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Vacation Rental Property

Explore the benefits of a vacation rental property and get tips for booking and planning.

A vacation rental property can help vacationers feel more at home while out of town. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
A vacation rental property can help vacationers feel more at home while out of town.

A vacation rental property is a unique and cost-effective alternative to a hotel. Travelers have many options when choosing a vacation rental property and can usually find one to suit their tastes and budget. Finding and securing the perfect vacation rental property takes planning. Fortunately, many excellent resources are available.

Benefits of Booking a Vacation Rental Property

Travelers choosing to stay at a vacation rental property enjoy several benefits, including availability. Vacation rental properties are available almost everywhere. Whether travelers plan to relax on the beach or ski in the mountains, they will have no trouble finding a vacation rental property.

Space is another advantage. A vacation rental property may be a house or a condominium, both of which offer more space than a typical hotel room. Vacation rental properties of all sizes are usually available and typically cost less than nearby hotels.

A vacation rental property allows individuals more freedom and flexibility than they might have in a hotel. Since most properties have kitchen facilities, families or individuals on a budget have the option of cooking some or all of their meals while on vacation.

The properties also provide plenty of privacy for guests and sometimes allow family pets to come along. Lastly, a number of benefits come from renting directly from a property's owner. Owners who take special care of their property might offer personalized service, and can often provide details of the surrounding area and attractions.

Booking a Vacation Rental Property

With the availability of many online travel Web sites, booking a vacation rental property is easy. Web sites such as Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) allow individuals to sort through vacation rental properties by destination, price, size and amenities. VRBO features pictures of each vacation rental property -- sometimes of each room within a property -- as well as testimonials from previous guests. VRBO offers rental guarantees to ensure a virtually risk-free property rental.

VacationRentals.com was one of the first Web sites of its kind and lists more than 34,000 properties around the world, as of 2009. This Web site also features a searchable database and rental guarantee.

Planning for Vacation

Travelers need to secure a vacation rental property well in advance. Some properties book six months to a year in advance. However, if an individual has a flexible schedule or is open to traveling to any location, booking at the last minute is sometimes an option. Owners may offer discounted rates at the last minute in an effort to fill their property. However, the best properties in the hottest locations, such as a beast, tend to book up fairly quickly, so the earlier travelers plan, the better. On many travel Web sites, the listings include availability calendars for each property, which allow vacationers to see which weeks the vacation rental property is available.

Planning for vacations well ahead of time is always the best option, as vacationers have the opportunity to research their options and find a vacation rental property that meets their needs. With thousands of vacation rental properties available around the world, the decision of which one to rent is important. Advance planning gives vacationers the freedom to choose a rental property that is within their budget and will accommodate them comfortably.

Saving for Vacation

Vacations can be costly, so budgeting accordingly is very important. Many people opt to set up a special vacation savings account at their bank and have money transferred into it each month. This is a great way to ensure the money remains untouched. Another option is to start a "vacation piggy bank." Putting all loose and extra change into a jar throughout the year can yield impressive results.

Cutting back in other areas can also help save money for a vacation. If a family normally eats out three times a week, they could cut back to once or twice a week and put aside the extra money to use for a vacation. Eating out or ordering pizza twice a week for a family of four costs roughly $100 per month. Cutting back would save up to $400 a month. Vacationers can also make cost-effective decisions when choosing where to spend their vacation. A nearby destination cuts back on travel costs, while visiting a destination during the off-season results in a cheaper rental rate.

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