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The Best Way to Make Your Next Vacation Really Special

January 13th, 2008 at 06:30 am

The Best Way to Make Your Next Vacation Really Special

If I had to give one single tip for folks to consider when traveling, it would be to think ďoutside the boxĒ and by box, in this case, I mean hotel. To the average traveler, hotels are the only accomodations they consider when planning a trip. Not that there is anything wrong with hotels - I spent at least 17 nights in hotels in 2007 personally - but there is a wide range of non-hotel options out there. You can rent condos, townhouses, single homes, timeshare units, ski chalets, cabins and even tree houses using the internet as your guide.

As many of you know, I go to Walt Disney World in Florida once a year. We havenít stayed in a hotel during those trips for many years. We have stayed in a variety of spacious condos, townhouses, single homes and timeshares often spending a fraction of what a simple hotel room would have cost us and getting far more in the process.

In 2006, we traveled to Stowe, VT and spent a week in a wonderful ski chalet with all the amenities of home and more (we donít have a deck and definitely donít have a large hot tub on it).

So how does one find these non-hotel properties? As usual, the internet serves as the ultimate source of knowledge (thatís what my family calls it). Start your journey at http://www.vrbo.com. VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner. It is a site where owners list homes for rent all over the world.

Do you want a tree house in New Mexico? Here you go: http://www.vrbo.com/7184

How about a luxury ocean-view condo in Maui?

Perhaps you want to throw another shrimp on the barbie, mate.

And hereís that chalet we rented in Vermont.

You will often find that renting a home is no more expensive than staying in a decent hotel, or even cheaper, plus it gives you a whole different experience of the area. One Holiday Inn looks pretty much like the next, but no two homes are ever quite the same. Rental homes are often located right in the middle of town so you get to live like the locals live, shop in non-tourist locations and dine where the full-time residents dine. That can also help you save money on your travels.

So the next time you are planning a trip to a new locale, or even one you have visited before, check out vrbo.com and choose to stay in a memorable place with some character and history and ambiance rather than some generic hotel where you might need to check the brochure at the front desk to remember what city you are in.

5 Responses to “The Best Way to Make Your Next Vacation Really Special”

  1. littlemama Says:

    Thanks, your travel tips are always so informative!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Oh gosh, a little pricey for my blood. But I have to say, the treehouse in New MExico looks a little tempting. I am thinking, just how far is New Mexico? The kids would LOVE that.

    I just wanted to add though that when traveling in groups we have rented private cabins. It is SO much more affordable (& nice) than really any other option. You see a lot of those listings sleep 6-8 (or more). So good to keep in mind when traveling with another family, etc. We stayed a ways out of Yosemite in a private cabin. We liked it so much, we went back a few times. Tahoe area has lots of great options, and also Hawaii we went with group and rented a private home. Per person it was like $30 each per night. !!

    Thanks for the link.

  3. db1974 Says:

    I never considered this. We're thinking about taking a vacation over spring break and I will be looking into this. Thanks for the tip!

  4. disneysteve Says:

    monkeymama - There are many affordable options at vrbo. For example, here is a place close to Disney World. We haven't stayed in this particular unit but we have rented in this complex:
    It is a 3-bedroom condo for $65/night. That won't get you 1 room at a Disney value hotel.

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow, fascinating! I'm really going to have to give this vacation thing a try some day. Big Grin

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