How to Plan the Perfect Family Vacation in Ocean City, MD

Boardwalk areaYou look forward to it all year long. You save up for it. And you dream about a summer beach vacation that is nothing but fun and relaxation. So, what can you do to make sure your vacation meets or exceeds everyone’s expectations. In a word, planning.

A little planning goes a long way when it comes to the family vacation in Ocean City, MD. Planning helps to keep stress at bay and drama to a minimum. At Vantage, we know a lot about planning happy vacations. Our team has put together some expert tips to help you get the most from your trip to the beach.


Be mindful of the dates

Ocean City, MD, is a hub of activity all summer long, attracting families from across the Mid-Atlantic region. There are some weeks that are especially popular, including the week after high school graduation, around the Maryland State Firemen’s Association Convention in mid-June and the days surrounding the 4th of July holiday. You may want to plan your trip for or around events like these, depending on your preferences for crowds.

Create an itinerary (but stay flexible)

Mom and son on carousel“What are we going to do today?” It’s an innocent enough question, but if you don’t have answers, or if everyone in your crew insists on doing their own favorite activity, you can end up wasting too much of your precious vacation time.

Before you even pack up the car, call an official family meeting. Ask everyone for ideas about what they want to see and do, like walking the Boardwalk, renting bicycles, spending a day at Jolly Roger amusements, fishing and crabbing off the pier and visiting the shops along Coastal Highway. You can even do a little research before your family meeting to learn about any new attractions and activities.

Once you have your list of options, rough out a daily schedule so everyone can see their ideas represented. You’re certainly free to change and adapt as your week plays out, but this way you will at least have a starting point. Here’s a helpful hint: If you plan an activity that could go late into the evening, avoid choosing something too early the following morning. Vacation can be tiring!

Take time for adventure

Ponies on beachHead off the beaten path. Go outside your comfort zone. Whatever you want to call it, you can make some of the best vacation memories by experiencing the thrill of an expedition and the pursuit of the unknown. (File this under “go exploring” for the itinerary mentioned above.)

If you’ve been to Ocean City before, seek out areas you’ve never seen. Take a day trip over to Assateague Island. Tour the neighborhoods and restaurants in Ocean Pines or West Ocean City. Take some bikes for a cruise along the peaceful bay.


Unplug as much as possible

If you don’t have to check in with work, just leave it behind. (It will be there when you get back.) If your job demands that you check email or call in, try to pick just one or two time periods each day—preferably before or after the times you have set aside for fun activities. And set your email auto-reply so people know you may be a while before getting back to them.

Cook up a meal plan

Family eating at kitchen islandFor some, going on vacation means hitting the restaurant circuit for every meal, every day. Others prefer to dine out only occasionally and prepare some meals at their vacation rental home. Wherever you fall in this spectrum, it’s smart to map out your meal strategy in advance.

Figure out first how many times you want to eat out, and for what meals. Then, similar to how you created your itinerary, ask family members if they have any favorite places or “musts” as far as restaurants go. You can whittle the list down from there if necessary.

If you plan to cook some meals, bring some of your ingredients from home if space allows. You may be able to get some items for less by shopping close to home.

Don’t let weather rain on your parade

View of Old Pro Golf's indoor mini golf

It’s summertime in Ocean City, MD. The weather can be predictably unpredictable. A sunny morning can quickly turn into a downpour. That won’t dampen your spirits if you prepare ahead of time with a list of rainy-day activities. Take a trip to the movies at one of Ocean City’s several theaters. See what’s weird and wild at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on the Boardwalk. Play a friendly game of indoor putt-putt at Old Pro Golf. Or put your puzzle-solving skills to the test at the Escapomania escape room. For some good old-fashioned family fun, break out a favorite boardgame and snacks.


Choose the right accommodations

View of vacation rental living roomThis. Above all else, this. You inevitably spend lots of hours together “back at the place.” (See above about rainy days.) If that place isn’t comfortable, if it’s too crowded, if it’s not properly maintained, if it’s too far from everything, your harmonious together time could be in serious jeopardy.

Fortunately, finding and booking the right vacation rental for you family vacation in Ocean City, MD isn’t the roll of the dice it used to be. The Internet is incredibly helpful at researching properties and areas throughout Ocean City. Your best bet is always to work with local professionals who know the town and how to pair families with the right vacation rental home.

At Vantage, this is our specialty. Be sure to include us as part of your Ocean City vacation planning. Call one of our friendly reservation specialists today at (410) 723-2002 to book the right accommodations for your summer vacation. You can also browse and book direct at Remember, booking direct through Vantage ensures you get the lowest possible rates.


Founded in 2007, Vantage Vacation Rentals specializes in delivering exceptional experiences for both vacation property owners and their rental guests in popular Maryland destinations such as Ocean City, Annapolis and the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as the Delaware beaches and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Vantage serves owners with extensive property marketing and promotion as well as comprehensive property management services to help maximize rental income opportunities. With over 550 managed properties, Vantage makes it easy for vacationing guests to find and reserve the perfect option—then enhances their stay with exclusive benefits and discounts. To learn more about Vantage Vacation Rentals, visit and