Your Stress-Free Holiday Hosting Guide … With an HOA

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Planning a party for the holidays is stressful enough without the added concern of HOA guidelines and policies to add to the mix. Before you throw in the towel, here’s our tips to stress free hosting for the holidays.

Decorations

Does your HOA have guidelines on when you can put up holiday decorations and when you need to have them down by? Are there policies on lawn ornaments, inflatables, or lights? As a community member, keeping safety in mind and decorating to the enjoyment of all residents is part of the responsibility. Knowing these regulations will also prevent any Holiday mishaps from happening and prevent violations from the HOA.

For more HOA friendly tips, check out our article on Holiday decorating here.

Parking

When guests start arriving, cars will start adding up in front of your house. Is street parking an option in your community or is there a designated visitor lot for non-residents? Talk to your neighbors ahead of time so traffic doesn’t come as a surprise. Some communities make special exceptions for Holiday parking, make sure to ask your main office about any details.

Noise

Keep in mind that most communities have a noise ordinance one made by the HOA and another by the city. Nothing disrupts a party like someone knocking on your door with a noise complaint but luckily most HOA’s have a guideline on what types of noise and – how much – is acceptable.

Location

Does your community have a Clubhouse that would fit your guests more appropriately? It may be easier to coordinate, provide more room for guests and parking, and a buffer for noise between your party and your community. Each community will have their own set of Clubhouse policies so make sure you take a look at those in advance and keep an eye on how long you have the room booked for. Always book for a little longer than expected for adequate clean up time.

Pool & Outdoor Amenities

Not all Holiday parties have to be Winter Wonderland themed. If you’re planning on a tropical theme and it includes pool access, coordinate with your main office to let them know how many guests will be attending to make sure there won’t be any code violations. Each community has their own pool area max capacity and food and drink policies so make sure you’re well aware of those before planning. It’s always good to give your community a head’s up on any parties to ensure everything goes more smoothly.

Keep the Community Aware

Whatever party you are planning to have, regardless of theme, keep your community board in the know. This can make it easier for you to plan and can even help you organize your resources better. They may have specified parking areas you weren’t aware of or ways to reserve certain amenities to guarantee they will be available for your party.

How to Enjoy Camping in the Summer in Florida

campfire-984020_960_720When you think of camping in Florida, most people picture themselves doing this during the milder fall and spring months.  However, summer can still be a wonderful time to go camping in Florida with a little planning.  The time of year is especially ideal since kids are out of school and it can be a very inexpensive family activity.  Follow these tips to have an enjoyable and memorable camping experience!

Water, water, water.  During the summer, your best bet is to find a great camping spot near the water.  Many beaches offer camping.  This is a perfect location since you can spend the day having fun in the sun, and at night you are getting the breeze from the water to keep it cooler than what you would find inland.  Many parks with natural springs also offer camping.  The springs are perfect for an afternoon or evening swim to cool off.  Also, be sure to bring plenty of drinking water!

Keep cool and dry.  Summer in Florida is marked by rain and/or heat.  Prepare for this by bringing a pop up shelter.  This can be set up outside of the tent or over it to provide additional shade and serve to protect you from afternoon rain showers.  Bringing rain jackets or ponchos is also a clever idea.  You can bring sealable plastic bags to protect any electronics or food items from water.  Consider packing a couple of battery powered fans to keep you cool inside of the tent at night.

Don’t get bugged.  Everyone knows mosquitos can be aggravating during the summer.  Bring some bug repellant that includes deet as an active ingredient to discourage pesky insects.  Also pack some anti-itch cream to soothe any bites that do occur.

Have fun!  Plan activities that the family can enjoy during your camping trip.  Swimming is ideal during the hottest part of the day.  Mornings are a great time to go on a nature scavenger hunt and see how many plants and animals you can spot.  In the evening, break out the cards or board games.  Of course, you can’t pass up telling stories around a campfire while roasting marshmallows!  Most of all just relax and enjoy the break from the hustle and bustle.

Don’t let the heat stop you from venturing out to enjoy a camping trip with the family.  Camping is a fantastic way to unplug from the stresses of everyday life and spend quality time with friends and family.  With a few preparations and the right campsite, you will beat the heat and have a trip to remember.