Blog

Why You Should Take a Winter Beach Vacation

The beach, ocean, vacation, etc. are all pretty synonymous with summer. But whose to say that a winter beach vacation can’t be just as fulfilling?

5 Reasons You Should Take a Winter Vacation to the Beach

1. You’ll Get More Exercise

During the winter we become stagnant in a lot of ways. The moment the temperature freezes so do we. We tend to spend much more time on the couch or in bed than we did in the previous months and as a result, our bodies are not getting the exercise they need. We feel sluggish and slow, and even menial tasks can be difficult when we feel this way.

However, just being at the beach and near the ocean makes a person want to go outside more. It’s hard to resist taking a walk or going for a run when it consists of sand between your toes and fresh ocean air.

2. Warmer Weather Makes You Feel Better

It’s not exactly surprising that warm weather has positive effects on the mind, body, and soul. Most people admit that they feel better on sunny days. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who spent at least 30 minutes outside in pleasant weather had happier moods. Another round of studies  showed that people assigned to be outdoors during warm, sunny days exhibited much more positive mindsets than their counterparts.

So with all this science being presented, there’s no longer any excuse. Don’t let low temperatures at home get you down. Lucky for you Oceanside, CA stays on average 70 degrees year-round.

Happy mom and baby at the beach

3. You Can Still Do All Your Favorite Winter Activities and More

A lot of people don’t mind spending the winter months in a colder climate because they love the activities that come with the cold. However, I challenge you to find a family winter activity you can’t do while also at the beach. Want to go (water)skiing or build a snowman? We got you. You even have the ability to relax in front of a fire in your condo! Plus so much more that Oceanside has to offer!

Beach snowman

4. Few Things Beat A Winter Sunset

That’s right, I said what I said and I stand by it. Winter sunsets are some of the best sunsets you will ever experience. Now I understand that most people would say that any sunset at the beach is beautiful. Now that statement is true and we agree. However, as it turns out, sunsets are, in fact, better during the colder months of the year, according to NOAA meteorologist Stephen Corfidi. Corfidi says peak sunset season is November through February. You won’t want to miss the spectacular colors that look as if they’ve been handpicked out of a Crayola box of crayons.

5. Start The Year Off Right

The holidays are over and you’re feeling spent. But it’s a new year and you want to start the year off right, so what do you do? Truly, the best way is to spend it is relaxing and recharging at the beach. You can’t take on the world and implement new things into your life when your mind and body are overworked and drained. So take a step back before you take a leap forward. That way, no matter where the new year takes you, you’ll remember that you started it at the beach.

Sunrise at North Coast Village
About On-The-Sand:
On-The-Sand Vacation Rentals has been family owned and operated since 1997. It all started when Scott & Vickie Warr fell in love with North Coast Village and bought their own condo for family getaways then decided to rent it out over two decades ago. Scott & Vickie founded On-The-Sand upon the core principles of genuine and personable service, honesty, and going the extra mile. We have grown quite a bit since then and On-The-Sand has even been passed down a generation, but we still stand behind our core principles and take great pride in the quality of customer service we’ve given over the years. Our goal is that once you rent from us you will feel at home and make it a yearly tradition. Join the fun and let us help you plan your Oceanside beach vacation today!

Why you should book direct instead of using Airbnb or VRBO.

Why you should book direct instead of using Airbnb or VRBO Blog

Why you should book direct instead of using an online travel agent like Expedia, Airbnb, VRBO, etc.

It is crazy how far the vacation rental industry has come. 10-15 years ago, most people didn’t even know vacation rentals were an option and thought hotels/motels were their only choice for a place to stay. Now travelers have the choice of booking different types of accommodation and on multiple different platforms, but did you know booking a vacation rental on a travel agent site is costing you 10-30% more? It’s true! Most online travel agent sites such as Home Away, Airbnb, VRBO, etc, all charge guest fees on top of the property price, as well as they charge most owners and property managers a commission in order to list on their sites which forces property managers to increase the rental rates on those platforms to help cover the extra costs. Aside from just cost and savings there are other unseen benefits from booking direct with a property management company like us at On-The-Sand.com. Here are some things you should know before booking with an online travel agent (OTA) and why you should book direct with the vacation rental owner or property manager if you can.

Save Money

As we mentioned, OTA sites charge additional “guest” or “service” fees that increase your rental price. This fee is also not advertised or shown until the end of the booking process. So, after all that time spent finding and deciding on the perfect unit, they sneak in with the additional cost. Booking a vacation rental directly through a property manager’s site, like On-The-Sand.com, will save you from paying those additional fees as well as any difference in raised rates to cover commissions or host fees. The price you see on our website is the price you pay. Why pay more when you can pay less? 

Below is a breakdown of the top OTA sites and the fees that get added for guests.

