The Outer Banks has so much to do and see … performing a bit of research before you arrive can make this the best vacation yet!
Even if you just show up with your flip-flops and plop down in the sand, you’ll have a great vacation in the Outer Banks. However, a little research can go a long way toward an even better vacation.
There’s plenty of information available online about vacationing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Start your planning by finding out what kinds of things there are to do in the area where you’ll be staying. Activities in the Outer Banks range from relaxing on the beach to taking an exhilarating kiteboarding lesson or helicopter tour. A quick Internet search will help you make a preliminary list of things that might be interesting for your family or group.
Before you decide on any activity, poll everyone who will be on the trip with you. For adults, find out what they’re looking forward to most. For example, foodies and seafood lovers may be excited about finding the best fish tacos in the Outer Banks, while adventure seekers might be looking forward to trying their skills at ocean sports. Many adults hope to escape to some much-needed peace and quiet, so remember to plan for some do-nothing time.
Kids and teenagers may need some help discovering what would be most fun for them in the Outer Banks. Explore age-appropriate activities for each child, then designate time for them to have time to enjoy their choice. If building an elaborate sandcastle is your child’s top pick, schedule a morning or afternoon for the activity and get the whole family in on it.
Teenagers usually enjoy a little excitement and some time on their own. Browsing the surf shops or taking a surfing lesson may be their idea of fun. For kids and adults both, knowing everyone’s expectations upfront can help each person in your group have their version of a perfect vacation.
Allotting the Right Amount of Time and Money
Once you know what everyone wants to do, it’s easier to make a schedule and a budget. Some activities — like shell hunting — don’t require a schedule. However, activities such as lessons or tours may require reservations in advance. While nobody wants too much of a schedule on vacation, planning ahead can help your family or group make the best use of time. If you’re sharing a car with other adults, a loose schedule can ensure that it’s available for activities that require a drive.
Advanced planning not only ensures that you get to do the things you want to do, but it’s also a great way to save money. For example, enrolling in a Surf Camp that features three days of two-hour lessons gives would-be surfers a deep discount and an unforgettable immersion experience. Enrolling the whole family in surf lessons can also earn you a discount of nearly half the cost of private lessons.
Restaurants: Reservations or Not?
Food lovers or those looking for a romantic night out in the ideal restaurant will also want to research their options and make reservations. While most restaurants in the Outer Banks are casual and don’t require reservations, there are several worth visiting that do. Making a reservation is also a great idea if you have a large party or are celebrating a special occasion.
When it comes to beach gear or equipment rental, if you need it, you can rent it in the Outer Banks. From beach chairs and umbrellas to grills, folding tables, pet crates, roll-away beds, and even extra refrigerators — there’s no reason to buy or pack it when you can rent it. Contact the local equipment rental company far enough in advance to be sure you’ll have everything you need for your vacation.
For most of the items you would want Outer Banks Blue provides a $250 in beach equipment credit for 129 of our properties. Ask whether the beach house you’re renting qualifies.
Of course, research is a big help when it comes to the most important choice you make on your Outer Banks vacation: choosing a rental property. The Outer Banks is a 200-mile stretch of barrier islands, so once you know the kinds of things you’d like to do on vacation, online searches can help you narrow down which island or beach would be best for your family. After you’ve narrowed down the locations, you can sort rental properties by size and amenity.
When it comes to Outer Banks rentals, the early bird gets the worm, so this is one area in which it pays to invest some planning time. Having your list of priorities and favorite activities will also help you choose a rental home. If trying your hand at fresh seafood dishes is important to you, look for a rental with a full-size gourmet kitchen. On the other hand, if sandwiches and chips are more your speed, a grill and a porch with a good view may be more important.