My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. ~ Isaiah 32:18
If you’ve read any of my travel blogs, you know that when we go on vacation, we really like to stay in a rental home instead of a hotel. We have used VRBO for the majority of our trips, but we do have a 3 week stay booked through Airbnb for our trip to St. Jude this summer so I’ll be curious to compare the 2 experiences.
Since I talk about vacation rentals so much, I thought I would just take a few minutes to go over the reasons we like to rent a house when we travel. I’ve included links with some of the pictures if you would like to check out the homes we’ve stayed in a little closer.
1. It’s quiet! Anytime we stay in a hotel, loud people are coming in at all hours of the night and people up above us are banging around. We always have trouble sleeping when we’re in a hotel, especially the first night. In a rental home, you don’t have all the extra noise.
2. More Privacy. We really enjoy having our own space. When we went to Disney, it was great to go back to a house with our own pool and hot tub. We may have missed out on some “magical moments” that come along with staying at a resort but there comes a time when you can’t take any more magic! Being able to get away from the crowds and noise is an important part of us recharging on any vacation.
3. I love having a full kitchen. It’s nice to have a place to make a snack or even a full meal when we’re on vacation. We almost always bring breakfast stuff so we can grab something to eat while were getting ready for the day. Depending on what activities you have planned, you can really save a lot of money by getting groceries and packing picnic lunches and/or fixing supper and dining in. We do sometimes miss the free breakfasts at hotels though.
4. I really like having a laundry room on site. I know a lot of people don’t want to do laundry on vacation but I really don’t mind throwing in a load every day. Doing laundry on vacation means we don’t have to pack as many clothes and I don’t have a huge pile of dirty laundry when we get home.
5. We aren’t much on evening activities. We like to get up early and get our day going so usually after supper, we’re ready to head back to our room/house and relax. Since we like to settle in early, it’s nice to have a living space so we can be comfortable and watch TV, read, play games, etc. If we have a hotel room then we just have 2 beds and maybe a chair and that’s certainly not comfortable for very long.
6. Separate bedrooms for us and the kids. We like to go to bed early and turn on the news so it’s nice to have separate bedrooms so the kids are able to stay up later and watch what they want. We usually try to find 2 twin beds so the kids don’t have to share. At a hotel, they always have to share a bed. Makayla likes rental houses because “the beds are comfier and I don’t have to sleep on a fold out couch.”
7. A separate area to work in. Curt’s job never lets him unplug completely for a vacation so it’s nice to have a living room or dining area where he can have space to work in. I also appreciate having a separate space so he can get up early and do work without disturbing the rest of the family.
8. A better feel for the community. Staying in a local neighborhood away from the touristy downtown area is nice and makes you feel a little more like a local. You do have to do your research to make sure you are staying in an area that is safe and that you will feel comfortable in.
We of course don’t exclusively book rental homes. If we are just staying over for a night or 2, it still usually makes sense to get a hotel instead of a house. The nice thing about a hotel is the free waffles for breakfast!
If you haven’t ever booked a rental home for vacation, I strongly suggest it. I think it is especially great for bigger families and is more cost effective than getting multiple hotel rooms. If you are planning to go on vacation with another family and can split the cost, a rental home is definitely the way to go; everyone has a private space to retire to but there is also gathering spaces so you can spend more time together.
I think what it really comes down to is that rental homes give us that comfortable “home away from home” feeling as opposed to being cooped up in a hotel room. I look forward to making many more memories as a family, wherever our travels may take us.
What is your favorite travel location?