Chart of Top Vacation Rental Websites and Fees

Missed Deals

Often times, we will offer discounts or specials on our rentals that don’t reflect onto 3rd party sites like TripAdvisor, HomeAway, and Airbnb. Now not only are you paying an OTA site more for guest fees, but you are also losing out on the potential of additional savings.

Last minute deals

No Property Knowledge

OTA sites are essentially a marketing platform for owners and property managers. None of these sites know anything about the rental or procedures that are associated with it. They state that they offer 24/7 customer service. However, when you have questions before, during, or after a booking, the customer representatives won’t be able to help you.  They will redirect you back to the owner/property manager to answer any questions. The same goes for maintenance concerns while at the property. So, when you really think about it, why are you paying “guest fees”, when it doesn’t necessarily create a better experience for you?

Instead, booking directly with us will put you in contact with a live person. Our team will be able to answer all of your questions about the property from the start. We have intimate knowledge about the destination and can show you the best rental for your needs. Plus, we can direct you to activities, restaurants, and more.

Compare for yourselves!

Before you jump to book a rental, do a little research. Compare pricing on an OTA site and our site. For example, we used one of our properties to show you the price difference on each site. There is almost an 11% difference in price on VRBO and over 30% difference on Airbnb. This alone should convince you why you should book direct. To think you could be using that money for something else.

Compare pricing of online travel sites vs booking direct

Do I need travel insurance? Why the answer is YES.

You’ve saved and budgeted for your trip. You’ve picked your favorite location and now have found your dream condo on the beach. You are ready for your getaway. Maybe it was a little expensive, but you know it will be worth it. You’re in the process of checking out when a question pops up that you maybe weren’t expecting…. “Would you like to purchase travel insurance?”

You have a feeling that maybe you should, especially after looking over the cost of what you are paying for your trip, but your finger hesitates over selection button. “Is travel insurance really worth it?” you wonder. “I could spend that money on a nice dinner in Oceanside instead… Why should I buy travel insurance? What does it even do for me?”

Do I need Travel Insurance Blog by On The Sand

5 reasons you should be purchasing travel insurance for your stay

1. Can you afford to lose the money?

You never know what is going to happen and there is ALWAYS a possibility where you could book a trip not be able to complete it and be completely out the total cost, regardless of the circumstances.

We understand that unforeseen things do come up and where we would like to help our guests as much as possible, we have to hold up the end for our owners as well. By asking for special exception to our cancellation policy you are in turn making it so the owner of the condo is now your insurance agent and putting the complete loss on them when they have bills to pay the same as anyone else. If trip insurance had been purchased then everyone wins, well except maybe the insurance company but that’s exactly what they are there for.

Now, our cancellation policy does allow for you to have a chance to be refunded a portion of your paid amount and that is usually the case with most cancellation policies. They do what they need to protect the company from major losses and be fair to the consumer as well. However, you could potentially get a 100% refund with travel insurance.

Just like auto insurance that protects you and your vehicle if you get into a car accident, or health insurance that covers your medical bills if you get sick, travel insurance is a way to minimize your financial risk when traveling.

There are some people who say, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford travel.” There is a lot of truth in this statement. If the total cost of your trip is going to be more than you feel like you can safely lose, then you may want to consider purchasing trip insurance.

Losing money

2. What if you need to cancel your trip?

If the year 2020 has taught us anything, it is that Life is unpredictable. You never know what may happen from the day you plan your trip to the day you travel. What if something comes up that means you have to cancel your trip?

Travel insurance covers non-refundable trip costs if you are prevented from taking your trip due to a covered reason. Things like extension of the school year or school breaks being moved, losing your job, death of your traveling companion or a family member, etc. These covered reasons are usually those considered “unforeseen.”

Know that not everything will be covered under trip cancellation. Things like being afraid to travel or having your pet die unexpectedly, and other reasons you may not wish to travel would not reasons to submit a claim. However, most things that come up to cause you to not travel are covered. The full list of covered reasons will be listed in the Policy. Again, feel free to use your 10 day look and see if the coverage is right for you.

Are you covered beach writing

3. Delayed Travel

Weather is something you have absolutely no control over. Adverse weather can lead you to experience major travel delays or cause you to cancel your trip altogether. Did you know that in 2019  airline carriers in the United States canceled 1.9% of their scheduled domestic flights? That’s tens of thousands of flights and millions of patrons left without being able to travel. In June 2019 alone, over 15,000 flights were cancelled which was 19% more than June 2018

Flight delays, flight cancellations, traffic accidents, natural disasters, and many other unexpected events could delay your trip. Now take it a step further. If your flight gets cancelled and you are unable to get to your destination, you wouldn’t want to spend the money on a condo or hotel room you’re not even staying in, even if it is delayed only by a day or two. But how can you recoup those losses?

A travel insurance plan can cover you in many of these situations so you can focus on some of the other details during these types of inconveniences and not worry additionally about the cost or losses.

Cancelled flight

4. Sickness or Injury

We all know that sickness or injuries can happen at any time and usually when we least expect it. Nobody wants to get sick and we do what we can to keep our bodies healthy but things happen. But also, what if it isn’t you that gets sick or injured? What if your travel companion gets sick and can’t travel? What is a family member that’s not traveling with you is hospitalized or passes away and you are unable to make the trip because of it? In those situations, many travel insurance coverages could help you out.  Travel insurance also covers you if you are injured or become sick DURING your trip. It can cover medical costs as well as Trip Interruption coverage could reimburse you for the portion of the trip that you missed

Sick relative in hospital

5. Travel Insurance is Very Affordable

Cost is probably the number one reason people don’t buy travel insurance. We understand! If you’re already paying thousands of dollars for your long awaited beach vacation, it’s tough to spend even a little more on insurance.

However, when looking at the cost of insurance versus what you would lose if you needed to cancel last minute, got delayed, sick or injured, the cost is very affordable. For the CSA trip insurance available through our website the cost is 6.95% of your total stay, making it a literal fraction of what you could potentially lose.

If that pricing still feels too much, feel free to shop around and compare other insurance agents. If you’re traveling for work sometimes your work will have a partnership with a travel insurance company as an additional employee benefit. Just like other insurances out there, you can find the cost and coverage that is just right for you. Still not 100% sold or maybe want to review the policy completely? Remember, CSA and most other travel insurances come with a 10 day free look clause so if you’re unsure, purchase the policy and if you don’t feel like the coverage will be worth the cost you can get a 100% refund of the insurance cost

travel insurance form

Have Peace of Mind

Millions of people decide to travel each year and we love them for it!  However, a very small percentage of those travelers purchase trip insurance. Usually, because they don’t understand the benefits or importance of trip insurance.

Overall it comes down to the fact that it can offer you peace of mind so you can relax and enjoy the time before and during your trip instead of worrying about everything that could go wrong. And that peace of mind is pretty priceless. My grandma always said that insurance is the one thing you pay for that you hope you never have to use. But just in case, you’ll be glad you have it.

Woman looking at travel insurance online

8 Free and Unique Things To Do At The Beach

Eight free and unique things to do at the beach blog post by On-The-Sand

A day at the beach doesn’t have to be your same old swimming and suntanning, although those are all always options of course. It also doesn’t have to break the bank by renting or buying new equipment to enjoy at the beach. Spice up your beach day with this list of 8 unique and FREE things to do at the beach with your family.

1. Build Sand Sculptures

Sand Castles are a beach classic and are a great fun activity for kids at the beach. But, if your kids have a “been there, done that” attitude, introducing them to sand sculptures might be the perfect refresh this classic needs for them. The possibilities are endless from creatures to landmarks to whatever their imagination can create. Think of it as nature’s playdoh. You can even add your own bodies to the mix and give your family members the mermaid or shark tail they’ve always dreamed of.

Sand Scuplture making on Oceanside Beach.

2. Look for dolphins

Oceanside beach is known for its impressive sea wildlife and dolphins are constantly spotted among the waves. Make it a point to spend some time dolphin gazing while at the beach. You won’t be disappointed when you catch them swimming along in front of you.

Common dolphins sited in Oceanside, CA

3. Go Crab Hunting

Another activity that involves Oceanside beach wildlife that provides more of an active interaction is crab hunting. This is a great evening activity to do just after the sun goes down and is a fun activity for all ages. It’s simple and easy, but Sand crabs are pretty fast, so you’ll have to move quickly. All you need is a shovel, bucket, and flashlight. One of our favorite places we’ve found for this sport on Oceanside Beach is on the Northside of North Coast Village around the Jettys. Once your crab hunting adventure is over, be sure to release them back to the water.

Crab hunting on Oceanside Beach

4. Boogie Boarding

Now, this activity does require a bit of special equipment, but the good news is, if you are staying in one of our condos at North Coast Village we supply boogie boards for your use during your stay for free included with your rental! Boogie Boarding or Body Boarding is an in the water activity that will make you feel like an ocean athlete.  Simply wade out into the waves and wait facing the shore for a big one to come towards you. Just before it breaks, put your chest on the board and start to paddle to the beach, soon you’ll feel a large push from the wave behind you that will send you sailing into the shore.  Be patient with yourself as not every wave is a winner and it can be hard to judge them accordingly but you’ll know when you get that exhilarating feeling of gliding with the waves.

