Our family planned a July 4th getaway pre-pandemic. My children have been spoiled by summer vacations all over the place but we’ve never visited the Outer Banks, where I spent vacations every year when I was a kid. So, when our good friends invited us to join them, we jumped on the opportunity.
There were several decisions that I made early on that were rather fortuitous. First, I bought cancel any time coverage through Allianz Travel Insurance. That would give me 80% of my investment back should I have to cancel last minute, which certainly was comforting when Covid-19 started to rage. You can purchase this policy from us, keeping in mind that you must get it the day of the initial trip deposit.
Second, each family had their own condo on a very quiet, less crowded part of the coast. What a relief to not have a shared space, so that we could all do the things we were comfortable doing without causing too much of a stir.
So how’d it go?
The trip was a success. My top tips for success are as follows:
- I called the rental agency the week before departure to review their Covid cleaning policy and make sure I was clear on what was and wasn’t available in the unit. This allowed me to pack appropriately. I also managed to hold on to a stash of Clorox wipes, so having those as needed gave me some peace of mind.
- It’s a 4 hour drive, so plan on one stop only. We stopped at the Morris Farmer’s Market, in Barco, which our friends had already sussed out and reported that the bathrooms were clean and well maintained (my biggest fear). On the Wednesday we headed South, there was hardly anyone at the market and the bathrooms were spotless. On our Sunday return the market was packed but the bathrooms were still clean. For the most part people were wearing masks indoors and there was plenty of outdoor area if you didn’t want to be under cover or shopping for goodies.
- I brought two dinners, fully prepared and easy to heat up and eat. I also brought all breakfast and lunch foods, coffee, beverages and snacks to keep everyone happy, and a few ‘treats’ so we felt like we were on vacation. We planned to purchase seafood one night from a market and prepare at the condo, and had enough leftovers for another night. We never had the need to head to the grocery store.
- Don’t be afraid to go out and have fun! Watching the sun set over Jockey’s Ridge took me right back to my youth, when we used to vacation at the Outer Banks every summer. It was glorious to be away and experiencing the joy of travel!
What did I bring that we sell at Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters? A lot!
–Julie, July 2020