How to Plan The Perfect Outer Banks Vacation
Back before the internet and the endless number of travel websites, people used to use travel agents to plan their vacation. Unfortunately for AAA and other major players in the vacation planning business, this is no longer the case.
Consumers have the ultimate power, and a heck of a lot of information at their fingertips (seriously, you can find out anything using your smartphone).
Since most people don’t rely on travel agents who are expert vacation planners, it’s up to someone (usually mom) to do all of the vacation planning for the family.
Planning an Outer Banks vacation is no easy task, there is so much to think about and consider!
Which town should you stay in?
Which family members or friends are coming?
Will they actually come or backout at the last second?
How big of a rental home do we need? How big of a house can we afford?
Do we want to be oceanfront, sound front, oceanside, between the roads…. the list of options and questions go on and on and on!
Is The Outer Banks Right For You?
Well yeah, duh!
The Outer Banks or OBX, has something for everyone in the group, except for your uncle with a gambling problem, he might prefer Vegas or Atlantic City.
From the award-winning beaches to the plethora of terrific dining options to the vast array of affordable fun activities, you’re truly doing something wrong if you’re not having a blast during your OBX getaway.
These barrier islands are well within driving distance for many major cities along the East Coast and Midwest, and if you’d rather fly, there is the Norfolk International Airport that’s just an hour-and-a-half from Kitty Hawk.
Do I Have Enough Money For an OBX Vacation?
Well, you will have to shell out anywhere from $600 to $6,000+ for a week-long stay in a vacation rental home... Oh, by the way, if you are staying for more than three days, vacation rental homes almost always provide the best value. You’ll need some expendable cash for travel expenses, food for the week, and of course activities and souvenirs.
Overall, the Outer Banks is much cheaper than a Disney vacation (sorry Mickey Mouse), and you can save hundreds of dollars if you’re able to drive here as opposed to having to fly somewhere else.
If you want to make your dollars go further, consider coming in either the spring or fall months. We highly recommend just after Labor Day since the ocean water is still super warm, the temperatures are excellent, and there is less of a crowd on the beach.
July and August are usually the busiest time of year, and therefore the prices are the highest during these summer months. You might be all for coming in September, but because you have kids in school, that option is not available. We feel your pain. But, fret not, June through August is gorgeous and you’re sure to have an unbelievable time!
I Decided I Want to Stay on the Outer Banks… But Where Specifically?
Well, there is a big difference between Corolla (to the north) and Hatteras Island (to the south). The homes in Corolla tend to be a little newer, and there are plenty to choose from.
Most are four bedrooms or more, but there are some exceptions. It’s usually a little bit pricier to stay in Corolla, but tens of thousands of people would never consider staying anywhere else. You’ll have to travel about an hour and a half south of Kitty Hawk to reach portions of Hatteras Island, but it’s worth the trek.
The homes are less cluttered the further south you go, and you may be able to find a slice of the beach to enjoy all to yourself - seriously, there is a lot of beaches and not that many people on Hatteras Island!
Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head have the most stores, restaurants, and activities to choose from. There are dozens of public beach access in these two towns, and the beaches tend to be more crowded than other portions of the Outer Banks.
Not so crowded that you feel like you’re sitting on top of the group next to you though.