5 Reasons to Rent a house for your next Vacation Now

I don’t think it matters how many times one tells you that time flies, you really never believe it until it happens to you. It doesn’t seem possible that all of our children have grown up and are no longer under our care, or living in our home.

When that day came for us, and each of our three children it was harder than I thought, it left with a gaping hole in my heart.

Time continued to fly, and before we knew it, more years passed since we had last all been together for any length of time. When Trent, one of our twins, signed up for a second tour in Okinawa Japan, I knew it was time to plan a family vacation.

Logistics were complicated everyone was scattered, with different jobs, and financial and time constraints. I was so excited but there was a lot of planning to do.

There were a lot of components to consider to make this a vacation that everyone would be able to enjoy. Winter in our area can be cold and drag on for what seems like forever, so we decided that January would be a good time to escape the cold and snow.

Next component: location, location, location.

Our first choice, was to go to Okinawa, Japan. After all that is where our youngest, Trent was stationed, and I would have loved to see and smell the cherry blossoms but cost was a factor, language barrier, lodgings…

We went through a number of different ideas for location, but in the end the solution just sort of fell in our lap and worked for everyone. Our daughter in law mentioned that she would actually be in the Florida Keys for her work the week prior to the scheduled vacation dates! I had never been to Florida, it is warm, affordable, and would work for everyone.

 

The next biggest decision lodging. I didn’t want to go with a cheap motel, so that left hotels, which not only can get very pricey per night, and that would be x 3 since most hotels have rules about how many people can be in a room. 

I researched a lot about rentals and initially was really nervous about them. I had a lot of questions, so I did some research and was surprised to see that per night costs were comparable to a hotel room. Sites like Airbnb and Booking.com provided pictures and descriptions of the number of rooms, beds and how many a house could sleep.

 

Space

Our vacation was not just about getting out and doing things, but we also wanted to be able to relax and not be on any type of schedule so we needed to be able to relax in our space, just like we would at home.

Hotel: A decent hotel room offers you one large room with beds, a very small sitting area, restroom, and maybe a bar type area.

House: The house that we chose offered a large spacious living area, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms. In addition to the house, there was a small two bedroom cottage that boasted a small living room, eat-in kitchen, two bedrooms with queen beds, and a bathroom. Outside was a patio area for barbecuing with a large patio table and chairs.

 

Bathrooms

Hotel: I’ve never been in a hotel room with two bathrooms, so one bathroom per room. That is actually sufficient if you are paying for three rooms, but then you take into consideration the cost per bedroom.

House: The house we chose had two bathrooms in the large house, and another bathroom in the cottage.

 

Cost:

This was probably the biggest and most complex of the assessments that I considered. First, I want to point out that there are A LOT of homes to choose from, with a variety of price ranges, so while I feel that ours was on the high end, for our budget, we could have still gone with a nice house for less.

Hotel: As I mentioned earlier this was not a frugal vacation, so if we were going to go with a hotel I wanted it to be a nice one, so the prices that I researched were going to range from $100-$150 a night for three rooms. Most hotels have a limit on how many people can be in a room. In the old days, families would squeeze as many people as they could into one room, but that is no longer allowed, and that is not something that I wanted to do anyway.

House: The house + cottage that we rented cost us approximately $446.00 a night. The house could have easily slept 12 people with a sleeper in the couch, a bedroom with a full bed + pull out trunk bed, the second bedroom another full bed, and the master bedroom a king size bed. The cottage boasted two queen size beds and another couch where someone could have slept.

 

Food:

Hotel: If you’re lucky you may get a hotel that offers breakfast, but you are often limited to the times you can go down for breakfast, so no sleeping in if you want a free breakfast. In the room, you may have a small fridge and microwave, but the selection of food will be limited.

House: The house came with a kitchen, that was stocked with basic seasonings for cooking, a large refrigerator, cooking utensils, plates, silverware cups etc…. We bought breakfast items, so we could eat breakfast at our leisure. The house allowed us to bring dinner home, to store and eat leftovers for later another savings.

Laundry/Linens

Hotel: We would be paying for laundry, laundry detergent, we would be fighting for washers and dryers with everyone else in the hotel and that would probably eat into our vacation time as well just due to waiting on other people.

House: The house came stocked with laundry detergent, we could wash the towels that were provided, and they were very nice soft, absorbent towels whenever we wanted, as well as our laundry, wish we did not have to pay any extra money for.

 

There are a number of other factors that we could have looked at, but these were some of the big ones. Our location was great, the house was in the heart of the city, with easy walking distance to restaurants, activities, the beach, even the grocery store. We really loved the place and the experience was good.

The only negatives were dealing with a first-time renter. The owner didn’t have enough experience to feel comfortable with the process: she got anxious that we were not coming and texted us several times. She also asked for a deposit, which was not part of the initial contract, and wanted to charge our credit card before we even arrived.

If I had the opportunity to rent a home vs a hotel I would go with the home again, especially for longer stays.

I hope that this review helps you to decide if renting a home is for you.

Let us know your thoughts? Have you rented a home, or thought about it? What was your experience or what is holding you back from trying it?

 

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13 Comments

  • Veniece

    We rented a house in Florida for about 15 people and it was the best decision ever! It is super convenient and a lot easier to keep up with everybody especially if there are young children.

  • Lana

    I love this idea. There is so much to consider. I haven’t really thought about renting because I thought it would be too expensive, but this sounds great. Thank you for this information. I love your pictures.

    • admin

      Lana, thank you ours was more expensive than I wanted to spend, but I saw lots of homes that were reasonable, especially when you figure all of the expenses that come with a hotel/motel. Also going in with others can help offset the price.

  • Tammy

    I love this idea, what a great way to be able to spend quality time with your family and still get away from it all. I am glad you were able to get your whole family together and that everything worked out.

    • admin

      Verla,
      I was nervous about it at first, it is a bit different than going through a hotel/motel but definitely worth it.

  • Jacqueline

    Great post! Lots to consider when deciding what lodging to get for sure! I think renting and renting out your own house has become a more common thing in the past few years with different websites dedicated to helping individuals do just that! We have been thinking of wintering in Hawaii next year, and renting a house is exactly what we are hoping to do! Hope you had an amazing vaca with your family!

    • admin

      Jacqueline,
      I am glad that you liked it. We did have a great vacation would love to make that an annual thing. Wow Hawaii or somewhere more tropical would be sooo nice. I hope you find a great place, you should write a post on it when you find a place so we can all live vicariously through you.

  • Rigel Celeste

    I stayed in a rented house instead of a hotel years ago for a group trip and I totally agree that it’s so much better! And, if you do it right, not much more (if at all) expensive. It’s something not many people think of but it’s totally worth considering.

    • admin

      Thank you for checking out the post, Rigel, I don’t think I would go back to a hotel/motel unless it is for a short time

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