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28 Jun 2019
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Travel Tips

You might have memories of your parents loading up the car, packing you in, and heading down the coast to vacation in an oceanside vacation home… and as a kid, every home is a grandeur luxury home. As an adult though, we understand that location and added amenities come with a higher price tag. Luckily, rentals on the Outer Banks are far more affordable in comparison to rentals in other major vacation towns like Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach. With over 200 miles of sound and ocean coastline, almost every home is within walking distance to the water (if not right on the water), and there are plenty of amenity options to choose from. In other words, coming to the Outer Banks means a vacation to the beach doesn't have to break the bank. Here are some cost effective ways to get to the beach this summer with Seaside Vacations.

Bargain Hunt

The best way to get to the beach without spending a lot of money is to hunt for the best bargain. Some people prefer to book a last minute beach vacation in order to get the best deal. However, if you don’t like to risk waiting until the last minute, you can still find good deals! Search for homes that have discounted their rates for certain weeks and see if any of those weeks work for you.

Sometimes, Seaside Vacations creates special deals and promotions for select homes where you can save anywhere from 10%-20% off the rate! Click here to see our current deals and exclusive offers (but hurry because these deals are only available for a limited time)!

Travel With Friends

Have you and your friend been talking about needing a vacation? Have you been planning a trip with your parents? Now is the time! From 2-bedroom condos to large, 10-bedroom luxury homes, Seaside Vacations has a home that will fit any friend or family group. Traveling with a group may seem challenging—everyone has to take the same week off, you have to figure out how much everyone needs to contribute and you have to organize what to pack and what to buy. However, in the long run, taking a little time to prepare and organize these issues will be well worth it when you can afford a better rental simply by splitting the cost.

When you’re looking for a home, don’t be intimidated by a price tag that seems large and immediately write-off the chance of a vacation. Instead, figure out what the actual cost would be per person and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how affordable it actually is to visit the beach. Let's look at a few examples. Assuming you need to give notice at work at least a month in advanced, we'll look at a few available homes for the week of August 10th – August 17th.

Break Down The Cost Per Person

First we’ll look at the beautiful home, Lighthouse Pointe, in Colington (Kill Devil Hills). Located right on the sound and packed with amenities—including a private pool, elevator, hot tub, pool table and foosball—this home clearly is designed for fun and relaxation. The rent for that week is originally $4,695…but it’s marked down on sale! Already, you know this is going to be a good deal. The new price tag is $3,995.* The house provides enough bed space to sleep UP TO 16 guests but for this example, we’ll just assume that 5 couples (10 people) are traveling together. When you divide $3,995 by 10 people, you get a total of $399.50 per person* (or $57.07 per night per person). This is a great value for such a luxurious house, especially when the cost of just a single hotel room can range room $200-$300 per night on the Outer Banks in the summer. Breaking it down this way helps you realize it will only cost you $400 to take a dream beach vacation.

You might be saying “That sounds great but traveling with 10 people this late in the year isn’t feasible.” That’s okay too—we have smaller homes still loaded with amenities that still offer a much better value than a hotel. For this example, we’ll look at a 2-bedroom oceanfront condo in Nags Head. That’s right—Herpy has the added bonus of the Atlantic Ocean RIGHT in your back yard—you can't get closer to the beach than that! But how much will it cost for such a luxury? This time, we'll assume you and a few friends want to travel together and you’ve got 4 people signed up. For that same week, Herpy is just $1,595* (already discounted from $1,670!) When you take the total and divide by 4 people, you end up with $398.75 per person for the week! Imagine waking up to the sun rising over the ocean every morning…and not even having to leave your house to see it. That’s $400.00 well spent!

*Remember that the rent amount listed does not include the required state and county sales tax or the guest service fee. Click “Book Now” on your desired week to get the total cost including these amounts. Should you choose to add any extras like Early Check-In, Beach Towel Rentals, Mid-Stay Cleans, Pet Fees, etc., your price will increase. Rates listed in this article for comparison purposes reflect the rate at the time this article was written and are subject to change.

Consider Other Shared Expenses

Now that you see how affordable a rental home can be when traveling with friends, consider the other expenses that will be shared among the group. Items like toilet paper, paper towels, drinks, snacks, and ingredients to prepare meals cost less when the expenses are shared. Suddenly a $6.99 12-pk of toilet paper becomes $1.75 per person (when split between 4 people). Try making an itinerary of when you will cook in VS going out and create a menu ahead of time that everyone agrees on. Once you arrive, a dedicated team of shoppers from your group can go get everything on the list and then divide the total by the number of people in your group. You’ll be surprised how reasonable everything costs when you’re only responsible for a percentage of the total!

