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The best vacation rentals in the Outer Banks on Airbnb and Vrbo

Business Insider Logo By ehochberg@businessinsider.com (Jennifer Ceaser) of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 11: When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.The Outer Banks is a 130-mile-long string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, easily reachable by car. Dotted with quaint beach towns, sleepy fishing villages, and 75 miles of protected coastline, the Outer Banks is ideal for travelers looking to book a private home and practice social distancing.We selected highly-rated vacation homes across the Outer Banks on Vrbo and Airbnb that range from $90 to $258 per night to start.Read more: Are Airbnbs safe? We spoke to experts, a company representative, and an Airbnb host to share everything you should know before booking someone's home.When the hit Netflix series "Outer Banks" debuted in April 2020, it introduced many people to this string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina.But I've known about them for decades, having vacationed every year in the Outer Banks — often shortened to OBX — since I was a teenager. This once low-key destination has since boomed in popularity thanks to wide, white-sand beaches, relatively affordable rental homes, and proximity to many large East Coast cities. Ramshackle single-story beach cottages have given way to sprawling, multi-level houses and fancy restaurants, gourmet stores, and kitschy shops have all moved in. Yet even with this explosive growth — and the persistent snarl of summer traffic — the Outer Banks still manages to retain its natural beauty and charm. The centrally-located beach towns of Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, and Kill Devil Hills tend to be more crowded, but offer family-friendly amenities, while if you head farther north to Corolla, or south to Hatteras, you'll be rewarded with miles of pristine beaches, rugged dunes, lighthouses, and the occasional wild horse.And as travel reopens following the COVID-19 shutdowns, all that coastal scenery and space make the Outer Banks especially appealing. Of course, safety cannot be guaranteed without a vaccine, and it's important to follow guidelines from the CDC and WHO, consider your own risk, and confirm rules mandated by states for visitors. Additionally, follow safety tactics such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing.However, it's reassuring to know that experts consider renting a vacation home to be one of the safer options, especially compared to hotels. Airbnb and Vrbo homes are primarily private accommodations, which lowers the potential risks and many offer contactless check-in and are implementing stringent new cleaning measures.The Airbnb Enhanced Clean was developed with medical and hospitality experts and includes upgraded cleaning standards, a room by room checklist, and booking buffers. Not all hosts are taking part though, so be sure to check if a listing is participating.While Vrbo has not implemented a similar protocol — and its Book with Confidence Guarantee does not cover losses related to COVID-19 — some property owners have outlined new cleaning policies for listings. Here's a handy guide understanding the differences between the platforms so you can decide which is best for you. In the Outer Banks, you'll find everything from cozy vintage cottages to massive new-builds on both Airbnb and Vrbo. We selected top homes from each platform based on the following criteria:Listings are for the entire home, cottage, or stand-alone apartment to avoid interaction with owners or other guests, in line with recommended COVID-19 precautions.Each property is priced between $90 and $258 per night to start, depending on the season.All are top-rated Airbnb and Vrbo listings located throughout the Outer Banks with a review score of 4.6 or higher.Each property has a variety of appealing amenities including private pools, hot tubs, and decks with water views, and many are within walking distance of the beach. While nightly rates start under $258, these are average prices, and rates fluctuate by the season. Rentals near the beach are generally more expensive and homes often come with minimum stays and cleaning and service fees, which are not included in nightly rates. Finally, some amenities or facilities may be closed as a result of COVID, so be sure to contact the host for more information prior to booking. These are the best vacation rentals in the Outer Banks on Airbnb and Vrbo, sorted by price from low to high.Read the original article on Business Insider

The best vacation rentals in the Outer Banks on Airbnb and Vrbo

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

When the hit Netflix series "Outer Banks" debuted in April 2020, it introduced many people to this string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina.

But I've known about them for decades, having vacationed every year in the Outer Banks — often shortened to OBX — since I was a teenager. This once low-key destination has since boomed in popularity thanks to wide, white-sand beaches, relatively affordable rental homes, and proximity to many large East Coast cities. Ramshackle single-story beach cottages have given way to sprawling, multi-level houses and fancy restaurants, gourmet stores, and kitschy shops have all moved in. 

Yet even with this explosive growth — and the persistent snarl of summer traffic — the Outer Banks still manages to retain its natural beauty and charm. The centrally-located beach towns of Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, and Kill Devil Hills tend to be more crowded, but offer family-friendly amenities, while if you head farther north to Corolla, or south to Hatteras, you'll be rewarded with miles of pristine beaches, rugged dunes, lighthouses, and the occasional wild horse.

And as travel reopens following the COVID-19 shutdowns, all that coastal scenery and space make the Outer Banks especially appealing. Of course, safety cannot be guaranteed without a vaccine, and it's important to follow guidelines from the CDC and WHO, consider your own risk, and confirm rules mandated by states for visitors. Additionally, follow safety tactics such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing.

However, it's reassuring to know that experts consider renting a vacation home to be one of the safer options, especially compared to hotels. Airbnb and Vrbo homes are primarily private accommodations, which lowers the potential risks and many offer contactless check-in and are implementing stringent new cleaning measures.

The Airbnb Enhanced Clean was developed with medical and hospitality experts and includes upgraded cleaning standards, a room by room checklist, and booking buffers. Not all hosts are taking part though, so be sure to check if a listing is participating.

While Vrbo has not implemented a similar protocol — and its Book with Confidence Guarantee does not cover losses related to COVID-19 — some property owners have outlined new cleaning policies for listings. Here's a handy guide understanding the differences between the platforms so you can decide which is best for you. 

In the Outer Banks, you'll find everything from cozy vintage cottages to massive new-builds on both Airbnb and Vrbo. We selected top homes from each platform based on the following criteria:

  • Listings are for the entire home, cottage, or stand-alone apartment to avoid interaction with owners or other guests, in line with recommended COVID-19 precautions.
  • Each property is priced between $90 and $258 per night to start, depending on the season.
  • All are top-rated Airbnb and Vrbo listings located throughout the Outer Banks with a review score of 4.6 or higher.
  • Each property has a variety of appealing amenities including private pools, hot tubs, and decks with water views, and many are within walking distance of the beach. 

While nightly rates start under $258, these are average prices, and rates fluctuate by the season. Rentals near the beach are generally more expensive and homes often come with minimum stays and cleaning and service fees, which are not included in nightly rates. Finally, some amenities or facilities may be closed as a result of COVID, so be sure to contact the host for more information prior to booking. 

These are the best vacation rentals in the Outer Banks on Airbnb and Vrbo, sorted by price from low to high.

Read the original article on Business Insider
© Airbnb; Vrbo; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

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