Affordable Group Accommodations
by Jennifer Lynn
The Vacation Home Renter's Peace of Mind Guide
Home Away from Home (Really!)
Exchanging Homes for Vacation
Chances are you've probably heard of timeshares before. And while there's a lot of information out there regarding the pros and cons of timeshare ownership, there's substantially less information concerning the availability of vacation timeshare rental properties. Rentals offer benefits to families and large groups of travelers that traditional hotel accommodations cannot, so if you fall into one of these two groups, read on.
Finding Deals on Vacation Properties
Many owners only rent their timeshare units when they are unable to use them for an unforeseeable reason, and they generally ask for a rental price that simply covers their maintenance fees for that year. As such, there are fantastic deals available to those willing to do a little research.
The Internet has made it increasingly simple to find the perfect vacation rental property by allowing you to compare the quality and price of various accommodation alternatives. Generally speaking, vacation rentals tend to be less expensive than reserving a series of hotel rooms when you're traveling with four or more individuals. Moreover, as soon as you start adding more guests, the rental unit becomes less and less expensive for each individual as the cost is divided a number of ways.
Look at it this way. A decent hotel room in Orlando with two double beds costs a family of four at least $100 a night. For a weeklong vacation, that's $700 for accommodations (excluding tax). On the other hand, an owner of a one-bedroom timeshare (with a full-sized sleeper sofa in the living area) who wants to rent his property has annual maintenance fees of about $500 dollars; even if the owner wants to make a 30% profit from the rental, the family still only pays $650.
The prices here are comparable, but the quality and amenities offered by the timeshare unit are far superior. Sized similarly to a condo or an apartment, vacation rentals provide extra living and dining space, as well as fully-equipped kitchens. In this way, families can save even more money by preparing some of their meals instead of always eating out.
While there are many fantastic timeshare rental deals available, some owners will attempt to make a substantial profit by doubling or even tripling their maintenance fees for the rental cost. This is when good market research comes into play; it's important to shop around rather than settling on the first property you encounter. There are a variety of ways to search for and compare rentals including through online resellers, Internet auctions, and even classified ads in local newspapers.
There are, of course, other reasons (aside from price and convenience) to consider family-friendly timeshare rentals for your next vacation. Here are a few examples:
- When you rent vacation properties, you'll never have to worry about the unpleasant surprise of additional charges (like those for a roll-away bed) being tacked onto your stay. And there's no charge for additional guests if they want to tag along.
- As a renter, you enjoy all the benefits of ownership without any of the hassle or commitment. If the owner from whom you are renting has a timeshare property that includes complimentary use of or discounted rates for the resort's golf courses or spa services, for instance, those extras are passed onto you at no additional cost.
- Many resort rentals have on-site laundry facilities, so you can pack less, making it easier to travel and eliminating the possibility of having to pay exorbitant fees for your luggage when you fly.
- You may have separate sleeping areas for parents and children. Unlike hotel rooms with two beds, timeshare units can have a separate bedroom where parents can enjoy the benefits of a little extra privacy.
- The rental process is constantly becoming easier and more convenient. You can deal directly with an owner or work through a rental agent depending on your preferences.
- Enjoy the luxury of vacationing in a world-class resort and all the associated amenities including complimentary activities, tours, and access to pools as well as recreational and health facilities.
The Internet is the best place to begin your search for the ideal rental property as well as to gain access to a variety of resources that will help you learn more about timeshares, vacation rentals, and other accommodation alternatives.
No matter what size group you're traveling with, there's probably a vacation timeshare rental that can meet your needs and sleep everyone comfortably. And comfortably does not mean on a wiry roll-in bed.
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