Vacation rentals...your vacation freedom!



Vacation rental apartments and homes are gaining popularity, not just for family vacations at the beach but among independent travelers as well. For families, a vacation rental is an easy way to get more bang for your money, a rental home or apartment will almost always yield more space at a lower price than a hotel room. If you’re a tourist who wants to feel like a local on your next trip abroad, a rental can help you do just that. And if you’re looking to make fantasy into reality, renting could be your chance to discover what it really feels like to live in an oceanfront villa in Hawai'i.

There’s no better time than the present to try a vacation rental property, no matter if this is a House or an apartment. With many properties to choose from, baby boomers looking for extended stays, honeymooners longing for exotic luxury and weekend travelers needing a getaway house are catching on to the trend.

Is a vacation rental right for your next trip? Read here!

Most people imagine beach houses or apartments when they think of vacation rentals, but these are just one segment of an ever-growing industry. You can rent an apartment in London or New York or Rio de Janeiro, a villa in Sicily, a brownstone in Brooklyn, a villa in Sweden, a penthouse in Sydney or a treehouse in Puerto Rico. Whatever kind of lodging you’re interested in, no matter how exotic, chances are you can rent it.

In most cases you’ll have more space, more privacy and more money in your pocket when you choose a vacation rental rather than a hotel. You’ll also most likely have access to a kitchen and washer/dryer. If your property is part of a larger resort or condo complex, you might also enjoy privileges like golf, tennis and concierge service.

But...not all rentals are created equal. Private single-family homes may not have the same amenities that condos or villas within a resort community will. When renting the single-family home variety you may forfeit maid service, concierge service, room service and in-house restaurants — and you might even have to bring your own linens. Beach homes usually have more rigid check-in dates than hotels (many rentals are on a set schedule, typically Saturday to Saturday) and may not offer any special perks. Beach chairs, bikes and baby equipment will probably have to be rented on your own.

Resort homes, condos and villas located within a resort community or condo complex generally offer a more complete amenities package. Depending on the destination, linens, beach towels and bath towels may be provided. The property may also offer daily or weekly maid service, often at extra cost. You’ll find more flexible check-in dates in this type of accommodation than you would at a single-family beach house.

In many cases, you can get more space for less money when you choose a vacation rental over comparable hotels in the area.

While some seasonal beach destinations have fairly strict rental schedules (usually Saturday to Saturday) and other properties have seven-night minimum stays, more and more vacation rentals are becoming available for as few as one or two nights making them a viable option for weekend getaways or short city breaks. This varies widely from destination to destination, so be sure to do your homework.

Many travelers seeking to blend into the local culture of a new destination choose to rent an apartment or house because these are often located in residential neighborhoods. Being based there, instead of a hotel in a more touristy area of town, allows you to shop in the neighborhood stores, hang out in the local cafes and get to know your neighbors.

If you really want to feel like a local, this is the way to go. Be sure to speak with the owner before you arrive to get insider tips on where to eat and what to do in the neighborhood.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe you’d rather live large than live like a local — and there are vacation rentals for that too. This is your chance to try out a type of lifestyle you’ve never experienced before to live like a rock star in a secluded villa on the Caribbean island of Mustique, or play lady of the manor in a French chateau.

When NOT to Rent

Though the number of properties available for short-term rental is on the rise, you’ll have much more choice if you’re staying for at least three nights; a hotel may be a better option if you’re only going to be in town for a day or two. Also, if your plans may change at the last minute, keep in mind that a hotel reservation is much easier to cancel than a rental agreement, which is a binding contract between you and the homeowner.

A vacation rental may not be right for you if you prefer to have room service, daily housekeeping, and on-site restaurants and bars (although the number of serviced rentals is growing). Also, some travelers prefer the more structured environment of a hotel rather than the greater self-sufficiency of a vacation rental when they’re in a foreign country.

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