Picture yourself and your family doing all the vacation-y things that make you happy. Now, instead of returning at night to a cramped, impersonal hotel room, envision yourself coming home to a home. That's right. More and more people are eschewing hotels in favor of vacation rental homes. For most people, especially families with children, staying in a vacation home is better in every way.
You may have assumed that it cost too much or maybe didn't understand the logistics of finding the right place to stay. But the Internet has changed everything. Not only is it increasingly easy to find the perfect home, it's often less expensive than getting a hotel room!
Figures back up that assertion. For instance, HomeAway recently did a side-by-side comparison of two lodging options in Orlando, Florida: a 228-square-foot King Room at the Radisson Worldgate Resort (a popular three-star hotel) and a 1,700-square-foot private home with three bedrooms. For a party of one to two adults staying seven nights, the hotel room was slightly less expensive: $1003 vs. $1050 for the vacation rental house. But when you add more guests, the rental home becomes far more reasonable by comparison. While its price stays the same no matter how many people stay there, the hotel's price skyrockets: $1,746 for three to four occupants and $2,619 for five to six occupants.
Price isn't everything, of course. There are many other reasons to choose a vacation rental house (or condo or chalet or cabin or villa or farmhouse) over a hotel. Here are a few examples:
You can find exactly what you're looking for no matter where your vacation takes you. Even if you have to go to a small town for, say, a relative's wedding, there's probably a vacation home in the vicinity.
Once you go the vacation home route, you probably won't go back to hotels. Yes, it takes a little effort on your part and you may have to contact several different owners before you find the right home, but the results are definitely worth it. Start planning your next vacation right now. When you're relaxing in a comfortable home in a few months, you'll be glad you made the effort.
Christine Karpinski is the author of How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment and Profit from Your Vacation Home Dream: The Complete Guide to a Savvy Financial and Emotional Investment. Her books, combined with her seminars, media appearances, and Web site (HowToRentByOwner.com), have helped thousands of people purchase and manage their vacation homes. Today she serves as director of OwnerCommunity for HomeAway, Inc. (HomeAway.com), the worldwide leader for vacation rentals on the Internet. Each year, more than 50 million travelers visit the HomeAway global marketplace that is comprised of more than 130,000 vacation rental homes across 100 countries.
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