When booking a vacation, most travelers automatically opt for a hotel or resort. The idea of a vacation rental makes most people think the accommodations will be far removed from all the action and fun of their destination, or that such an option will cost considerably more. Perhaps that’s how things used to be, but not anymore.
Nowadays, there are plenty of options for rentals, many of which exist within major hotels and resorts. Sheraton Vacation Club (Vistana™ Signature Experiences) and Marriott Vacation Club both offer rental villas and condo-like accommodations with full kitchens and multi-bathroom/multi-bedrooms. VRBO features a similar experience but with ‘Vacation Rentals By Owner’ as opposed to a corporation, and many of those accommodations can be found directly on the properties of the most popular resorts. Many resorts feature timeshares. While others have begun to include multi-room family suites as a booking option, many with all the comforts of home including a living area and kitchen.
There’s a lot to be said for opting for a vacation rental. Here are our Favorite 5 reasons.
1. Extra Room
One of the biggest and best benefits of a rental property is the extra room to spread out. With 2 and 3 bedrooms and often more than one bathroom, large families can retain the same kind of privacy they would have at home. That can’t be said for a standard hotel room. Oftentimes, not only does the living room come equipped with a TV, but each bedroom also has one. So, although you likely don’t plan to spend a lot of time watching TV while on vacation, it’s nice to know that guests or family members can retire to their own rooms to watch what they want without any arguments. Also, having a living room comes complete with a coffee table and, usually, a large dining table that will allow for games, cards, or puzzles in the evening or on a rainy day.
2. Extra People
Unlike standard hotel rooms, most vacation rentals do not charge extra fees for extra people, providing the rental can accommodate the number of people that will be staying there. This makes it affordable and less of a headache if your teenager asks to bring a friend or a cousin along. It also works out well for a multi-generational vacation, or two families wishing to vacation together and split the cost.
3. Make Your Own Fun
Some of the most popular destinations for vacation rentals include Aspen, Cabo, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Miami, Las Vegas, and Hawaii, just to name a few. These are places known to be loaded with things to see and do, all of which keep vacationers busy from morning till night. Sadly, so very many activities and attractions cause families to spend money… and lots of it!!
But… having a vacation rental that offers flat-screen TVs allows families to bring along small gaming consoles or DVDs so some nights can be spent enjoying precious downtime, with a big bowl of popcorn right from the microwave in the fully-equipped kitchen. You can take a load off your feet while taking a load off your wallet for a little while. If you didn’t remember to bring your own games and videos along, some vacation rental resorts have them available at the front desk. Meanwhile, rental villas and homes often have their own swimming pool, plunge pool, or hot tub that can be enjoyed.
4. Able to Eat In
Along the same line of thought as ‘make your own fun and save a little money‘ is the option to eat in. Of course, being on vacation you’re likely going to want to experience some of the restaurants in the region. However, dining out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is costly, especially if doing it several days in a row. Young children certainly won’t cooperate with such a scenario. And there’s always the chance that on at least one day of vacay you’ll be too tired or too sunburned to want to get dressed up and go. Having a fully equipped kitchen at your disposal allows for options. Consider a compromise, such as breakfast in your rental and dine out only for dinners. And if you’re the type of person that brings home leftovers from most restaurants, this is the perfect setting to heat them up for a late-night snack.
5. Pack Lighter
There’s a lot to be said for packing light — there’s less to cram into your suitcase or into the trunk of your car, less to pay the airline for baggage fees, and less to put away when you get home. But packing light isn’t easy, especially if you have small children. Thanks to full-size washers and dryers in most vacation rentals, packing less becomes much easier. Instead of taking an outfit for each day and several bathing suits because no one likes putting one on when it’s still wet, you can simply wash and re-wear your clothes and throw your bathing suit in the dryer after each swim. Best of all, you can wash everything before you leave the rental unit so you don’t have to face a ton of laundry when you get home.