At long last—a week, or even better, two weeks on the Outer Banks. There’s Mom and Dad, 13-year-old Peggy, and 9-year-old Chuck, making packing for vacation a 24-hour exercise in precision planning and engineering expertise.
There is one suitcase packed for each family member. And, an extra one with anything that couldn’t quite fit in the other four. Then there are the bikes, Chuck’s skimboard, and Peggy’s boogie board. Maybe a surfboard or two thrown in, some beach chairs, and the worst space killer…the cooler.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about packing for vacation is the surprising load management skills Mom and Dad exhibit as it all gets packed, strapped down, and made ready for the highway. Somehow it fits in and on the car, although there is an open question about just where Peggy and Chuck are going to sit.
There is, however, an alternative: pack the suitcases, get the kids in the car, and rent everything else.
From bikes to golf carts, kayaks to surfboards, beach umbrellas, beach chairs, other than the clothes on their backs, everything that a family of four is planning on bringing to the Outer Banks can be rented.
Actually, what some of our partners offer is more than just rentals. Certainly umbrellas, chairs, even coolers are available daily or by the week. And Carolina Designs works with companies like Ocean Atlantic Rentals (OAR) or Farmdog Surf School that have all of the equipment available.
But OAR and Farmdog, as well as BeachMasters, offer an even better, more complete package, and it’s worth considering.
Their Cabana or Umbrella service includes everything needed for the beach—umbrellas or a beach tent, chairs, and other items as part of a package. But what makes the service stand out is the companies set it up in the morning and break it down every night.
For families who are bringing their own umbrellas and beach chairs, and everything that goes with it, all of it must be off the beach every night. That’s a lot of work for a vacationing family, but it’s important for two reasons.
It’s dangerous leaving the equipment on the beach overnight. If the wind picks up and there is no one to bring the umbrella in or fetch the chairs off the beach, people can get hurt if they blow around.
Because of that, every town, and the counties, have ordinances on the books prohibiting leaving beach equipment past sunset. Generally, equipment left on the beach at night is considered litter and disposed of accordingly.
What the cabana service does is take care of the worry of leaving anything on the beach at night; and make sure that everything is ready for the family when the morning comes.
Beach equipment, of course, is not the only thing our Carolina Designs partners rent.
Duck Village Outfitters (DVO) and Farmdog offer some of the best water sport instruction on the Outer Banks. Naturally, they rent surfboards, SUP, kayaks, and just about anything else needed for some fun time on the water.
Spending time on the water is just one of many things that is special about the Outer Banks. There are well over 60 miles of interconnecting bike trails from Corolla to South Nags Head. Making bike rides particularly nice, there are very few hills on the routes, creating a perfect opportunity for a family outing.
Our DVO, OAR, and Farmdog partners rent bikes—mostly beach cruisers. And they rent bikes for the whole family.
However, for someone who may want to take on a little more challenging ride, there are some geared bikes available. They still have the saddle seat and upright handlebars of a beach cruiser, but they will make the ride easier on a longer ride with a few hills.
Our partners specialize in what they do, whether it’s the deluxe cabana service from BeachMasters or the combination of water sport lessons with equipment rentals that DVO and Farmdog offer.
Ocean Atlantic Rentals specializes in rentals—that’s all they do. They have surfboards, SUP, and kayaks. And bikes. But they also have golf carts, gas grills, beach towels, and a lot more than that.
So next year, when Mom and Dad and 14-year-old Peggy and 10-year-old Chuck are packing for the Outer Banks, pack the clothes and have the rental equipment ready for the week.