Packing for Vacation

A Checklist of Things to Consider

The long awaited date is approaching and now its time to begin packing for vacation. But what should you bring?

The beach in Salvo on the Outer Banks

The first thing you should do is find out what your Outer Banks rental property has available. The less packing you do the less you have to unpack and quicker to get the vacation started. For instance, our OBX vacation rentals have beach chairs, boogie boards and beach toys available for use, so no need to pack those. If you have babies on the trip, our homes have high chairs, a safety fence and a porta-crib. Do you need more than one? How about sheets and towels? Our houses and many others now include that in the rental fee. If the Outer Banks rental property does not provide linens, there is always the option to rent them from the rental company. We usually pack about four days worth of clothes because most houses have a washer and dryer. No need to pack clothes for the full week. Also, does the Outer Banks rental come with paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)?

Are you packing food for your meals or going to the local grocery store when you get there? Janet has always sketched out a meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner so that we knew what to bring. If there are several families sharing the house, this provides an easy means for dividing up meals and what food to bring.

OK, so do you now have the list of things that are available at the house? If not, contact either the rental company or the owner as they should be able to help with this information. Par the checklist below down so that you don’t bring redundant things. Here is a representative list of things to consider packing. Cross off those you don’t need and start packing for vacation!

Oh, one more thing. If you notice that some of the things on the list you do not have, not to worry. If that item is underlined, it means you can actually buy it here. Go ahead and hit the hyper-link to get what you need. Ok, now, are you all set to start packing for vacation?

For the Trip

View from the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks

  • Suit cases

  • Snacks

  • Water, soft drinks or Gatorade

  • Global Positioning Devices (GPS)

  • Books

  • DVDs if you have a portable DVD player

  • MP3 or IPods

  • Blankets and pillows

  • Extra set of car keys

  • Sketch pads/pencil/pens

  • Simple car repair items (tire gauge, screwdriver, flashlight, etc.)


  • Rental Agreement/reservation information

  • Insurance cards/documents

  • Driver’s license/vehicle registration form

  • Travel guide (Outer Banks Revealed if you have Internet access!)

Personal Belongings

  • Glasses, contact lenses and solution

  • Sunglasses

  • Cell phone and charger

  • Camera and camcorder

  • Wallet, purse, handbag

  • Watch

Rental House Items

  • Paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins)

  • All-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent

  • Sponges, dish clothes, dish towels

  • Garbage bags, trash bags – kitchen and bathrooms

  • Food (based on your meal plan)

  • Coffee and coffee filters

  • Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, food containers

  • Sheets and towels (if not provided; can also rent from Rental Company)

  • Baby equipment (high chair, porta-crib, playpen, safety gate)

  • Toys and games for the kids

  • Laptop and/or tablet (if have wireless Internet access)

For the Beach

View from the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks

  • Sunscreen, lip balm

  • Hats

  • Insect repellant

  • Beach toys (buckets, shovels, balls, boogie boards, rafts, etc.)

  • Beach chairs and umbrellas

  • Beach towels

  • Fishing equipment (rods, tackle box, etc.)

  • Cooler

  • Books


  • Swimwear and/or boardshorts

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Shoes (Men, Women), sneakers, sandals, flip flops

  • Shirts (some nice if eating out), t-shirts

  • Shorts (Men, Women) (some nice if eating out), jeans (Men, Women), pants (Men, Women)

  • Sweatshirts for the evening when its cool

  • Hats

  • Beach cover-up


  • Toothpaste, toothbrush

  • Razor, shaving cream, after shave lotion

  • Moisturizers, aloe

  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel

  • Comb, brush, hairdryer

  • Deodorant

  • Cosmetics and fragrances

  • Hair bands, hair ties


  • Aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen

  • Band-Aids, Neosporin

  • Hydrocortisone cream

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medication, motion sickness medication

  • Visine

Unique to Your Vacation

  • Camping equipment

  • Golf equipment

  • Video games

  • Pet needs (i.e. Frontline Plus for your Pets)

Sign up for our newsletter, The Outer Banks Monthly, and once you confirm your e-mail address, you will receive over $1,000 in discount coupons for all types of Outer Banks activities, shopping, and restaurants.

If there are items you've added to your list while packing for vacation, please send it to us to add to our list.

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