There’s nothing as exciting as going on vacation. Taking a trip with the people you want to most spend time with, in a location that is fun, while not working and doing exactly what you want, is the pinnacle of most people’s year. The anticipation that builds months before your vacation builds to a fever pitch days before you embark! In fact, your last day of work before a vacation is perhaps the slowest time will move all year. Let’s face it – the sooner you get to the beach, the sooner you can start forgetting about your troubles.
But let’s not be too hasty!
Thousands and thousands of travelers each year come to Myrtle Beach and arrive early, far before the average check-in time of at least 3pm. These eager vacationers are excited and ready to get started and I can’t blame them one bit! However – some expectations have to be put in place. Many times, I have had to explain to confused, tired, and dejected guests that their room was not quite ready, because it is extremely early. Sometimes, the previous guests in their rental had not even checked out! It’s no easy task to inform guests of their wait. Resorts have a #1 goal of making their guests happy and it is not easy to explain that even though the arriving travelers have waited, planned, and fantasized about this very moment of check-in, that they have to wait just a little bit longer.
Fear not, weary travelers! Even though you are very early – all is not lost! Here are some great tips on what to do if you arrive well before check-in time:
- Plan Ahead – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States. Make sure you have a great “battle plan” weeks before you even load the car. Do your research. This means not only checking on nearby restaurants, attractions, and shopping, but the check-in times and procedures for your resort. This is the #1 way to make sure you are setting your entire party up for a great start!
- Bring a Change of Clothes – Such a great idea if you are heading to the beach! Got time to kill? Hit the waves! Just be sure to bring towels, sunscreen, and a cooler. Many resorts will allow you to use their amenities like pools and changing rooms, so you can get the kids in the pool faster and start regaining more of your sanity from the long ride down!
- Pack a Lunch – There are lots and lots of perfect picnic spots that are surrounded by natural beauty where you can easily kill time while de-stressing after the trip. North Myrtle Beach has McClean Park, The Sports complex, a nature preserve in Cherry Grove, and a gorgeous sitting area off of 36th ave N. All of these places are FREE to visit and have shade and picnic tables. Plus, you can always take a nice walk down the historic Cherry Grove Pier!
- Take a stroll around Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, or Tanger Outlets. Not only can you do research on fun things to do and buy, there’s lots of spots to grab a quick bite to eat. In the summer, there’s live entertainment in the form of street performers at Broadway and Barefoot. There’s definitely something for everyone.
- DO NOT go grocery shopping as soon as you get here after learning your rental is not ready. This is the #1 mistake as ice cream does melt! I have personally seen 2 car loads of travelers get coolers full of ice cream, meats, and dairy at 8:00 in the morning and park their car in the hot sun until 3pm, when their unit was ready. Wait until you get unloaded and send ONE or TWO folks to Wal Mart, Kroger, Publix, or Food Lion. These places get really crowded on the weekends and more people = more stress!
- Don’t immediately unload your entire vehicle and wait for your room. There are lots of moving parts to a heavy check-in day, especially in the summer and boredom can set in very fast. This goes double if you have kids waiting. Remember – PLAN AHEAD.
- Do not check your room’s status every 5 minutes. With the advances in hotel technology, guests can be notified the very second their room is turned clean. Asking the front desk every 5 minutes will stress out everyone!
To sum everything up – plan, plan, plan. Most vacations that start off great, stay great! Make sure you and your guests keep that vacation state of mind and getting there early can be a blessing! See you soon!
Jason Coker is originally from the metropolis of Burlington, NC and is passionate about vacation experiences. An aficionado of music, sports, and all things geeky, Jason spends his free time performing music in several brass groups in the Myrtle Beach area, grilling out, and relaxing with his son, daughter, and lovely wife, Amy.