Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

Choosing the Perfect Fit

Outer Banks vacation rentals come in all shapes and sizes. Choosing the right house is essential in order to ensure a great vacation. The only way this can happen is if the place you choose meets or exceeds your expectations from both a "needs" and "wants" perspective. Hopefully, you look for a house amongst all of the Outer Banks vacation rentals that will minimize what you need to bring, is conveniently located to the things you want to do and makes you feel at home for the length of your vacation.

Prior to owning our Outer Banks rental home, some of the things we would look for were:

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  • What OBX vacation rentals provided linens (sheets and towels, with beds made as a bonus)?
  • Which homes had a swimming pool?
  • How close was the house to the beach?
  • Was the house a Saturday or Sunday house? (turn-over day)

These four considerations were important for the following reasons. A house that provided linens for free meant we could minimize the packing chore. The swimming pool was important in case there was a bad beach day (due to a rough current or severe undertow) so that we had another convenient "water" option. How close the Outer Banks vacation rentals were to the beach was important because we all know what a chore it can be getting little ones back and forth to the beach. And finally, the turn-over day was important because coming from Philadelphia, a Saturday turn-over day wasn’t as appealing as a Sunday, because Sunday allowed us to avoid the Jersey shore, Delaware beaches, Ocean City Maryland, Virginia Beach, and Outer Banks beach traffic. Generally speaking, roughly 50% of Outer Banks vacation rentals start on Saturday, with 35% on Sunday and about 15% on Friday.

Our Salvo Outer Banks Vacation Rental

Now let’s focus on the house itself. The number of bedrooms range anywhere from four to twelve bedrooms, with a similar number of bathrooms. The driving force here should be number of people/families sharing the house. Generally, a single family will be quite comfortable in a four bedrooms or smaller house. There are also condo rentals available for the single family. With our two houses, one has six bedrooms and the other has eight bedrooms, usually, the six bedroom house is shared by two families while the eight bedroom house is shared by three families. This allows the cost of the rental to be much cheaper as you spread across the group.

Picture of a pyramid bed; single bed on top with a double on the bottom.

The biggest thing here is to make sure the bedding configuration of the house you are interested in fits your sleeping needs. In other words, how many king beds versus queen beds and so on. By the way, for those of you, like me, who never heard of a "pyramid bed" (see picture) it is a bunk bed with a single on the top and a double bed on the bottom, sometimes with a trundle to add another bed space. These are generally for the kids. Imagine four kids in one "bed" ... lots of sleep happening there, huh?

Outer Banks Vacation Rentals are usually constructed in a "reverse floor plan", meaning the great room, kitchen, dining area, and one of the master bedrooms are on the top floor. This is to allow everyone to share the spectacular Outer Banks views form the top decks. The pictures of the great room, dining area and kitchen are from our Salvo house. Hopefully this clarifies the explanation.

The Great Room: Living and dining in one. The great room looking towards the kitchen area.

No need to bring any kitchen equipment (dishes, glasses, silverware, coffee pots, toaster, pots, pans, and so forth) as all of this should be available in a properly stocked kitchen.

The rest of the bedrooms are located on the middle and bottom floor (if there are three floors). As we all know, hot air rises, so having the bedrooms on the middle and bottom floors helps keep the house cooler for sleeping at night. Most, if not all of the houses come with central air conditioning.

So what separates the wheat from the chaff in selecting your Outer Banks rental? That is up to what you are looking for, but here are some thoughts:

  • Do you have older people or people who have difficulty getting up and down stairs? Then a house with an elevator is key.

  • Do you want some place to go other than the beach to unwind? Then you will likely want a house with a pool and/or hot tub and maybe even a volleyball court or horseshoe pit.

  • Do you have little ones? Look for a house that has a high chair, baby pool, safety lock on the pool area, safety gate to prevent the child from falling down the stairs, and a porta-crib or pick and pack (eliminate packing).

  • Do you have pre-teens or teenagers? Then you want a recreation room with a pool table, foosball table, and/or PlayStation to keep them entertained.

  • Do you want to bring the dog along? Outer Banks pet friendly houses will usually be singled out in most rental company directories.

Some Outer Banks vacation rentals even have media rooms with a big screen television with movie theater quality seating. Most homes also provide Internet access, so you can keep up with those pesky e-mails should you desire. If you follow a work-out routine, then you may want to find a house or development that has a work out facility. Also check to see if the owner has provided beach chairs, beach toys, and umbrellas, and maybe a cart to bring all of the stuff down to the beach in. Remember, the idea is to limit how much you need to pack. Many Outer Banks rental homes can be quite similar, so make sure you look closely at the town to see if it may be the tie-breaker. So, the most important thing in finding the perfect house amongst all of the Outer Banks vacation rentals is finding out first what everyone wants to do on the vacation, how your group is comprised (age considerations), and then begin your search. One final note: The rental companies in the Outer Banks generally rent only to "family groups". Their experience has been that family groups tend to be less destructive than non-family groups. Note that it is possible for non-family groups to rent a house in the Outer Banks if you are upfront with this information so that the rental company and the property owner can okay it. This is written in every rental agreement that I’ve ever seen down the Outer Banks, and to ignore this would cause you to be in breach of the lease. Be upfront and avoid this problem.

Which of the Outer Banks vacation rentals is right for you? Start forming your list of desires. Ready to find your next rental? Start your search here!

Your Perfect Outer Banks Vacation Home

So you've read what I believe you should look for when deciding on the perfect rental house. What have I missed? What makes the vacation rental seem more like home to you? Share the things that make for a perfect Outer Banks vacation home!

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My Ideal Rental Home 
1. Great community and proximity to other locations 2. Clean linens 3. Good working A/C 4. Odor free (no pets a +) 5. Updated appliances (washer, …

Perfect Rental Home 
screened porch view: sound or ocean cleanliness good matresses close to south facing beach

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