10 Tips for Staying Safe During Your OBX Vacation
Are you planning an Outer Banks beach vacation? You've planned all the details, where to eat, the best activities and sites to see and do. But, have you taken a moment to take care of those pesky little things that need to be attended to? This week we give you all the little things you don't want to think about but should. Here are ten tips on how to have a safe OBX vacation.
1-Vehicle Check List
Nothing can ruin a vacation like car trouble. A pesky flat tire or a dead battery is no way to relax. The best way to ensure your car is ready for vacation is to take a few minutes and check the essential systems. Do these four things before pulling out of the driveway.
Test Your Battery
A dead battery is not only a hassle but an unwanted expense. Have your battery tested before you leave?Almost any auto supply store will do this for free!
Inspect The Tires
A flat tire or a blow out is no fun, especially in an unfamiliar place. Inspect your tires for wear. Make sure there are no bald spots. Most of all check the tire pressure. Always check tire pressure cold. Under-inflated tires are not only dangerous but kill your gas mileage.
Check The Fluids
Summers on the Outer Banks are hot. Make sure to top off your radiator fluid to ensure proper engine temperatures. While the hood is up, check the oil as well. Oil is the blood of the engine. Without it you can have thousands of dollars of unwanted repairs.
Bring Spare Keys
Getting locked out of your car can put a serious damper on your vacation. Make sure to have a spare set of keys. A good idea is to get a valet key made and have it hidden somewhere under the car. Magnet boxes work great for this.
The beach is a wonderful place to explore. However, it is also a wild environment. Make sure the kids know to avoid sharp objects. Never touch unknown sea life. A jellyfish doesn't make for a great day on the beach.
Watch the Kids
Kids are quick. In a blink of an eye, they can be off finding trouble. This is particularly true around water. Keep an eye on the kids and for those little ones it is best to make them wear a personal flotation device while on the beach.
It can be hot on the OBX during the summer months. Staying hydrated is a sure way to make sure you can enjoy as many days as possible on the Outer Banks There is no substitute for water! Avoid those sugary sodas.
Know Your Limits
Make sure to swim within your limits. Weaker swimmers should stay near areas with lifeguards and/or wear a flotation device when in and around the water.
3-Prevent Identity Theft
Few things cause as much headache as identity theft. It can ruin your credit, cause you thousands of dollars and certainly ruin an amazing OBX vacation. But with a few tips you can take steps to make identity theft unlikely. Here are 5 easy tips to follow:
- Use one credit card that you can easily monitor and has fraud protection.
- Only use secure websites like Elan to book trips and activities.
- Use cash as much as possible by taking out cash from a reputable ATM (preferably at a national bank location).
- Never use public wifi for online banking or shopping.
- Protect your smartphone and use as many password and locks as possible on it.
4-Buy Travel Insurance
Nothing is worse than having a vacation canceled, yet every year for thousands of travelers that is exactly what happens. No matter how well you plan, some things in life are just beyond your control. Hurricanes, illness, or other emergencies can cause you to interrupt, delay or even cancel your well deserved Outer Banks vacation. When planning your next Outer Banks vacation protect your investment by purchasing travel insurance. Today we will discuss all the ins and outs of travel insurance and why it's not just prudent to purchase travel insurance but is, in fact, the only way to protect your vacation investment. We've teamed up with Red Sky Travel Insurance to offer the Sun Preserver package. For more information check out our previous post: The Best Way To Protect Your Vacation Investment or give us a call at (866) 760-3526 to speak with one of our reservationists.
5-Don't Forget The Sunscreen
Let's all be honest for a minute? Sunscreen is like flossing. Sure, ideally you're supposed to do it after every meal, but none of us do (except before you visit your dentist). Same can be said for sunscreen. Reapplying after every splash in the waves sounds, well, a lot like work. However, few things can ruin your day like a bad sunburn. The medical professionals recommend you use a sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 30 for extended and intense exposure to the sun. Don't forget to reapply frequently for the best protection.
6-Unplug From Social Media
We all love our social media. These days Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are literally part of the fabric of life. However ,like all things something fun, it can also be used by those looking to cause harm. Be careful about posting too much on social media. Would be thieves have been known to troll sites like Facebook looking for people who have advertised they are gone on vacation, and thus have left their houses an open target for thieves. Take lots of pics, but to be safe save the posting till you get home.
7-Avoid Rip Currents
The ocean is one of nature's great playgrounds. Here on the Outer Banks we are incredibly lucky to have some of the best beaches in America. Most days the ocean is a gentle giant, but you must remember she is a giant. Sadly, each year a few unlucky visitors find themselves caught in a rip current. This can be scary! However, panicking is the worst reaction. Make sure to read the posters about how to avoid and get out of a rip current. Take a moment to watch this video to find out from the pros how to have a safe and memorable day on the beach.
8-Things To Remember
Don't forget all those important items that will make your vacation a whole lot more enjoyable. Does your child need an inhaler? Does uncle Bob need his CPAP machine at night? Did you bring your diabetic supplies? Make a list of all your medications or special items that you need for your daily routine. We have a wonderful hospital and great healthcare here on the OBX, but let's face it we would rather you just took our word for it than experience it.
9-Don't Forget The Mail
When you leave home, make sure to have the mail picked up daily by a friend or relative. Have the paper stopped, and finally, it is best to have a couple of lights on a timer. Nothing screams "opportunity" to a thief like a house that looks like it is abandoned. Thieves hate the light. Have someone stop by at random times to give the appearance of activity. Only thing you need to worry about is which restaurant has the best fried shrimp!
10-Secure Your Valuables
Does your vehicles scream, "TOURISTS!!"? Keep your vehicle locked and valuables secured out of sight. For example, keep your laptop and chargers in the trunk. If a thief can't see it, they probably will move on to an easier target. And what about when you are out on the beach, enjoying the sun and surf? Who is watching your phone, keys, money, and ID when you are playing with the kids. While beach theft is rare, it's still a good idea to keep your valuables hidden as best as possible. Get creative when hiding your valuables
Few visitors every have an emergency or other unfortunate incident while on the OBX. The Outer Banks is one of the safest destinations on the east coast, but little planning and awareness never hurt. We hope these tips and tricks remind you to have a safe and enjoyable vacation. Summer is coming fast, and bookings are filling up. Click the button below to start your OBX beach vacation today.