My family and I are huge fans of vacation rentals when we travel. We’ve rented houses, condominiums or apartments in Hawaii, Mexico, Colorado and Utah in recent years. As an alternative to standard hotel rooms, vacation rentals offer many benefits. Here are just five:
Full kitchen for cooking: Sure, you don’t want to cook three meals a day on vacation, but having a kitchen and accompanying countertop appliances is so great for making an inexpensive, filling breakfasts (so you don’t have to rush out of your condo each morning), as well as storing picnic fixings for lunch (a great way to save some cash). When my children were babies and toddlers, it was so important for me to have a refrigerator for milk and apple juice.
Space to spread out: Especially as my children grow older (they are now 10 and 12), we like to have more space than a standard hotel room provides. Between our luggage, toiletries, electronics and multiple plug-in chargers, our stuff alone takes up a lot of space! With living room, a couple of bathrooms and multiple bedrooms, we have plenty of space for ourselves and our gear.
Multiple bedrooms for privacy: Indeed, we can make-do with two queen beds in a standard hotel room, but I much prefer it when we have two bedrooms at our disposal in a vacation rental. That way, my husband and I can watch TV in our own bedroom before bed, and the children have their own sleeping area — they are known to get up before us!
Laundry room, wi-fi or other perks: The ability to wash dirty clothes on a week’s vacation is a huge deal. After all, I can sooner pack carry-on luggage, if I know I can do some laundry halfway through our trip (saving money on airlines’ checked baggage fees). Many vacation rentals have a washer/dryer, as well as other perks like included wi-fi, access to a game room or community room, an on-site hot tub or living-room Wii. Many vacation rentals include a binder from the owners, where they detail recommended local restaurants or sightseeing attractions or leave take-out menus; it’s always a nice perk to get a local’s perspective on a new town!
Price: Vacation rentals are an incredible deal. Especially when traveling with many children, extended family or friends, renting a multi-bedroom unit is cheaper than booking multiple standard hotel rooms. Given that you get so many “extras” with a vacation rental – like a kitchen, more space and other perks – the better deal is often the rental home, condominium or apartment. Compare prices with standard hotel rooms and you’ll see the value!