Vacation Rentals

More travelers these days are tuning into the many perks of staying in a vacation rental instead of a traditional hotel or hostel when they travel. The benefits may not always be obvious, so we’ll highlight a few below.

Search for vacation rentals all over the world with the companies listed here:

Flipkey

Flipkey is a worldwide online vacation rental market.

Airbnb

Airbnb lets you rent a room or entire home, sometimes the primary residence of owners who are traveling, and since it’s a relative newcomer the listings are growing exponentially.

Homeaway

Homeaway is a big directory of rental properties, typically not primary homes for their owners, and the number of listings included keeps growing in destinations all over the world.

Why book a vacation rental?

Travelers who are accustomed to booking stays in hotels or hostels might think that “vacation rentals” are only for people who are staying several weeks in one place, or only for wealthy travelers staying in luxury villas. Neither of these things is true.

Vacation rentals range from studio apartments to sprawling estates (and everything in between) in locations all over the world. Sometimes there is a minimum number of nights you must stay in order to book, but often that minimum is only 2-3 nights – well within the normal range of even those who travel only a week or two each year.

You can certainly spend large sums on expansive vacation homes, but if what you want is an apartment in the heart of the city you’ll be visiting, you are likely to save money by booking a vacation rental instead of a hotel. This is especially true if you’re traveling with another person, in a small group, or with a family. Hotel stays would require multiple rooms, upping the price, and wouldn’t have a common area for relaxing all together. Not only do vacation rentals offer multiple bedrooms, they also come with sitting areas, dining areas, and kitchens.

It’s easy to overlook the kitchen as a benefit of a vacation rental, but it can be a big one. You may be eating out for most of your meals when you travel, but if you’re trying to travel on a budget you can also easily shop at the local markets and cook some of your meals. And of course if you’re traveling with children, you’ll understand immediately how wonderful it is to have a kitchen at your disposal.

Staying in a vacation rental also gives you an opportunity to stay in a real neighborhood, as opposed to tourist Main Street where all the hotels are. You’ll no doubt find parks, restaurants, and shops that are mainly (if not entirely) populated by locals – which is always something indie travelers love.

Vacation rentals vary greatly, and it’s important to read the descriptions carefully to make sure a particular property will suit your travel needs, but it’s time to move beyond the old notion that vacation rentals are only for the rich or long-term travelers.

photo by Pezid