Boogie boarding in Oceanside, CA

5. Beach Combing

Most people do this very passively any time they are on a beach. They may be walking by and see an interesting shell or rock and pick it up. But the real fun comes when you are actively searching. You never know what you may find when you are purposefully looking so make an activity out of it. Collect unique rocks, seas shells, sea glass, sand dollars, etc. Make a challenge to see who can find the most interesting piece or most of one of a kind. Once the collecting is over, that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. You can take the pieces back to the condo and look them up online to learn more about the different types of shells you’ve collected or put them together in an art piece or keepsake.

Beach combing in Oceanside, CA

6. Workout/Yoga

Even if you don’t do it regularly at home, there’s something special about working out on the beach. And if getting a major sweat on is not your idea of an ideal beach activity, Yoga is a terrific low impact option where you can engage your body but still feel relaxed and at peace and enjoy some perfect Zen moments listening to the waves crash as you move through different poses.

Yogo outside North Coast Village on Oceanside Beach.
Yoga outside North Coast Village

7. Have a bonfire

A bonfire on the beach is a quintessential summer activity that not enough people participate in but you can make it part of your beach days this year. On Oceanside beach, you may only make a fire in the firepits provided but there are plenty on the Northside of the complex for you to camp out at. Roast some hot dogs or marshmallows and enjoy the ocean waves

Roasting hot dogs on Oceanside Beach

8. Watch the Sunset

Sometimes at the end of the day, we are so busy thinking about how tired we are, what’s next in our plan, packing up, etc that we forget to enjoy those last moments that can really make the day special and extraordinary. Few things are better than laying back and just admiring the beauty of nature with the people you love.

Watching the sunset

The simplest way, to sum up, is just to say that going to the beach is going to be fun, no matter what you end up doing. So relax, stick your toes in the sand, watch the waves, and know that there are plenty of things and activities to enjoy.

About On-The-Sand:
On-The-Sand Vacation Rentals has been family owned and operated since 1997. It all started when Scott & Vickie Warr fell in love with North Coast Village and bought their own condo for family getaways then decided to rent it out over two decades ago. Scott & Vickie founded On-The-Sand upon the core principles of genuine and personable service, honesty, and going the extra mile. We have grown quite a bit since then and On-The-Sand has even been passed down a generation, but we still stand behind our core principles and take great pride in the quality of customer service we’ve given over the years. Our goal is that once you rent from us you will feel at home and make it a yearly tradition. Join the fun and let us help you plan your Oceanside beach vacation today!

Top 5 Educational Attractions in Oceanside

Top 5 educational attractions in Oceanside Blog Post

“Back to school” looked very different for most students this year. A lot of kids are learning from home and if they are attending school in person, most extracurriculars and field trips have been cut or postponed. So you may be looking at how to add a little more hands-on and in-person educational experiences to your student’s schedule to break up the day to day grind. Whether your kids are homeschooling, E-learning, or in a more traditional environment, Oceanside makes the perfect extension to their classroom. We’ve compiled a list of the top educational attractions in Oceanside that will help to supplement their curriculum or simply add a little educational fun to your family vacation.

1. Oceanside Museum of Art

Located within blocks from the beach, the Oceanside Museum of Art is a perfect afternoon stop in Downtown Oceanside. With a mission to educate and inspire the public through a diverse range of engaging exhibitions and programs, it is one of the top educational attractions in Oceanside.

However, the Oceanside Museum of Art is not your traditional museum. The OMA is funky, dynamic, and supportive of local artists. Not only do they have a large range of exhibitions from landscape paintings to studio furniture, neon sculpture, and more, but the OMA also offers fun interactive activities, concerts, films, lectures, and classes to keep patrons engaged. It’s a magical space to fire up your brain, heart, and creativity!

Moreover, General admission for adults is only $8 and FREE for students and children under 18, making it a terrific educational attraction for very little cost.

Kids enjoying the Oceanside Museum of Art

2. Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center

Blink and you might miss this hidden gem along Coast highway. If you do, go back because it is certainly worth the stop.

The Audubon Center is easily one of the best local experiences for viewing animals and nature. If you are a birder or like to learn about animals in the area, this is a must! Great for little kids, and adults alike.

Above all, the location directly on the lagoon makes it special. The short ¼ of a mile walk through the reeds is quiet and provides a great opportunity to see various birds and reptiles. Walk the nature trail ready to take pictures. Go early in the morning for the best bird-watching. The vegetation next to the nature center is all native and maintained by the local plant club.

BVAS has created an 8 Stop Trail Guide for those exploring the lagoon trail. It’s a perfect way for individuals and families to learn more about the plants around the lagoon. They also have a birding and animal checklist which makes for a fun scavenger hunt like experience. After a short time exploring you’ll see why it’s one of the top educational attractions in Oceanside

Inside the center there are displays and exhibits which showcase local birds and animals in their natural habitats. These displays are very realistic, using taxidermy birds and animals and actual plants.

