Vacation time is always something to look forward to with much anticipation. Most see it as a great way to spend time with their family, as a personal reward or to explore new and exciting destinations. However, going on vacation can end up as a disaster if it’s not carefully planned. Experienced travelers plan for a vacation at least a few months prior to the actual date to ensure that it will go smoothly and with no delays. Aside from plane fare and itineraries, booking for accommodation is on top of the priority list. Most would opt for hotels but for seasoned travel enthusiasts, a vacation rental home is a top pick.
What’s a Vacation Rental?
A vacation rental is a process of temporarily renting out a furnished home or condominium unit to tourists as an alternative to staying in hotels. It’s gaining popularity in the U.S. and all over the world because it has many advantages. At present, the top players in the vacation rental industry include Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway.
It’s a privately-held international company based in San Francisco, USA and it hosts various listings, from simple to lavish accommodations. Its founders are Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. The main premise of Airbnb is to connect homeowners to tourists and travelers who are looking for short-term rental homes. As of 2017, the company boasts of an estimated 4 million listings in around 191 countries.
HomeAway has a wide selection of vacation rentals for tourists to choose from. They have more or less two million places to stay in an estimated 190 countries. The company founders are Carl Shepherd and Brian Sharples. It offers its rentals of cabins, villas, condos, and farmhouses, among others through their 50 websites which are available in 23 languages.
This travel website company was founded in 1995 by David and Lynn Clouse and it’s based in Austin, Texas, USA. VRBO is an acronym which means Vacation Rental by Owner and it allows homeowners to advertise their homes to prospective renters. Its vacation rentals come in various types like houses and villas. It was acquired by HomeAway in 2006. And HomeAway was acquired by Expedia in 2015.
Benefits of a Vacation Rental
Posh hotels may appeal to most tourists but for the budget-conscious traveler, a vacation rental is a perfect choice. Check out these advantages that make vacation rentals all the rage these days!
This is one of the top reasons why vacation rental homes are becoming popular. You can save money! You can shop at local stores, cook your own food and set aside extra cash for the tours and sightseeing galore.
Cost effective and convenient for families or groups.
Hotels generally can host up to 4 people in a room. This can be tight and provides very little personal space. Vacation rentals on the other hand can offer multiple rooms or an entire home allowing a family or large group to all stay together. You get more space and it’s often more cost efficient.
Gives you the luxury to have more space and privacy.
Choosing a short-term vacation rental home is more advantageous than staying at inns or even hotels since you’ll have more room and privacy. With the right place, you don’t have to worry about shared bathrooms, too.
You can settle in without the hassle of continuous unpacking.
Getting settled in a vacation rental is convenient as you only have to unpack once for the whole duration of your trip. This arrangement works best for seasoned and frequent travelers.
The luxury to have a home base.
What’s great about a vacation rental is you can be comfortable and treat it as your home away from home. You and your family can do whatever you like since the whole place is all yours for a certain period of time.
Allows you to choose the amenities that suit your needs.
Unlike hotels and inns, it’s not limited to just mere essentials. There are countless of listings to choose from, with amenities ranging from a jacuzzi to a kid’s playground, a mini swimming pool or anything that you might fancy!
Limitations of Vacation Rental Homes
While vacation rentals have a lot of advantages, there is also a downside to it. These are some of the things you have to consider before deciding if a vacation rental home suits you:
Don’t always have the amenities of a hotel.
Unlike hotels or inns, a vacation rental home doesn’t always have all the amenities so you may have to bring bath essentials like soap and shampoo. And, if you forget your toothbrush or run out of toilet paper, you have to head to the store to replace.
You have to provide your own mode of transportation.
This may not be quite a hassle if you’re staying in an urban area where a taxi is easily accessible. However, if the vacation rental home is located near a beach or up a mountain then you’re required to have your own car.
No access to concierge or staff to assist you.
Definitely, there won’t be any housekeeping staff or bellboys to attend to your needs, and this may not work well for some travelers.
A property manager or staff is usually not available on-site.
There’s no property staff or manager that you can easily reach should there be minor repairs to do like a leaking faucet. It’s something that you have to really consider especially if you’re not the handyman type.
It’s not always what you expect.
Since you’re basing mostly on what you see online, a vacation rental home may not appear as what you’ve expected it to be. So, it would be helpful if you seek out recommendations from trusted friends and family members before deciding if a vacation rental home is right for you.