Headed on vacation this summer? Before you book that hotel, consider taking a look at short term rentals. They’re generally condos or whole houses that owners rent out to holiday-goers, and when you calculate costs per head, they typically come out to be the same price or cheaper than springing for a hotel.
The advantages don’t stop at the price tag. Short term rentals also offer more space than a hotel, along with more privacy. Most have a kitchen, which will allow you to cook rather than eating out for every meal. This slashes your food budget, making your entire trip more affordable. If you rent from a good host, you’re also likely to be left with some insider local tips on your destination.
Weighing a hotel versus a short term rental can be an emotional rollercoaster the first time, but there are some instances where it should be a no-brainer. Here’s the top few:
When Traveling With a Family
Short term rentals are fantastic if you’re traveling with kids. They give everyone a little more space, both indoors and out. Parents will have their own room for added privacy, or have the freedom to spend some time watching a movie or talking after the kids go to bed. Unless you’re in an incredibly urban setting, a lot of rentals will have a yard. Getting some energy out once you’re back at your home away from home is a major plus compared to a hotel.
When Traveling With a Group
Traveling with friends or more than one family? Short term rentals are the way to go. When you split the costs per person/room, a majority of the time they’ll come in way cheaper than if everyone got their own hotel rooms. Plus you’ll still be able to enjoy each other’s company in the rental’s common areas, without hanging out on the edge of someone’s bed.
When Traveling With Pets
It can be very difficult to find a hotel that will allow pets, and when you do, you’ll likely pay a hefty fee. Short term rentals, on the other hand, are much more likely to have owners that are animal lovers, making them a lot more friendly towards furry friends. Couple this with the yard factor we discussed when traveling with kids, and you have a recipe for a great, stress-free vacation for everyone. Including Fido.
What to Look for When Booking a Short Term Rental
There’s plenty of sites these days that offer short term rentals. One of our favorites is Roomorama. When you’re booking, be sure to check reviews left by people who have stayed before. Looking at reviews of the owner in general is a good idea, too, if that option is available. Research the part of town the rental is in, as you want to be somewhere safe and not too far away from the attractions that brought you to your destination in the first place.
And finally, run the numbers. There may be a few instances where the hotel comes out a little bit cheaper. Most times, however, the added comfort of a short term rental will actually cost you less.