In addition, one of the wonderful features of this particular attraction is the fact that the BVAS teaches over 3,000 children annually on native plants and animals, and the importance of preservation. Make sure you take the time to stop by. It’s interesting for everyone, a wonderful visit whether you are a local or a tourist passing through the area.

Bird watching at the BVAS Nature Center in Oceanside, CA
Nature Center lookout, photo by Visit Oceanside

3. California Surf Museum

It’s close to impossible to visit Oceanside beach and not see someone surfing the waves near the pier. So after enjoying watching surfers at the beach, there’s no better time to learn more about surfing and the California Surf Museum is the perfect place for it.

The California Surf Museum is probably one of the most well-known and popular educational attractions in Oceanside. The museum is the perfect balance between fun and education. You’ll be impressed at how well the exhibits tell a story, often untold. There is everything from the history of surfboards, to the inspirational story of Bethany Hamilton, to an interactive exhibit showing how wind, temperature, and tides contribute to predicting the best time to hit the surf. The staff is also very friendly and knowledgeable and are eager to answer any questions you may have.

The museum has acquired a rare set of archives and collections gathered over more than 30 years, comprising one of the world’s richest troves of surf history, making this stop worth the effort.

History of Surfboards at California Surf Museum in Oceanside, CA
History of Surf Boards at the California Surf Museum

4. Oceanside SEA Center

The best kind of field trip is one that includes hands-on, real-life experiences. That’s exactly what you get on a tour with the Oceanside SEA Center. The Oceanside SEA Center is a locally owned and operated marine adventure experience that offers sportfishing and whale watching, along with a marine science learning experience for “student explorers.”

You won’t have to travel far to enjoy this educational attraction either. Their office and dock are located just north of North Coast Village in the picturesque Oceanside Harbor Village. Adults, teens, children, and all will enjoy getting out on the open ocean. Learn more about marine life, sustainable fishing, ocean eco systems, and more. The Captains at the SEA Center are knowledgeable, funny, entertaining, and the perfect guides to marry fun and education in one experience.

No experience required! You will learn, laugh, and have a blast.

Floating Marine Biology science lab with Oceanside Sea Center
Captain Joe Cacciola aboard the Sea Star on one of his floating marine biology science labs showing some of the students the catches made from the otter trawl net.

5. Mission San Luis Rey

Seeing a historical landmark in person truly makes history come alive. Mission San Luisy Rey is the largest of the 21 missions on the California Mission Trail. Currently home to a community of Franciscan Friars, the Mission is open daily to the public to tour the rooms and grounds.

Take a self-guided tour to learn why the missions are so important to California and get a sense of what life was like in the 1800s. You’ll be amazed at the rich history and beautiful grounds. Don’t miss the accompanying museum with its collection of beautiful art and artifacts, including a document from Abraham Lincoln.

You will not be disappointed with the beauty and history of it all. A worthwhile educational visit. Mission San Luis Rey is a must-see cultural and educational attraction in Oceanside California.

Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA
About On-The-Sand:
On-The-Sand Vacation Rentals has been family owned and operated since 1997. It all started when Scott & Vickie Warr fell in love with North Coast Village and bought their own condo for family getaways then decided to rent it out over two decades ago. Scott & Vickie founded On-The-Sand upon the core principles of genuine and personable service, honesty, and going the extra mile. We have grown quite a bit since then and On-The-Sand has even been passed down a generation, but we still stand behind our core principles and take great pride in the quality of customer service we’ve given over the years. Our goal is that once you rent from us you will feel at home and make it a yearly tradition. Join the fun and let us help you plan your Oceanside beach vacation today!

Why Oceanside Beach Should Be Your Next Beach Vacation

Why Oceanside Beach Should be your next beach vacation blog

There are several beaches off the coast of California that many consider the best for vacations. While others may be more well known or popular we are here to show you why Oceanside beach is the hidden gem of Southern California and why it should be your destination for your next beach vacation.

Family Friendly

Oceanside beach is one of the most family-friendly beaches in all of southern California. It caters to various family groups by providing, Volleyball courts, playgrounds, fire pits, and more on the beach. As well as having separate areas for swimmers and surfers to ensure everyone’s enjoyment and safety. There’s something for everyone and it’s perfect for your family beach vacation. Whether you’re playing sports, boogie boarding, swimming, building sandcastles, collecting seashells, or just enjoying time all together.

Family vacation on Oceanside beach

World Famous Events

Oceanside Beach is world-famous for international surfing and skating competitions, Ironman Triathlons, and speed boat and outrigger races. Popular surfing contests include the largest all-female competition and lifestyle series Supergirl Pro, as well as the US Open Adaptive Surfing, World Bodysurfing Championship, Oceanside Longboard Club Contest, Scholastic Surf Series and more. Each are held here annually and people travel from all over to participate or be spectators. These world-famous competitions make for perfect entertainment options while on your beach vacation. You won’t want to miss these unique experiences.

