Whether you're traveling with tots or teens, you'll want to make sure your Outer Banks rental has everything youngsters crave - from bunk beds to game rooms, Wii to Xbox, foosball to basketball hoops.
So, be sure to check ahead of time for kid-friendly features like these:
#1 Beds for All Ages
Grown-up bedrooms just won't cut it. With children in tow, you'll need age-appropriate options such as:
- Bunk beds
- Dorm-style bedding
- Single beds
- Fold-up cots
- Lofts and/or large living areas where kids can sack out in sleeping bags for the ultimate sleepover experience
#2 Special Baby Equipment
Thanks to liability issues fewer vacation rentals come with amenities such as baby beds, high chairs, toddler seats, playpens, and similar baby must-haves. If you're unable to bring your own, we recommend renting such items locally. Give us a call and we're happy to share local businesses that rent baby equipment.
#3 Fast, Reliable Wi-Fi
For most kids today, DVDs have gone the way of the dodo bird. Therefore, you'll want to make sure your rental has Wi-Fi, so your youngsters can easily access free video channels like YouTube and streaming services like Disney Plus.
Wi-Fi is also crucial for older kids who rely on tablets and laptops. If you're vacationing during spring break, for instance, your teens may need to work on papers and projects that are due once school resumes. (Yes, that does put a damper on your children's fun, but let's face it, it is what it is. And it's better that they have access to functioning technology if they need it.)
Also make sure your unit has at least one ginormous flat-screen TV. At night and on rainy days it will be a godsend!
#4 Game Tables / Game Rooms
Older kids can get bored easily, especially during rainy weather. A fully equipped game room can keep them entertained. Find out whether your vacation rental has a billiard table, foosball game, ping pong set, or similar equipment for active indoor sports.
#5 Board Games
If you're parents to "zoomers," you already know what marketing mavens are just figuring out: These kids love everything Old School. And that includes classic board games like Monopoly, Risk, and Parcheesi... along with newer games like Kids Against Maturity.
Find out whether your rental unit stocks games like these. If it doesn't, and if you have room in your car, bring a few along.
Remember, board games offer a special bonus benefit: They help bring families together. In the evening, after dinner, you and the kids can match wits with a game of Clue or Scrabble. Or, you can break out the vintage Bicycle cards for a few rounds of Crazy 8s. That's how cherished memories are made!
#6 Yard Games
If you're renting a vacation home with a large lawn or yard, find out whether it's stocked with kid-pleasing outdoor games like cornhole, kubb, ring toss, Jenga, pickleball, and badminton. If it's not, that's not necessarily a deal-breaker. It's up to you - if you can fit these games in your vehicle, fine; if not, decide whether it's worth it to opt for a different rental equipped with more yard-game gear.
Love shooting hoops with your kids? Many Outer Banks rentals have basketball hoops, stands, and backboards, just like the equipment you've got at home. So, go ahead, give it a shot - see if you can outscore the young'uns.
#7 Gaming Consoles Like Xbox and Wii
Lazy, rainy day? Your youngsters will stay happily occupied if they have access to a gaming console. Be sure to find out whether your rental has one on hand.
#8 Children's Books
Many Outer Banks rentals have bookcases filled with the owners' own cherished books - including childhood favorites, from fairytales and nursery rhymes to Peter Rabbit and Winnie The Pooh. Your children will love browsing the shelves for colorful picture books, fascinating atlases, superhero comics, and more.
#9 Swimming Pool
The ocean is wonderful, but after a long, fun-filled day on the beach, your kids may prefer to splash and play in a relaxing private pool. So may you, for that matter! So, make sure your Outer Banks vacation rental offers a spacious backyard pool, preferably with a safe, shallow end for the little ones. If there's a hot tub for grownups, too, that's frosting on the cake.
#10 Picnic / Cookout Gear
What youngster doesn't love a cookout, especially at the seaside, where the tang of salt spray adds extra zest to juicy grilled burgers and hot dogs?
Most Outer Banks rentals provide gas or charcoal grills. Some also furnish backyard picnic tables or weatherproof patio sets. Many have firepits, too - perfect spots to gather the family on a balmy summer night. Chat, sing, laugh, toast marshmallows... and make memories to last a lifetime.
#11 Safe Outdoor Play Area
Little ones need a fenced, enclosed yard where they can safely play in peace. If there's a swing set, jungle gym, and other kiddie equipment, that makes it even better. Find out ahead of time whether the vacation rental you're considering offers an outdoor play space. It could make all the difference.
#12. Pet-Friendly Policy
Kids love their dogs, and they're reluctant to leave 'em behind when they go away on vacation. So, why not bring Fido along? Many Outer Banks rentals do allow dogs - usually two pooches max, weighing no more than 80 lbs. each.
Many Outer Banks beaches permit dog walking - usually in mornings and evenings - as long as your pup's safely leashed. Your tots will have a blast frolicking with Fido in the waves along the shore.
Some local restaurants also allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas. And, of course, your pooch is always free to romp in the yard attached to your rental. Your children will never lack opportunities to play with their furry friend.
When you book your reservation at OuterBanksBlue.com, check the "dog-friendly" box to filter results and find those specific rentals that do permit canine guests.
Ask and You Shall Receive!
The North Carolina Outer Banks are known for their family-friendly vibe. So, chances are your vacation rental already has everything you require to keep your children content and comfortable. But, if you're unsure about anything, ask. Before you book, visit the Outer Banks Blue website to specify your preferences. And, if you need small essentials once you're here - from batteries to baby-proof outlet covers - just give us a holler or stop by a local store.
Bottom line: You and your youngsters will have the time of your lives here at our coastal paradise. Pack up, gather the fam, and head to the Outer Banks!