, there are some very nice places I can afford to stay.


I’ve turned it into a game. Welcome to Vaga Bond Bingo.


I’ll be moving out of my Uptown Girl digs tomorrow morning to a new space, “SunRay Cottage” in my old Crescent Heights stomping grounds for two days. Then, on Wednesday, I’ll move to The Avalon, a funky Art Deco hotel downtown and ground zero for my St. Pete Experience since I stayed there during the 2018 Bouchercon convention which started my whole lifestyle change. I wanted to stay downtown on Wednesday because the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club league finals are that night and I want to go watch. My team, Get A Cue, just missed making the league playoffs. I figure I can go watch and pick up some killer strategies for next season.


After that? I’ll be looking for something extended for a week or so. I am checking VRBO, AirBnB, and Booking.com daily since new deals pop up as cancellations come in. If all else fails, I can rent a hotel room by the airport, but where’s the fun in that?


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