Many travel experts predict that 2014 will be a year of the breakout for the vacation rental industry. Vacation Rentals have been hotelified over the last 5-7 years, and as the technology and vacation rental owners and managers catch up with the public’s demands, the idea of vacationing in the “home away from home” becomes more common among all of us.
Most people imagine beach houses when they think of vacation rentals, but these are just one segment of an ever-growing industry. You can rent an apartment, house, townhouse or small studio on weekly or nightly basis.
Vacation Rental vs Hotel Room – what works for YOU?
- More bang for your buck. Vacation rental homes are gaining popularity, not just for family vacations at the beach but among independent travelers as well. A rental home will almost always yield more space at a lower price than a hotel room. In most cases you’ll have more space, more privacy and more money in your pocket when you choose a vacation rental rather than a hotel. You’ll also most likely have access to a kitchen and washer/dryer. If your property is part of a condo complex, you might also enjoy privileges like outdoor or indoor pool
- Living out the fantasy. If you’re looking to make fantasy into reality, renting could be your chance to discover what it really feels like to live just steps to the beach & the Boardwalk.
- Convenience Matters. Vacation rentals are an economical, practical option for families and large groups who would otherwise have to pay for more than one hotel room. Sharing a house lets you strike a compromise between togetherness and privacy; you can enjoy family meals together in the communal kitchen, but you’ll also have enough space for everyone to come and go as they please. Parents will appreciate not having to get the kids dressed to go down to breakfast in a hotel restaurant — in your own kitchen, PJ’s are perfectly acceptable!
- Destination Celebrations. Throwing a bachelor/bachelorette party or getting married far from home? You can often keep costs down by having guests share a vacation home (or several) rather than paying for a large block of hotel rooms. And a beach rental of your own makes a secluded, romantic spot for your honeymoon after all the guests have gone home.
- Not all rentals are created equal. Private single-family homes may not have the same amenities that condos or villas within a resort community will. When renting the single-family home variety you may forfeit maid service, concierge service, room service and in-house restaurants — and you might even have to bring your own linens. Beach homes usually have more rigid check-in dates than hotels (many rentals are on a set schedule, typically Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday) and may not offer any special perks. Beach chairs, bikes and baby equipment will probably have to be rented or brought on your own.
- Know the rules of the game. Though the number of properties available for short-term rental is on the rise, you’ll have much more choice if you’re staying for at least three nights; a hotel may be a better option if you’re only going to be in town for a day or two. Also, if your plans may change at the last minute, keep in mind that a hotel reservation is much easier to cancel than a rental agreement, which is a binding contract between you and the homeowner or their rental agent.
- Self-sufficiency vs service. A vacation rental may not be right for you if you prefer to have room service, daily housekeeping, and on-site restaurants and bars (although the number of serviced rentals is growing). Also, some travelers prefer the more structured environment of a hotel rather than the greater self-sufficiency of a vacation rental.