You can have a great New Jersey shore experience just by hopping in your car and grabbing a room at the first motel you see. But things may go a little more smoothly if you do a little planning.
Even the most spontaneous person, who doesn’t want to plan out one second of their trip, should at least investigate accommodations before they head down the shore.
If you’re planning your trip for a holiday weekend — Memorial Day Weekend, Fourth of July Weekend, Labor Day Weekend — you WILL need reservations. Come on! It’s the shore… it’s a long weekend for a lot of folks… it’s gonna be PACKED.
Before you make your hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast choice, think about what you’re going to use the room for. If you’re just planning to use the room for sleeping and storing your stuff, do you need a five star hotel or a fancy bed and breakfast? However, if you’ve got a romantic escape in mind, you may want to splurge for a bigger room or an ocean view.
Be web savvy — check the discount travel sites and also your particular choice of hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast’s site — you may find extra discounts if your vacation dates are a little flexible.
Possible Budget Busters… You May Pay More For:
- Planning your vacation for a holiday weekend — Memorial Day Weekend, Fourth of July Weekend, Labor Day Weekend
- Oceanfront rooms
- Luxury Suites
- Waiting until the last minute to reserve your rooms!
Again, flexibility is key here. Not that being flexible will be a problem… there are PLENTY of places to eat at the New Jersey shore! It all depends on what you’re hungry for.
If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in the right place! Head towards the ocean or the bay and you’re sure to find the catch of the day served fresh. Keep in mind that you may have to wait to be seated.
You can always grab a quick bite at the boardwalk… burgers, dogs, sausage, fries, ice cream, pizza, funnel cakes, zeppoli, fudge, salt water taffy… all your favorites are here!
- Call ahead and ask if your restaurant of choice will take reservations
- If your restaurant is packed, order a meal to go and have a picnic
- Friday and Saturday nights will be the busiest nights for dining out — avoid the crowds with an extra-early or extra-late meal
What to Do
A little research before your trip means you won’t run out of things to do. You don’t want to hear the dreaded words: “I’M BORED!”
Not that you should try to plan out every second of your vacation time… schedules are hard to keep when you factor in unpredictables like traffic and weather. And make sure you leave a day or two free for lounging on the beach. You’re not going to come all this way and not spend at least one day on the sand… are you?
So if you do make a schedule, be flexible. Keep in mind that you probably won’t end up checking off everything on your list. If you expect the perfect vacation… you’ll probably end up being disappointed! Nothing is ever “perfect”. But with flexibility and a sense of humor, you’ll have a GREAT New Jersey shore vacation.
Have each person pick a few things they’d really like to do during the vacation. To be fair, make sure everybody gets to do at least ONE thing from their list. You’ve got a wide variety of activities available — boardwalk arcades and rides, incredible golf courses, water parks, historical sites, nature preserves, shopping and antiques, and much more!
And don’t forget to leave room in your vacation schedule for a little spontaneity. You may drive past something you can’t resist stopping for. Like Lucy, the elephant-shaped building in Margate! Or the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine. The New Jersey shore is full of fun places; a combination of preparedness and flexibility will let you best take advantage of everything the shore has to offer.