You may notice a theme here because I am in vacation-planning mode. When Jimi is competing in Atlanta, at the USAPL Masters Nationals we will be staying at the Atlanta Sheraton, since that is where the meet is taking place. We will only be staying there for 2 days. After that, we are driving down to spend a week on the gulf, in Dunedin, Florida. We were scouring internet sites like Expedia looking for hotels. I will tell you, that has always been our choice for vacation lodging. I have heard here and there, from friends, who stayed in a vacation rental, but really knew nothing about it and never ventured into learning more. However, this time we just could not find a hotel where we wanted to stay, that had the atomosphere we wanted, so I took the plunge and started searching for vacation rentals. I found that what I pulled up was great and that the reviews were that family after family loved this type of lodging. Most families said they would never stay in a hotel again.
Some of the things that are different between hotels and vacation rentals are that hotels are usually owned by a corporation and vacation rentals are owned by families for the most part. The owners of the vacation rentals tend to be very attentive to their guests and will really work to make your stay enjoyable. Often, the owners will communicate a great deal with the guests beforehand, finding out about their family and providing things that will make their stay more enjoyable. The owners for instance will be happy to tell you, they have sand toys, highchairs, cribs, etc to help families out by not having to pack those things. Staying at vacation rentals is supporting the mom and pop businesses and feeling more like extended family then just a reservation. Another perk of vacation rentals is that they are usually pet friendly and most hotels are not, so this is great for families taking beloved Fido and Fifi along. There is often much more square footage with a vacation rental than a hotel. This is great for big families or it can allow friends to split the costs. Most vacation rentals have multiple bedrooms, living area, full kitchen, patio or deck and a yard. Often the rentals have bbq grills, bikes, boats, fishing gear, and even perks like sunset cruises depending where you are staying and what the climate is.
Vacation rentals vary in price and can be more expensive than hotels, but given the perks and the fact that the extra space can allow families to split the cost, helps to make it manageable. Each rental will vary on what they supply and you have to understand that some require you bring your own linens, towels and cleaning supplies but many will provide all of that. In addition, most vacation rentals have on site laundry so that really is convenient, especially when traveling with kiddies. If your vacation rental is near a state park or beach, most rentals will include a season pass to those attractions so that comes in very handy. Some vacation rentals will charge a cleaning fee and other do not. Like any type of lodging you need to do your research and read lots of reviews. Do internet searches and just don’t rely on reviews on the owner’s site. If you do your homework, then you can make the decision which will work best for your family. We booked with a vacation rental and I will be taking you along every step of the way, in the hope I can enlighten the novice as to what vacation rentals are like. If you are a savvy vacation renter then be sure and post your tips here.