Woman Surfer on Oceanside Beach

Historic Oceanside Pier

Not only does Oceanside beach provide wide areas of sand and killer waves but Oceanside beach is also home to the historic Oceanside Pier.

Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast. It has been built/rebuilt 6 times over the span of 130 years and it measures 1,342 feet long. This length is especially appreciated because it allows visitors and locals alike to walk far out over the Pacific Ocean. Here you can watch surfing and sea life from a unique vantage point not available on other beaches. The wildlife exposure you experience on the pier is second to none. The Oceanside Pier is a great place to see Seagulls, Pelicans, Dolphins, Seals, Sting Rays, Fish, and more. Join the many people fishing directly off the pier or enjoy a fantastic meal at the famous Ruby’s Diner.

Historic Oceanside Pier in Oceanside California

Less Crowded

Compared to other nearby beaches such as La Jolla or Corona Del Mar, Oceanside beach experiences much fewer visitors. As a result, it also has relatively small crowds. This allows you to experience a true small-town beach atmosphere and not feel like you are packed in like sardines. You also won’t feel like you have to rush an experience because someone else is waiting behind you. Plus, less crowded and fewer visitors means more sand overall! No one wants to walk a rocky beach and you certainly won’t have that problem in Oceanside, California.

Oceanside Beach

Plenty To Do For Non “Beachers”

Relaxing on the sand or swimming in the waves isn’t for everyone. But that’s another reason why Oceanside Beach is the perfect vacation spot. There is something for everyone, including the non “beachers”.

Running parallel with the beach is the pedestrian-friendly strand, a one-way street perfect to run, bike, scooter, rollerblade, etc. Oceanside Harbor is also a great spot for shopping, seeing wildlife, watersports, and more, all while avoiding the sand.

There are also plenty of restaurants nearby. You can go to one of the many in downtown Oceanside just east of the beach, or in the Harbor to the north.

Oceanside Harbor shops and restaurants

North Coast Village

Finally, one of the best things about Oceanside Beach is that it is the home of North Coast Village.

North Coast Village is the only complex in Oceanside that sits directly on the sand. That means only a short walk through the complex stands between guests and relaxing on the beach. It also means that you have assigned, secured parking right at the beach as well which in some cases can be thought of as priceless.

Aside from the location and proximity to the beach, North Coast Village also offers a host of resort-like amenities. Enjoy tropical grounds, 24-hour security, two heated swimming pool, two hot tubs, a commercial grilling station, game room, weight, and cardio room, and several laundry facilities. North Coast Village is truly a one-stop location for an unforgettable vacation. It’s the perfect place to stay to enjoy Oceanside Beach.

North Coast Village Beach Vacation Rentals in Oceanside, California
About On-The-Sand:
On-The-Sand Vacation Rentals has been family owned and operated since 1997. It all started when Scott & Vickie Warr fell in love with North Coast Village and bought their own condo for family getaways then decided to rent it out over two decades ago. Scott & Vickie founded On-The-Sand upon the core principles of genuine and personable service, honesty, and going the extra mile. We have grown quite a bit since then and On-The-Sand has even been passed down a generation, but we still stand behind our core principles and take great pride in the quality of customer service we’ve given over the years. Our goal is that once you rent from us you will feel at home and make it a yearly tradition. Join the fun and let us help you plan your Oceanside beach vacation today!

Free Things For Kids In San Diego During October

Free things for kids in san diego during october by On the Sand

Did you know that every October the city of San Diego and surrounding areas offer up free attractions for kids throughout the month??

San Diego has always been one of the best spots for a family vacation, but the month of October brings an additional incentive for parents.  For the whole month, more than 100 attractions offer free admission or deals as part of Kids Free San Diego.

It began 30 years ago when the San Diego Zoo decided to celebrate the month it was founded by admitting children free throughout October. Then the San Diego Museum Council joined in, and now there are more than 100 participating partners.

Below is a list highlighting some of the top local activities we know your kids wouldn’t want to miss this October. With even just putting two or three of these together, you’ve got savings worth traveling for.

1. San Diego Zoo

Lions, and tigers, and Koala Bears, oh my! The San Diego Zoo is the most visited zoo in the United States. Travelers have also cited it as one of the best zoos in the world. It is always a favorite for both kids and adults and this big-ticket item is offering some of the best savings this October. One paying adult can bring up to 5 kids (ages 11 and younger) free all month long.

