Planning a family vacation for OBX on a budget

10 January 2024 |  Published By: Hotels OBX

Are you dreaming of a wonderful family vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina? As we all know, life can be a bit expensive. It seems like costs keep inflating, but fret not! We're here to guide you on how to plan an amazing getaway without breaking the bank. Here, we will tell you how to plan your trip to the Outer Banks and take your family on vacation with a realistic budget. Buckle up for a detailed exploration of budget-friendly options and unforgettable experiences.  Don’t compromise on fun and value to save a buck. We've got you covered!

Outer Banks Vacation Planning: Setting a Realistic Budget

There are 4 main factors to consider when budgeting for your trip to the Outer Banks.
    • Accommodation costs

      This will vary based on the season you plan your OBX trip. Below, we break down the months to travel based on seasonality. Depending on where you are traveling from as you plan your trip to the Outer Banks, you may find that accommodations and dining may be your biggest expense of the trip.
    • Transportation expenses

      The best way to get to the Outer Banks is to drive. The closest international airport is Norfolk International Airport (ORF). This airport is about an hour and a half from the northern Outer Banks Beaches. The gas to get to your destination and around town is a good thing to budget for as you plan your trip to the Outer Banks.
    • Food and dining budget

      This is often one of the biggest expenses of a trip because we must eat! However, you can make smart choices to help save money. Choose a hotel like the Comfort Inn on the Ocean or the Comfort Inn South Oceanfront with a delicious hot breakfast every morning. If you have picky eaters traveling with you, bring snacks, pop-tarts, and cereal bars that you know they will enjoy. Think easy lunches, too; peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make in the morning and pack in a cooler bag to bring to the beach. Splurge on ice cream and dinner.
    • Entertainment and activity costs

      There are many ways to explore and spend minimal as you plan your trip to the Outer Banks. There will be planners who want to map out their activities in advance and those who are more spur-of-the-moment. I would recommend thinking about the group you are traveling with and figuring out a couple of must-see or do activities. Sometimes, the weather may also factor into your activities that day.
Here are our top 6 activities that are free!

Plan Your Trip: OBX Vacation

Choosing the Right Time to Visit 

First things first, determining when to plan your trip to the Outer Banks is crucial. To plan a family vacation in the Outer Banks, determine when and how long you would like to visit. We’ve listed out the months to travel with possible pros and cons depending on the type of vacation you are looking for. 
  • December, January, February

    If you prefer the privacy of a serene, secluded beach with limited travelers on the roads, this might be the best (and perhaps cheapest) time to go. The Atlantic Ocean will be cold, and there aren’t many days where temperatures will be high enough to lay on the beach in a swimsuit. But there are plenty of activities available in the area.
  • March, April, May

    The weather is warming up, and you may see more travelers. The water temperatures will still be chilly. But it’s such a fun time to visit.
  • September, October, November

    The average temperatures are still warm during this time. This can be a great time to visit and enjoy the beach with smaller crowds. Remember that this is hurricane season, and you’ll want to watch the weather leading up to your trip.
  • June, July, August

    Peak summer season! The weather is beautiful, and all the restaurants and shops are open and busy. If you want to spend your day lounging on the beach or in the hotel pool, this is the time to plan your trip to the Outer Banks.

Decide on the Duration of Your Trip to OBX

To truly immerse yourself in experiencing the Outer Banks, we’d recommend staying for about 3-7 days. It allows ample time to go to the islands/beaches, go fishing, miniature golfing, and visit many local attractions such as the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Lighthouses, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, and Jeanette’s Pier. 

Accommodation Options

When looking into accommodations as you plan your trip to the Outer Banks, there are three main options: hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds/RV parks. 

OBX Hotels

When it comes to relaxing accommodations that feel luxurious to you but not your pocket, consider the Comfort Inn on the Ocean or Comfort Inn South Oceanfront. Enjoy picturesque views whether you’re dipping your toes in at the pool or in the Atlantic Ocean. Both properties have seasonal outdoor pools that are typically open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. While you plan your trip to the Outer Banks, you’ll see the Comfort Inn on the Ocean in Kill Devil Hills and Comfort Inn South Oceanfront in Nags Head, which are centrally located in many popular area attractions. 

Campgrounds and Vacation Rentals

There are many campgrounds throughout the Outer Banks area, and they vary in the amenities they provide. Some sites will have full hook-up sites, while others won’t have electricity. When booking at a campground, ensure you understand what you are getting and the cancellation policy. During the summer, campgrounds often sell out early. Vacation rentals are an option, especially for large groups traveling together that want to stay in one house together. Vacation rentals often have a required length of stay during the summer or have specific check-in and check-out dates. Again, ensure you understand the requirements before finalizing your booking. Planning a budget-friendly Outer Banks vacation is doable. For your accommodations, contact the hotel directly to ensure you get the best rates. Keep in mind that the summer is the busiest season. If you can be flexible with your travel dates to allow for maximum savings. Regarding activities, check out the free local attractions when possible. Be flexible, enjoy the beachy vibes of the Outer Banks, and you’ll have a wonderful family vacation. Reserve your room in our hotels in OBX like Comfort Inn South Oceanfront and Comfort inn on the ocean on the beach or  Contact us at 2524416333 and 2524416315  Safe travels! We will see you soon! Follow us on Instagram

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