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Friday, July 1, 2016

How to Vacation in the Outer Banks without Breaking YOUR Bank

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
*Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  I was not paid by any of the companies in this post or any of the linked posts.  I did not receive any products in exchange for writing this post.  This post is based on my own personal experience.

My husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  We decided to celebrate by taking a vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We wanted to take an entire week, but we didn’t think we had enough money.  We were afraid we might not get to go until we remembered Just Gotta Go.  Several years ago, we took the family to Orlando, Florida for an entire week.  We had never taken an entire week before, but we were able to secure a top-notch condo for the entire week for just $700.  The condo included a full kitchen and dining room, living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a washer, and a dryer.  We enjoyed a huge TV and ceiling fans.  It was amazing.  I was sure we would be charged a lot more at check out because the condo was way too nice for just $700 for the whole week.  Thankfully, there were no unexpected expenses and the entire week total for the condo was $700.  We decided to check Just Gotta Go and I’m so glad we did.  We were able to get a whole week in a condo at Barrier Island Station in Duck, North Carolina for just $625.  Once again, I was a little bit nervous because you’ve heard the saying, “If it is too good to be true, then it isn’t true.”  However, again, there were no unexpected charges and our entire week long vacation in the Outer Banks totaled $625 for the condo.

For Your Convenience:

Just Gotta Go Website

Just Gotta Go on EBay (This is where we purchased both of our vacation rentals.)

After purchasing our rental, we set out on a 9 hour road trip.  Our trip up there took longer than 9 hours because we heard about the ferry system.  I wanted to ride a ferry so we drove to Cedar Island, North Carolina to board one.  If you decide to ride a ferry, be sure to make reservations first.  We didn’t know this so we waited in line for about 2 hours just to take a chance on getting on the ferry.  They only take about 40 or 50 cars, depending on weight.  We didn’t make the ferry.  We had two choices.  We could back-track inland and continue on the road north to the bridges or we could wait on another ferry.  We were guaranteed a ride on the next one, but we would have to wait 3 more hours.  Either way, we would get there about the same time.  We waited.  The good news is that the ferry ride costs $10.  That’s it, just $10.  Then, once you board, you can get out of your vehicle and make your way to the deck.  We enjoyed a nice ride that afternoon.  It took the ferry 2 hours to travel 28 miles but it was a nice ride.  Finally, we drove onto the southern Outer Banks.  After several miles, we boarded another ferry.  This ride was free and took about an hour.  We drove onto the area of Hatteras Island.  We drove the length of the Outer Banks, from Hatteras to Duck in about 1.5 hours.  We had planned to do this in daylight so we could see the area but since we missed the first ferry, we had to drive in the dark.  Be sure to make those reservations!

For your convenience:

North Carolina Ferry Division

We arrived at our condo at Barrier Island Station.  Just like years ago in Orlando, I was nervous.  Just like then, I wasn’t disappointed when we walked in the door.  The condo in Duck wasn’t as nice as the on in Orlando had been but it was perfect for us.

Ferry Boat - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

To our pleasant surprise, tourist attractions as you vacation in the Outer Banks are not too expensive.  Here are several things we did.  Click on the links for details.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
The last thing we did before heading home was to kayak on the Currituck Sound.  The Sound is shallow and not overcrowded.  It was fabulous!  There were a few other kayakers, one or two people on paddle boards, and a small motor boat in the distance, but for most of our 2 hours on the water, it was just us.  We rented our kayak from Ocean Atlantic Rentals on Highway 12, just before you get to the Waterfront shops.  We rented an Old Town Double Sit-In for 2 hours and it only costed $ 42.70.  It was more than worth it.  We live near a huge lake so now we’re in the market for our own kayaks.  I don’t know why we haven’t tried it before.  Be sure to kayak on the Sound if you’re in Duck.  You won’t regret it.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
 Yep, that's me enjoying a kayak on the Currituck Sound.

The only thing that seemed expensive to us was the food.  Restaurants seemed pricy but we did enjoy some good food.  Since we didn’t spend a fortune on a place to stay and the attractions were affordable, we didn’t mind enjoying a few meals even if we thought they were too expensive. 

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
We enjoyed our week by the Atlantic Ocean in the Outer Banks, North Carolina area.  If your planning a trip to that area, I hope this information helps you.  There are SO MANY things to do there.  I'm not sure we could do it all if we were there for a month.

Here are a few other resources which might help you plan your trip.

Read about other great places to visit in the Outer Banks of North Carolina here.

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