The San Diego Zoo is asking all tickets to be purchased online ahead of arrival to limit queue lines and interaction with employees/guests. One adult pass for the San Diego Zoo costs $60 and child passes cost $50 normally. By taking advantage of this deal with Kids Free San Diego you could end up saving $250 on this one attraction alone. You can get more information on what to expect when you arrive, and tips for a safe visit to the San Diego Zoo here.

San Diego Zoo Monkey

2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo’s sister park is an impressive, 1,800-acre refuge for more than 2,600 animals who roam freely, offering a safari-like experience for visitors. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The park is home to cheetahs, zebras, condors, African rhinos, giraffes, and more! Just like the San Diego Zoo, every paying adult can bring up to 5 kids free of charge during October.

Both the Zoo and Safari Park are operating with limited attendance capacities. Guests can expect smaller crowds on weekdays but expect larger crowds on busier weekends. You can visit their website to view estimated wait times so you can plan ahead. Please click here for Zoo and here for Safari Park.

San Diego Safari Park

3. Oceanside Adventures – Whale Watching and Dolphin Tours

If you’re staying with us at North Coast Village in Oceanside California, you won’t have to travel far at all to enjoy this October Kids Free perk. Oceanside Adventures Luxury Cruises offers whale watching and dolphin tours from Oceanside Harbor which explore the coastal Pacific Ocean. Sail aboard the beautiful 50 foot, 49 passenger NEW catamaran which offers covered seating and a stable platform with unobstructed 360-degree views on one deck (no stairs to take). This is truly a National Geographic worthy experience and your kids will not be disappointed. With the purchase of TWO full-priced Adult tickets, ONE child (up to age 12) rides free. Reservations can be made online or by calling (888) 507-1130. Tickets are available at the kiosk in Harbor Village.

Oceanside Adventures Whale and Dolphin Watching Tours

4. San Diego Air and Space Museum

The San Diego Air and Space Museum is an exciting place for kids to learn, explore, and have great fun. The museum includes a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world. Kids will also enjoy interactive exhibits including MaxFlight® simulators and an interactive kid zone. The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the month of October up to 2 kids (Ages 2-11) get FREE admission with one full-price paid adult. Contact the museum at 619.234.8291 and mention Kid’s Free when purchasing a ticket.

San Diego Air and Space Museum Kids Free October

5. California Surf Museum

Visit California’s Surf Museum in Oceanside, CA, and learn all about California’s Surf history! The California Surf Museum is dedicated to archiving and displaying surfboards, surf art, surfing equipment, photographs, magazines, videos, and more.  The museum features many unique pieces of surfing memorabilia, including an exhibit that includes the shark bitten board Bethany Hamilton was riding the day she lost her arm. The museum is open daily from 10 am – 4 pm. Adult tickets are only $7 and kids, ages 12 and under, are FREE. No reservations required.

Claifornia Surf Museum in Oceanside California

So although the lazy days of summer may be over, there’s still plenty of fun to be had and at a great price! So, pack up and head to southern California and take advantage of San Diego Tourism Authority’s annual Kids Free promotion. You can visit their website for a complete list of everything offered during Kids Free San Diego.

About On-The-Sand:
On-The-Sand Vacation Rentals has been family owned and operated since 1997. It all started when Scott & Vickie Warr fell in love with North Coast Village and bought their own condo for family getaways then decided to rent it out over two decades ago. Scott & Vickie founded On-The-Sand upon the core principles of genuine and personable service, honesty, and going the extra mile. We have grown quite a bit since then and On-The-Sand has even been passed down a generation, but we still stand behind our core principles and take great pride in the quality of customer service we’ve given over the years. Our goal is that once you rent from us you will feel at home and make it a yearly tradition. Join the fun and let us help you plan your beach vacation today!

Why Vacation Rentals Are a Better Choice Than Hotels

On The Sand Why Vacation Rentals Are Better Than Hotels

When it comes to taking a family vacation, there are many decisions to make. Where to go? How you to get there? What to do or see? Where to eat or shop? After settling the big question of “where to go” the next question is usually always, “where should we stay?” In this article, we’ll point out why we think vacation rentals are a better option than hotels.

When you think about booking a place to stay for a vacation, it is understandable that a hotel is usually first to come to mind. They are everywhere, generally large, tall buildings, owned by major corporations, and for the longest time were your only option.

But what does a hotel offer aside from a bed in a room? There may be some amenities such as a pool, continental breakfast, or an exercise room. But what about having these amenities and feeling comfortable, safe, and at home? What about space for everyone to stretch out and have privacy? What about extra costs and saving money?

With these questions in mind, we’ll show you that vacation rentals are the superior place to stay for any group. From small families looking for a safe, fun adventure, to friends getting away for Spring Break, all the way up to extended family reunions wanting to have a great time making memories on vacation together.

