We are so excited that you have chosen to make the Outer Banks your vacation destination. Planning your trip is fun but it can also be daunting to figure out every detail about what to pack! Our guide will help you plan your trip, worry-free.

For even more ideas about preparing for your trip, please read this blog post.  It is jam-packed with useful information!

beach supplies
family packed for a beach day


Your OBX Essentials Checklist: Time to Start Packing!

beach towels | great escapes obx

For the House

Your Great Escapes Vacation Rental will come complete with all linens, comforters, blankets, pillows, bath towels, and kitchen towels. Bathrooms will have liquid soap at each sink. We proudly offer a lovely welcome basket which contains starter supplies of Dawn dish soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, a sponge, paper towels, toilet paper and dishwasher pods. Here are some things you should bring from home:


Cooking Supplies

Our kitchens have just about everything you need to whip up a meal for your crew, but if you have a favorite item that makes meals easier for you, feel free to bring it! This might include a waffle iron, wok, cast iron pan or pizza stone.


Kitchen Items

We suggest that you bring a supply of garbage bags, foil, Ziplock bags, paper towels, napkins, and other basic kitchen items for your stay. Many of these might be in your rental kitchen from other guests but we don't replenish them.


Favorite pillow or blanket

If you have a pillow or blanket you just love, bring it along! You will appreciate that comfort from home both in the car on your way and during your stay.


Beach Towels

While our rentals are stocked with one set of towels per person (bath, hand, & washcloth) we do not provide beach towels. Please bring your own!


Medications & First Aid

Put together a simple first aid kit to bring to the beach. Include the basics like bandaids, antiseptic, pain relievers, stomach medications and more. Aloe, motion sickness medication, and insect repellant are also great additions.


Baby & kids items

Consider bringing a baby gate, a clip-on high chair and some toys if you are traveling with little ones.


Food & Snacks

You can either pack up the car with food before your trip or stop by a local grocery stores upon arrival. Either way, take full advantage of your vacation rental kitchen! Bring spices & condiments, although some might be left behind by other renters. You can check once you arrive!


Drinks for All Ages

Stay properly hydrated during your vacation. We like to buy the large gallon size water jugs to refill our reusable water bottles. You may also want to buy juice boxes or Gatorades for the kids. Once the sun goes down, grab some adult beverages for a relaxing evening in!


Portable hamper

You can find a foldable mesh hamper at any big box store for just a few bucks. They really come in handy for corralling your family's laundry or dirty beach towels. Bring one or two.


Laundry pods & dryer sheets

These pods travel well and you will probably do quite a bit of laundry during your vacation.


Bath Products

All of our sinks have soap next to the sinks, but you will want to bring along your own shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, and lotions.


Cosmetics & Hair Care

Bring makeup, sunscreen, and other beauty items along to help you look your best on your beach vacation!


For Fun
Our rentals are usually stocked with games and puzzles, and some even have complete game rooms and private pools! Here are a few items you can bring from home for maximum fun & relaxation:



Use your phone or a beautiful SLR camera...either way, you can never take too many photos.


Electronics & Chargers

Consider labeling each charger with the device name. You can even color code them for each person or device. Don't forget a charger for the camera!


A Great Book or Magazine

Books and beaches go perfectly together. And maybe you will finally get through that stack of Southern Living or Real Simple magazines on your coffee table!


Ocean Fun

Boogie boards, lifejackets & floats should all be on the list. Lifejackets are especially necessary for younger children, especially because we sometimes underestimate the riptide risk, even for confident swimmers.


Swimming Stuff

Bathing suits, coverups, sunscreens (both sprays and lotions are recommended), sunglasses and hats should obviously be a huge part of your packing list if you are visiting us during the summer months!


Fishing Pole, Nets & Tackle

Fishing is a popular activity on the Outer Banks and there are several spots from which to fish, whether you prefer fishing from a pier, the sound, or the surf. You can also rent fishing gear from our many shops and piers so if you don't pack your gear you are still covered.


The Ultimate Beach Bag

Download our Ultimate Outer Banks Beach Bag Checklist for our tricks and ideas for an awesome beach outing!

We love the idea of using a fitted sheet instead of a beach towel (read our blog for this idea and more) and we never forget to bring a mesh bag for seashell collecting!

Beach Bag


For Your Dog
If you choose to bring your dog along on vacation, here are the items you shouldn't forget. Check out our dog-friendly vacation rentals!


Food, treats & bowls

It's important to feed your pet the same thing on vacation that you feed at home to prevent tummy upset. Bring her food and treats along, and her familiar bowls, too!


Leash, harness, and collar

We highly recommend keeping a collar with your phone number on your pet at all times while visiting the OBX! It's also a good idea to have your pet microchipped for a quick reunion should he get lost.


Pet medications

Don't forget to bring any daily medications your pet might need. Make sure he is up to date on his heart worm and flea medication.


Pick-up baggies

Keep the beach beautiful and clean up after your dog!


Baby sunscreen

Especially for dogs with pink or white noses, a gentle baby sunscreen can protect them from the sun's harmful rays, which can damage their skin just as it does ours.


Old towel for drying off

Please don't use our rental towels to wipe off your dog's sandy paws! Just bring an old towel from home for this necessary task of bringing dogs to the beach.


Simply click here or on the images below to download and/or print the PDF!

Packing List for the Beach | Great Escapes OBX
Packing List for the Beach | Great Escapes OBX

If you forget to bring certain items, don't panic. We can help guide to you to our local grocery stores, clothing shops and rental businesses to make sure you have everything you need to make your vacation perfect.

One last suggestion...bring an empty bag or suitcase to leave in your trunk. You might need it for souvenirs to bring back home!

See you soon!