Money-Saving Tips for Your Outer Banks Vacation

vacation money saving tipsEveryone wants to save money while enjoying an Outer Banks vacation, but how can we do this when we want to please our families?

In the article, you will read about some money-saving tips to practice before you leave, while you are traveling, and during your stay. Learn how to spend less and keep everyone happy.

Packing for the Drive

  • If you will be driving to the Outer Banks, pack essential beach gear. Bring your bikes, boogie boards, beach chairs, towels, umbrellas, and anything else you know your family will need. By coming prepared, you won’t need to buy or rent these costly items when you get here.
  • Fill a cooler with drinks and meals for the drive.
  • Download a gas app. For just a couple dollars, you can enjoy a "Lowest Gas Prices Finder" app to find the cheapest gas as you drive.


  • Depending on the length of your trip, rent a car. Sometimes it’s better to add miles to a rental than to your own vehicle.
  • Go the speed limit to save gas. It’s the law and speeding endangers the lives of everyone around you. Besides, who wants to start a vacation with a speeding ticket?
  • Travel with a big thermos. Most gas station shops will let you fill it for just a couple bucks.


  • Buy advance tickets.
  • Be flexible with your travel dates. Sign up for free fare alerts on sites such as and Enter your route and you'll receive emails when ticket prices drop.


  • Bring your dog on vacation instead of boarding him. If you plan to book an Outer Banks vacation rental, Élan Vacations has many dog-friendly vacation rentals to choose from.
  • If you decide to leave your dog at home, ask a friend to take care of him instead of boarding. A week at a kennel can cost up to $300.


  • Rent an Outer Banks vacation home—it’s usually cheaper than staying in a hotel.
  • Book an Outer Banks vacation home during the off season. You will save money and avoid the largest crowds. Élan Vacations offers a large selection of vacation rentals during the off season.
  • Split the cost of an Outer Banks vacation rental with family or friends.

Getting Around

  • Whenever it’s possible, walk, or ride a bike. This is good exercise and you can always find a parking space.


  • If you are longing for a seafood feast, cook our local catch. Skip the restaurant and pick up some fresh shrimp, clams, or fish from the renowned fish markets of Wanchese (Roanoke Island).
  • If you decide to try a nice restaurant, take your family to lunch instead of dinner. A restaurant’s lunch menu is usually less expensive than its dinner version, even when the dishes are the same.

Drinking Water

  • Use individual, refillable water containers. This will both save money and reduce the consumption of plastic bottles.

Attractions and Activities

  • If you are vacationing with a group, ask about group discounts.
  • Download or clip travel guide coupons. Both the Sunny Day Guide and the Outer Banks Visitors Guide are packed with coupons (These guides are also available in a print version at many Outer Banks businesses; check the guide websites for locations).
  • Seek out free tours and attractions. Élan Vacations has a guide to 10 free Outer Banks activities. Click here to download your free copy.


  • Beachcomb for souvenirs instead of buying cheap trinkets. Take home a jar of shells, driftwood, or shark’s teeth. Then you can share a beach treasure—and a story of how you found it.

Are you searching for the perfect vacation rental for your family? Contact Élan Vacations at 866-760-ELAN (3526).

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