Renting a vacation home is a wonderful alternative to hotel rooms for a family who travels. I realized how much I hated sleeping in hotels with a family of five young children when I made a bed in the bathtub for my three-year-old to give her a quiet place to fall asleep.
I have discovered that a vacation feels much more like a vacation to me if we rent a vacation home rather than stay in a hotel.
Here are five reasons why renting a vacation home might be right for you.
Renting a vacation home gives everyone in your family a little more room to breathe, relax, and sleep. I love being able to put my children to bed at a reasonable hour, close the door, and still have a peaceful hour or two of adult time as I wind down from a fun day of vacation.
Nothing says vacation like stretching out on the sofa with a cool drink after the kids are in bed. A beautiful yard and place for kids to easily play while on vacation is another benefit of renting a vacation home.
Imagine having a large fridge to stock up on your kids' favorite foods or store your son's prescription antibiotic while on vacation. I love waking up and knowing that I have favorite foods to feed my hungry children as soon as they wake up.
While renting a vacation home may initially appear more expensive than a hotel room, the cost savings from preparing your own meals quickly add up. I love to take a vacation from cooking as much as the next mom, but I also hate throwing away money on kids meals that go untouched.
My compromise is usually breakfast at home, packing a lunch for the day, and then eating dinner out. However, sometimes my frugal husband decides that he would rather cook at “home” than drop $100 on dinner for the family, which helps stretch our vacation budget.
The amenities at a vacation home are often part of the vacation themselves. We save money by enjoying the things available at our rental homes, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, beaches, etc.
Our favorite family vacation destination is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The vacation homes we rent in Corolla, NC, include access to beaches, swimming pools, shuttles to/from the beach, tennis and basketball courts, sand volleyball, playgrounds, shuffleboard, classes at the Wildlife Preserve, kayaking on the sound, bikes, etc.
Typically our only expense on a week-long vacation is gas, food, and lodging. When all the entertainment is rolled up into the cost of our rental home, it becomes a very affordable vacation.
Friends and family
Traveling with another family or two might not fit everyone's style, but if your idea of a vacation is putting the kids to bed and settling down to chat with friends, play a game, or watch a movie, then a renting a vacation home might be the perfect solution for you.
Many large homes can accommodate multiple families so the kids can enjoy nightly sleepovers, and the adults can relax together in the evenings.
I love a good road trip, but sometimes it is nice to travel to your destination and enjoy your vacation without packing up each morning and settling in a new place each night. I love arriving at a vacation home, putting my clothes into the drawers, and knowing that I can stay put for the duration of my vacation.
Choose the beach or the mountains, a city rental or one in the countryside. Renting a vacation home has gone mainstream and you can now find vacation rentals of any type across the globe.
Where to Start
Here are my go-to websites when I'm looking for a vacation rental.
You may see some of the same properties on several websites. There are others, including Vacasa and FlipKey.
Sometimes it's smart to search and work directly with a property management company. Their full-time job is managing and renting vacation homes, and they may be more reliable than individual owners on Airbnb.
Vacation homes are generally a much better fit for my large family and our travel style than hotel rooms. I hope that our experience will help your family plan a great trip.