I have researched three of the most popular sites for vacation home rentals. You can save money by renting a home for your vacation, instead of a hotel stay. I know there is also CraigsList but that seems a little risky to me.
The top three seem to be VRBO (stands for Vacation Rental By Owner), Homeaway.com, and Flipkey.com. VRBO and Homeaway offer photos and an availability calendar. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor Company. Have you used any other companies to rent a vacation home? How was your experience?
The sites can help you to find a place to rent or list your vacation home for rent. There are private homes, condos, mountain homes and beach rentals listed in the United States and worldwide. Some vacation home rentals can even accomodate large groups for family reunions.
T.J. Mahony, chief executive of Flipkey.com stated in an LA Times Travel article, July 5th, 2009 by Terry Gardner , that “anywhere from 10% to 30% of rentals sometimes come with a fifth night free when you book four nights.” According to the article many owners are offering discounts, cleaning services, or tickets to local attractions, don’t forget to ask.
Sometimes, being couped up in a hotel room isn’t as much fun as we thought. You can ponder these reasons why renting a home might provide a better experience for everyone:
* Save money by having access to a kitchen (no dragging tired cranky kids to a restaurant every night).
* Save money by having access to a washer and dryer (pack lighter and avoid the excess airline fees for luggage).
* Save money by not needing to go on constant outings from the cramped hotel room.
* Go with another family to share costs. Kids are happier and less maintenance when they have friends to play with.
* If allowed, bring your pet and save money on a pet-sitter or kennel fees.
Here are two previous articles I wrote that you may want to read before you go:
Discount meals for kids (access by zip code).
Top 5 sites for saving money on your next road trip (includes best small town eats, locating clean restrooms along the way and 100 games to keep kids occupied).
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