How do you prefer to spend your nights when vacationing: being pampered in a hotel or relaxing in a comfy rented home? Well, I enjoy both! I have discovered there is a time for hotel stay and there is a time to hunker down in a cozy rented cottage/house/condo. In this blog I will explore the pro's and con's of both, as I have observed through my travels.
Let me start by explaining a vacation home rental. Generally, it is generally a person's vacation home that is not currently in use. It is privately owned and furnished, and is being rented out.
While there is not the perk of room service or every day housekeeping, there is no worry about the trustworthiness of house keepers or other employees when you're not in your room! Both home rentals I have stayed in were personally furnished by the owner with those special little touches that make you feel at home.
Admit it, some of the perks of vacationing at a resort or hotel is the fact that you have someone else to make your bed, bring fresh towels and soap, and cook for you. Renting a personal house leaves all the normal housekeeping chores up to you.
Pro #2: Private, quiet environment to relax after a crazy day of exploring.
No loud partying above your head or housekeeping calls while you're in the shower. Your time is your own and you won't be interuppted!
Con #2: Cost to rent a home will probably be greater than that of a hotel room.
Price differences will of course vary by locations and time of year. However, the cost of the home rental includes much more than a hotel cost. Keep in mind ammenities available, privacy, and all around comfort when deciding between an extended stay at a hotel or renting a house/condo.
Great websites to locate your next world-wide Vacation Rental Home:
Hotels can provide great destinations for your vacation. Family deals and romantic get-a-way packages can also draw you in. However, hotels can be a hustling depot preventing you from getting as relaxed as you had hoped.
Pro #1: Housekeeping will take care of daily cleaning.
Simply stated: You're on vacation - who wants to clean!? Just, make sure to secure any valuables (jewelry, electronics) when you leave your room!
Con #1: Sanitary Concerns.
You never know who - or what - have been staying in that room. Common hotel sanitary concerns include dirty sheets (stained with who knows what bodily fluids - not to get graphic here, sorry.) and bed bugs. For more information on bed bugs see my previous blog: Bed Bug Protection Tips for the Traveler.
Pro #2: Cheap rooms and Online Deals.
Thanks to travel websites and trip planners such as Priceline and Expedia there are some great deals to be had on fabulous hotel rooms!
Con #2: Never really know what you're going to get until you get there.
The quality of a hotel can drastically change among locations. A 3-star hotel in Orlando may be esquisite with glass chandiliers and plush leather couches, while a 3-star hotel just off the highway in a neighboring town is "the best in the area with free HBO in every room!" Make sure to do your research ahead of time on the exact hotel where you plan to stay.
Travel Advice: A Time and A Place
For a quick weekend trip to the beach where most of your time will be spent laying in the sand or splashing in the water, a hotel will do the trick.
For a cross country road trip hotels are great - and usually pretty cheap. However, consider spending an extended weekend in a favorite area and check out home rentals available to boost the experience.
For a week vacation at the beach, I recommend checking out homes for rent. Staying in a rental house will enhance the quality of your vacation, in my opinion.
For international travel I highly recommend renting a vacation home. Having your own private abode avoids the hassle of communication issues with hotel staff. You have a relaxing escape to completely enjoy the country's ambiance. Of course, hotels are great for weekend or overnight excursions.
A Personal Experience With Vacation Home Rentals
My first stay at a rented personal vacation home was in Poreta, Italy in 2006. It was the vacation home of an American woman. I, along with my traveling companions, spent an incredible month exploring the countryside of Italy, with this villa being "home-base." The expansive train system provided great opportunities for weekend excursions to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Amalfi. For overnight trips we stayed in hotels, but it sure was nice to have a cosy house to come home to and relax for a few days - and wash clothes. The owner provided an extensive personal library and I greatly enjoyed reading some of her favorites!
This villa was found and rented through Vacation Rentals By Owner (www.vrbo.com).
Please enjoy some of my personal pictures from my stay in a rented Italian villa. If you have any experiences with renting vacation homes, please share in the comment section!
Also visit the Andy Thornal Company International Travel Collection: