We have traveled with our children for over 15 years, and each time it has become more difficult to find accommodations that suit our needs. There aren’t may single hotel rooms that can sleep five of us, so we end up having to pay for two rooms or a suite. As you can imagine, this becomes cost prohibitive after awhile. Thanks to a growing number of private rental homes on Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, we have found quite a few options that worked for our family. If you haven’t stayed in one, here is why you should consider a private vacation rental on your next family trip.
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Why you should choose a vacation rental on your next trip
1. Vacation rentals can save money
We’ve found many times over that a private home or apartment can be cheaper than a hotel. Some vacation rental sites require an additional cleaning fee, so be sure to include this when calculating your rate. Almost every single time, our accommodation was cheaper than two rooms in a hotel for the same time period.
2. Extra amenities not available at hotels
Many rentals often include wi fi, DVD players, games, books, outdoor toys and games, and sometimes computers. Obviously this is more than you would have in many hotel rooms.
3. Vacation rentals can provide extra space
Our favorite thing about vacation rentals is the amount of space families have to spread out. Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway offer rentals in all shapes and sizes. Choose the fit that is right for you. We usually look for vacation rental homes with at least two bedrooms, a bath (2 are better), a kitchen, and a living area, which is bigger than most hotel rooms. Some home rentals outside a city may include a yard or swimming pool. As a family, we truly enjoy having extra space on vacation.
4. The ability to do laundry
So maybe this isn’t for everyone, but I always look for a washer and/or dryer when booking a vacation rental. A washing machine on vacation means we can pack fewer clothes and luggage will weigh less. I don’t love doing laundry on vacation, but if it’s in the privacy of my vacation rental, I can do it on my own schedule.
5. A kitchen saves money and you can cook your own meals
Our youngest child has a food allergy, so it’s helpful for us to have a kitchen at meal time. We can make allergy friendly food, and the cost of meals on vacation goes down significantly when we’re not eating out. Many vacation rentals come equipped with dishes and basic necessities (salt, pepper, olive oil), so kitchens are set up for families to enjoy.
6. A vacation rental allows you to live like a local
Vacation rentals are often located in neighborhoods, a bit away from all the action. Usually, the home owner or caretaker will greet you at the home and help you get settled. They can tell you where to find the nearest grocery store, where locals like to eat, and how to navigate the transportation system. We love getting to know a destination outside a typical hotel setting. It’s fun to find the local haunts, playgrounds, and explore a new city from the inside. It’s one of the best parts of travel in our opinion, living like a local.
7. Flexibility for guests
Having a HomeAway or Airbnb rental allows guests to be on their own schedule. No one has to leave when housekeeping comes around (you’re the housekeeper) , there’s no set meal time, and some places offer flexible check in/check out.
8. Every vacation rental is unique
We love that every vacation rental is unique. Our apartment in Barcelona had a hammock inside the house, another home in Cooperstown had a private swimming pond, and another had a private beach with gorgeous sunsets every night. Our family enjoys finding something new at each property that we might not find at home. Each vacation rental has something unique, which makes a stay extra special in our book.
9. The location you want for less
Often, we are able to find apartments right in the heart of the action. Hotels in the same area seem to cost two to three times more. If you want to rent a villa, those are available too. Maybe being near the ocean is what you’re looking for, and there are beach cottages to rent as well.
Vacation rentals offer many benefits for families. We learn a lot by staying in a vacation rental that we simply couldn’t replicate in a hotel stay. If you haven’t tried a vacation rental for your family, I would highly recommend it for your next trip. The experience will be worth it.