Plan Ahead for Contributing Your Share

Sometimes, the hardest part about sharing expenses is figuring out how to contribute your portion. If you get a couple hundred bucks out of the ATM before your trip but, you will of course receive all $20-dollar bills. When you get groceries, however, your portion may be $28.00 and no one has change. Do you give $20 and figure out how to pay someone $8.00 later? Do you give $40 and keep track of someone else needing to pay you back? This can get messy pretty quickly. To avoid the issue all together, go into your bank when you withdraw money and ask for a collection $20s along with plenty of $10s, $5s $1s.

Don’t forget that during busy hours, most restaurants are unable to split up your bill by more than 2 separate parties. Instead, plan ahead on how you will handle a restaurant bill when you all go out together. Perhaps one of your group members wants to put the whole amount on their credit card to earn the reward points meaning the rest of you can pay them back after dinner. If you have more than 4 people, charging a large meal might not be an option. Instead, plan ahead to have 2 separate parties and then sit at the table in your pre-arranged groups. Let the waiter/waitress know immediately that one half of the table is on one bill and the other have is on a separate bill. This will make the total smaller, and therefore, more manageable which makes it easier to divide up the cost or allow one person to charge the total. If you’re paying your portion or the tip in cash, you'll be thankful you got smaller bills so you can give the exact amount you owe!

There’s an App For That

The expression, “There’s an app for that!”—is totally applicable in this situation. If you’re generally someone who doesn’t use cash or you won’t be close to your bank and want to avoid extra ATM fees, there are many other ways to pay people. Consider using apps like PayPal, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Wallet, or the popular app Venmo which was specifically designed for the sole purpose of sending and requesting money from friends. Most of these apps let you send and request money for free (no attached fees) and can transfer money instantaneously to another person. Keep in mind, however, that once you are paid by your friends via one of these apps, you will need to request that the money to be transferred to your bank account which usually takes 2-3 days. If you are the one who volunteers to pay for the whole ticket, just make sure you aren’t going to be in a tight spot over the next 48 hours - 72 hours waiting for the money to transfer.

Put Your Vacation on Layaway

One of the hardest parts of booking a vacation rental is having to come up with a large chunk of money up front. We get it—most of us don’t have thousands of extra dollars lying around and instead need to budget a vacation into our normal pay checks. That’s why Seaside offers an awesome Layaway program! If you’re ready to start planning ahead for 2020, now is the time to book! Our layaway program has no hidden fees, no added interest, and lets you extend your payments over multiple months! Simply pick a day of the month that works best for you and get up to 11 months (length depends on number of months between the time you book and the time of your vacation) to pay! This makes paying for a vacation much more manageable and affordable!

Utilize Coupons & Promotions

Once you’ve figured out lodging and you’re finally on your vacation, there are still ways to save money on your trip! Is there a place you want to visit, an activity you want to try, or something you want to purchase? Before you go, look for a coupon because there’s probably one available!* As the saying goes, every penny helps!

Sunny Day Guide

The Sunny Day Guide is a great booklet filled with coupons, special offers, and local guides like tide charts, area maps, and informational articles. Not only do you get great OBX tips but you will have a plethora of coupons to choose from ranging to discounts on golf cart rentals and horse tours to restaurant entrees and local merchandise. The coupons can also be downloaded in a .pdf from their website.

GoGuide Coupons

The GoGuide Coupon book is presented each year by the Outer Banks Visitor’s Guide. This guide is filled with useful coupons for visitors and is broken down into three simple categories—shopping, dining and activities—making it easier than ever to find a coupon that might be useful to you. These coupons can also be accessed online.

Follow Businesses On Social Media

Another great way to find good deals and promotions is to follow your favorite local business on social media! You never know when your favorite restaurant may be having a steamed shrimp happy hour or an all-you-can-eat feature. Before you go out, scroll through your feed or visit a company's Facebook/Instagram page to get the latest information on what might be going on that night.

Club Seaside

When you stay with Seaside Vacations, you are eligible for exclusive promotions and discounts just for being our guest! Club Seaside is a partnership between our company and different local companies designed to provide our guests with exclusive offers, discounts, promotions and complimentary deals! All Seaside guests are automatically eligible for Club Seaside–there is no membership or additional cost. Visit our Club Seaside Page to find deals on activities and adventures, rentals and gear, tours and charters, food and wine, art and history, health and wellness, and essentials/services or click here to learn more about how Club Seaside works. 

*We have both the GoGuide Coupon book and the Sunny Day OBX coupon book in our lobby along with several brochures for local businesses (all materials are free). We are also always happy to answer any questions you have or make suggestions if you’re looking for something fun to do so feel to stop by!

Follow these simple tips for cost effective ways to get to the beach and you'll be enjoying an Outer Banks Vacation in no time (without breaking the bank!) Click the button below to get started by finding your perfect rental!

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Jessie has been coming to the Outer Banks since she was just 5 years old. She loved it here so much that she finally relocated in 2018. Now her mission is to show the world that the Outer Banks is an incredible place that everyone should experience. When she isn't working, you can find Jessie hanging out with her friends, chilling at home with her awesome cat, Yoji, or discovering a new Outer Banks adventure.