If you travel, you've probably heard of companies such as Vrbo and Airbnb, in which homeowners can rent their spaces to travelers who are looking for an alternative to a standard hotel.
There are many reasons to choose a vacation rental when visiting a new destination. Here are a few.
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1. Home-style accommodations.
A vacation rental is different from a hotel or inn because it's typically a regular house or apartment. So, when staying in a vacation rental, you'll get to live like a local and have access to things that you wouldn't normally have in a hotel, such as cooking facilities. Plus, vacation rentals are decorated according to the individual taste of the owner, so the atmosphere is often homier than an impersonal hotel room.
2. Local insight.
Many vacation rental hosts are happy to share tips with their guests about local attractions. If you're able to chat with your hosts, you'll get an insider's perspective about your destination. Some hosts even offer excursions, tours or "experiences" as part of the accommodation package or for an extra fee.
3. A rental is likely a better option for families.
If you're traveling with family or even a big group of friends, you could stay in a hotel and worry about disturbing people in the next room, or you could have an entire house to spread out in. Many vacation rentals come with games and sporting equipment, and some come with yards for outdoor activities, so you can have plenty of fun and not be cooped up in a hotel room.
4. It's more economical.
If your vacation rental has a kitchen, for example, you can save money by cooking your own food. And this doesn't just go for bigger groups -- even singles or couples might be surprised at how much less a one-bedroom apartment or small cottage costs on the vacation rental market compared to a hotel room.
5. It's often less expensive.
You might find a vacation rental to be less costly than a hotel. Plus, if you're staying more than a few days, there's often a discount applied.
For home-style accommodations, local insights, family activities and economical reasons, a vacation rental can be a great alternative to a hotel. However, a rental might not be the right choice for you if you enjoy all the services that a hotel can provide or if you don't need an entire house or apartment.
One final item to consider: Many vacation rentals charge a one-time cleaning fee per stay, so be sure to read the fine print to learn about this, and any other extra costs, before entering into any vacation rental agreement.