Planning A Family-Friendly Beach Vacation: Location, Location, Location


Where To Take Your Family Vacation

You’ve developed your family budget and – for the purpose of this series – decided to spend your vacation along the North Carolina coast. (By the way, great decision on vacationing at the beach! It’s not like we’re biased or anything.)

Researching the specific area where you’ll be staying is of utmost importance, not only due to budgetary concerns but also to accommodate your family needs (i.e., crowd-wise versus secluded) and wishes (amenities).

Our agency is in Oak Island, North Carolina and although the island itself is only 14 miles long, it has 3 distinct beaches each with very different characteristics. If you’ve never been to a particular beach, you’ll first need to know where it is on a map. With regard to Oak Island, if your family prefers a quiet beach get-away in a more secluded area then you’d probably want to stay on one end of our island. On the other hand, if your family wishes to people-watch in the mix of dining and shopping options then you’d probably prefer the opposite end of the island.

Moreover, even within our own county the beaches vary greatly. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina which is approximately an hour away is strikingly different. All have their great qualities but finding the perfect option suitable to YOUR family’s needs requires research as well as honesty as far as what you want and like.

Consider These When Determining Location

  1. How far is it from the grocery and/or drug store?
  2. How many restaurants are nearby, within driving distance, etc.?
  3. What will traffic and parking be like?
  4. Is the area family-friendly?
  5. How far is it from your home? Will your travel budget be affected?
  6. What will the weather be like during your stay?

Finding Your Family’s Restful {Vacation} Nest

The flip-side of the “Location, Location, Location” coin requires you to be honest with yourself about what you deem a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing a rental property. Do you have members of your family who cannot walk up a flight of stairs? Aside from the standard number of bedrooms and bathrooms, do you find that you’ll need coastal decór to feel truly on vacation? Are you traveling with more than one family, and both require a master bedroom? Are you bringing your four-legged family member?

Many oceanfront homes are great; however, some haven’t changed in decades. Will an older couch and knotty pine walls suffice so long as you can get into an oceanfront property? Would you be happier in a 2nd row home with hardwood floors and granite countertops? Perhaps you’d be fine either way, but it is a good decision to know your deal-breakers going into making your selection.

Items To Consider When Selecting The Type of Rental

  1. How many bedrooms (and number of beds) and bathrooms will you need? Will you need separate master bedrooms or a den where the children can have their own play space?
  2. Do you need oceanfront? Will a 2nd row home be sufficient?
  3. How far is the nearest beach access? Does the home have a private access?
  4. What appliances come in the home? Washer/dryer, dishwasher, coffee maker, etc.
  5. What is the parking situation? Is it covered, is it on-street?
  6. Is departure cleaning included? Are linens and towels provided or will you need to bring your own?
  7. What does “dog-friendly” mean? Is there a fenced-in yard?
  8. Is there a BBQ grill, picnic table and/or other outside seating?
  9. Is the home handicap accessible?

Tips On Deciding Where To Stay & Choosing A Rental Property

  1. Research the area. Call your rental agent to ask specifics on the area and if there are any differences in the specific areas of the location.
  2. Find out how many different modes of transportation are involved in getting to your rental property. For example, one in our area is only accessible by ferry and does not allow cars on the island. Getting around requires driving a golf cart.
  3. Rainy days and bad weather happen. Consider what those days will look like in your plan and incorporate off-the-beach activities (i.e., movie theaters, museums, aquariums, etc.).
  4. Visit an agency website and search by Category to narrow down your selection so that your decision-making doesn’t seem too overwhelming.

Deal Breaker ImageWhat are your deal-breakers when it comes to choosing a rental property? Let us know in the comments, and be on the lookout for our next installment which will cover When To Book Your Family Beach Vacation.

In the meantime, head over to our website and start narrowing down your list of favorites by location and features.


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