Your Home Away from Home

As Dorothy once said, “There’s no place like home”.  Although that may be true, why not try and find a home away from home to vacation in.

One of the best reasons to book a vacation rental is that it comes with all the things you would have at your home. A vacation rental comes with a full-size kitchen fully stocked with everything you need to cook and prepare meals, full-sized appliances such as a dishwasher to help you clean up, and a standard-sized fridge to store all your delicious food. Not to mention, access to your favorite coffee at a moment’s notice, high-speed Wi-Fi, cable, extra linens, games, toys, and much more to really allow you to relax and feel at home.

Ocean Front Cottage Remodeled kitchen for vacation rental in Oceanside California
Full-sized kitchen in every unit stocked with all your cooking needs — D31 – Hunters Hideaway

Hotels may be able to provide some of these comforts, but most hotels are run by major corporations with large staffs. Therefore, hotels have to charge for nearly everything, including things like Wi-Fi, cable, parking, etc. Most vacation rentals come stocked with everything you need at no additional cost.

More Cost-Effective

When vacationing with family or friends, costs can add up quickly. Factor in the cost of dining out for 3 meals a day and having to book two (or more) rooms to accommodate everyone, and you can blow most of your budget before you even get going. That is why a vacation rental is a much better value than a hotel.

Sure, dining out is still fun and we recommended it in moderation. But having a place to create home-cooked meals for at least a portion of your meals can save you hundreds of dollars. This also gives a reason to visit a local farmers market or festival where you can purchase local products and support the economy.

Also, guests can expect to pay up to 50% less per square foot than an average hotel room when they book a vacation rental. Plus, staying in a vacation rental that can hold more people allows you to split the cost between your family and friends, overall a much cheaper alternative than nightly rates for multiple rooms at a hotel.

When the whole group stays under one roof and cooks’ meals together, it is much easier to afford the kinds of adventures that make vacations unforgettable. The savings gained by staying in a vacation rental allows guests to do other things such as a whale watching tour, ocean helicopter ride, or surf lessons.

Surf Lessons in Oceanside California on Oceanside Beach with North County Surf Academy
Surf Lessons for the whole family with North County Surf Academy

More Space

Have you ever tried to cram a family of 4 in a hotel room? What about more? With only 325 square feet to share on average, a hotel room can soon feel like the inside of a clown car or sardine can. With a vacation rental, you will have plenty of space to really stretch out in style.

Forget about kids bickering about who gets what side of the bed and what to watch on the only TV in the hotel room. In a vacation rental, you’ll have plenty of beds and sleeping space to accommodate your whole party and multiple TVs to entertain. Not to mention the other entertainment options we mentioned before that come with a vacation home such as games, books, and toys.

Your vacation can be much more stress-free in a vacation rental where you can enjoy time together in comfortable spaces such as a living room, patio or balcony, or around a dining table but be able to retreat to your own space when you need some privacy.

Overall a vacation rental means more space to rest and relax after exploring the local area and a great space to spend time while you stay in.

North Coast Village Oceanside California Vacation Rental G222 Living Room
Large Living areas to relax in during your stay — G222 – Paradise Found

Pick the options that are right for you.

From what to eat, to what to wear, to what to do in our everyday lives, everybody appreciates options and that is exactly what you get when you book a vacation rental instead of a hotel room.

When booking a hotel room, guests do not usually get to pick the location, and bed configurations are limited at best. Just because a hotel room says it can accommodate “a family of four” does not mean that it will accommodate YOUR family of four.

Vacation rentals allow guests to select the perfect option for them and their group. From cost, to location, to bed configurations, extra amenities, and more. Want an ocean view but have 3 kids that need their own beds? Need no stair/elevator access for grandma and grandpa? Group of friends looking to save money but still have good beach access and a pool? Whatever the case may be, there is a vacation rental that can fit your needs, unlike the cookie-cutter mold of a hotel room.

North Coast Village D19 2 bedroom oceanfront condo
Queen/Twin Bunk Bed with a twin trundle pull out means 3-4 kids can share one room while each sleeping in a bed. — D19 – Beach Front Bliss

Have you ever stayed in a vacation rental before? What other benefits did you find staying there rather than a hotel? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

About On-The-Sand:
On-The-Sand Vacation Rentals has been family owned and operated since 1997. It all started when Scott & Vickie Warr fell in love with North Coast Village and bought their own condo for family getaways then decided to rent it out over two decades ago. Scott & Vickie founded On-The-Sand upon the core principles of genuine and personable service, honesty, and going the extra mile. We have grown quite a bit since then and On-The-Sand has even been passed down a generation, but we still stand behind our core principles and take great pride in the quality of customer service we’ve given over the years. Our goal is that once you rent from us you will feel at home and make it a yearly tradition. Join the fun and let us help you plan your beach vacation today!