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28 Jun 2022
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Oak Island Trip Planning

Planning a family beach vacation can be quite overwhelming, with packing for the trip being one of the most dreaded tasks on your "to do" list.

If you're anything like me, you tend to over pack. On the other hand, you may be the type of person who only packs your clothes and relies on the grocery store to get you through your vacation. (Let's be honest, the locals HAVE to get their goods from SOMEWHERE. It's not like you're traveling to some remote location...or maybe you are which is why you really, really need this post.)


  • What time of the year are you traveling and where will you be staying? In North Carolina, we experience all of the seasons - sometimes all within one week - so packing a swim suit is just as important as packing a hoodie.
  • How are you traveling? If your mode of transportation is the family vehicle, you may be able to pack a bit more than if you were flying.
  • Are you traveling with kids? If so, will you bring items like toys or video games to keep them occupied? Would you rather they enjoy the simpler life and want to avoid packing those extras. If you're traveling with babies, you may want to inquire whether the home you're renting has a high chair, pack-n-play, etc.
  • Are you bringing your dog? If so, you'll want to make sure your vacation accommodations are pet-friendly. Moreover, will you need to bring a kennel and food/water bowls.
  • Will you rent linens or bring your own? Some vacation rentals include linen packages whereas others will only provide pillows and a bed spread.
  • Do you plan to participate in any activities during your stay? If you plan to bike or go paddle boarding, do you plan to bring your own equipment or should you go ahead and make reservations for those items.

Packing Tips

  • Download apps that your kids can play on your smartphone or a tablet that you'll be bringing. The kids will stay occupied during the drive, on a rainy day of your vacation, or just before bedtime. This could potentially eliminate the need to bring all of those individual electronic devices and chargers.
  • Cross packing could be a life saver for those planning for air travel. With cross packing, you pack a set of clean clothes for each family member in each person's suitcase. This way if a piece of luggage is lost, you'll have one set of clothing for each person to get you through until the airline has found your luggage or you can purchase replacements.
  • If you plan to pack toys for your children, pack multi-purpose toys that they can play with in the home or on the beach. You may also limit you rkids to packing one small bag of toys each. Items like beach balls work extremely well for packing purposes.
  • Pack Ziploc bags. You can use them as additional packing solutions, to pack snacks and sandwiches for your beach days, or you can use them as souvenir collection cases for seashells.

If we've said it before, we'll say it again: Research the whereabouts of your vacation destination. From learning the weather patterns to finding out where the local grocery store is, the information can be invaluable. If all else fails, simply give your rental agency a call. If they're a valuable agent like Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc., REALTORS, then they should put you in the right direction for anything you need.

What amazing packing tips have you collected over the years? Are there special products that make packing more efficient? We'd love to know your thoughts and suggestions but in the meantime, feel free to check out the following Sample Packing List compiled by our staff.

Sample Packing List

For additional suggestions or assistance in planning your next Oak Island getaway, feel free to call us at (800) 486-5441 or email us at

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