Traveling as a couple is very different than traveling with an extended family. Instead of planning exciting adventures to keep the kids occupied, you get a well-deserved chance to pamper yourself. There is no need to keep up with teenagers who have abundant stores of energy or sleepy youngsters who need to be in bed by eight o’clock.
Going on vacation as a couple once you’ve reached retirement age further alters this scenario. While you have a chance to rekindle relationships and visit new locales, most people have to slow down the pace of travel just a bit. Group tours that rush you through foreign countries make these locations more bothersome than beautiful. Hotels and motels with strict rules make travel downright annoying.
This is why my husband and I absolutely love being able to rent a home in another part of United States. In fact, we find it best if we don’t have to leave the East Coast at all. With these travel parameters in mind, we chose to visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina, someplace we hadn’t visited in many years.
One thing we do have in our golden years is “time on our hands.” This enables us to take our time in choosing where we wish to stay. Better yet since we’re officially retired from our jobs, we can take longer vacations without having to rush home or telecommute from afar. Without this in mind, I set forth to find suitable lodging that met all of our personal requirements.
Since there are only two of us, we didn’t need a very large home. Although we wanted at least an extra sleeper couch or daybed, just in case we had an overnight guest. If possible, we wanted a home with more than one bathroom. I’m also fine with bringing my own personal bed and bath linens. I would, however, like to find such items as fluffy pillows and freshly laundered blankets already on-site.
A good friend of mine recommended a website that has over a hundred condominiums and houses for rental times of a week or more. But truth be told there are plenty of websites with several listings worth exploring.
We decided to rent a condo instead of an entire house. There’s no need for us to pay for rooms we didn’t need in the first place. What we do need is an incredible view of the ocean and a cheerfully furnished “home away from home.” For this reason, we rented a condominium appropriately named Bailey’s Bliss located in a community known as Colony by the Sea.
It had one spacious master bedroom and two full bathrooms. As guests in this community, we were granted full access to its community pool from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. This was a bonus for us, as we enjoyed going down to the pool and meeting new people. We got a chance to talk to everyone from international travelers to local residents who’ve lived in the Outer Banks for many years.
From the online photographs, we knew that this was an oceanfront condo complex. We would have incredible views right from our windows and be able to experience the healthy salt air of the sea. This community also featured tennis and basketball courts for those people who enjoy participating in sports. The shoreline was an easy walk from our building and we had full access to the beach.
Inside our condo, we had a full kitchen with all the comforts of home. There means a microwave, dishwasher and convenient seats by the counter. This allowed us to eat a quick breakfast inside or take our morning coffee out on the balcony. If we wished to grill our dinner there were outdoor grills just downstairs, as well as laundry facilities.
To arrive at our destination, we drove down the coast. Since we preferred to stay in one place, our car spent most of its time safely parked in its designated parking space. We thoroughly enjoyed having two television sets, as well as CD and DVD players. Luckily I brought along my laptop computer, because our condo had Wi-Fi service. This enabled me to check my email daily and keep up with family.
I can’t begin to tell you how relaxing this vacation was. Perhaps it has something to do with our proximity to the ocean. Our trip only lasted weeks and yet it felt like we were born to live in the OBX. In the future, I would like to make this a yearly trip. We’ll return on our own, with other family members or with a group of close friends.