Do you need a break or just want to see the world? Then you should take a vacation! Easy answer. Then after deciding where in the world you want to visit, the most important aspect of planning your vacation is determining what accommodation you are going to stay in when you get there. This site specializes in showcasing unique and amazing vacation rentals. Some of you readers may have never used a vacation rental before or may have never even heard of them. So what exactly is a vacation rental?

Any kind of home can be available as a vacation rental; the owner must simply put in on the market when not in use and it will be furnished and ready to live in. While on your vacation you will be staying in your rental as if it were your own home whether you are staying in a log cabin, an apartment, or a castle. All vacation rentals differ depending on the region, type of house, and what each owner offers as amenities. Different amenities will be offered at different vacation rentals. For example,  you may need to bring your own linens/towels, and the rental may or may not offer cable/satellite TV and internet (these these days many of them do, but again it depends on the region of the world you are traveling to). Some vacation rentals are pet friendly, which is something you would not see in a hotel. That way you can bring all your family with you on vacation! Another amenity some rentals may include is a pool or private beach. Prices vary, but most often it will be cheaper to stay at a vacation rental than a resort or hotel. Do some research of what is available in the area you want to visit to find out what will work best for you!

Villa rentals are another facet of vacation rentals. They are essentially the same as vacation rentals, but  just refer to a larger more luxurious rental. Generally they will be more expensive (hence the luxurious part of the definition), but depending on your resort/hotel options it may still be a more affordable accommodation, and it will have all the pluses of vacation rentals: space, privacy, and the chance to experience cultural immersion.

Staying in a vacation rental allows you to explore what it would be like to be part of the culture  in the foreign location you visit, so you can interact with the surrounding society and experience day-to-day life like a local. You can shop the local markets and cook your own meals–perhaps trying out local recipes or ingredients? In your rental you will have the privacy and space you need as if it were your own home. You won’t be crowded by other vacationers walking through the halls or hearing them through your room walls. This type of immersion travel is much different than staying in an isolated resort or another type of accommodation. Though of course all options have their advantages. Which you choose depends upon your preference and the experience you want to have.

If you prefer to be pampered then perhaps a hotel or resort may be best for you. You will have less worries and the staff at your residence of choice will take care of you and the details of  your stay if any difficulties arise. You can strictly concern yourself with what outings you need to arrange and the attractions you want to see. You will have everything you need at a resort and there is no need to venture outside of it during your vacation. Though without doing so you may be losing out on some adventures.

You will be surrounded by other vacationers at resorts and hotels, which can be good or bad depending on what you prefer. Mingling with people familiar with or new to the area will offer you different experiences. If you truly want to immerse yourself in a different culture a vacation rental will help you achieve that. Staying in a resort/hotel certainly sets you farther apart from the locals. Some vacation rentals offer a cleaning service (usually weekly) while others do not. So you may have the option of using the service if you stay at the rental long term. This option removes the intrusion of a daily maid service most hotels offer.

Another accommodation option is a hostel. Hostels are cheap. That is their main advantage. Staying at one involves sharing a room with a various amount of strangers and sharing communal bathrooms. This can give you an opportunity to meet new people, or it could be uncomfortable. Most often hostels seem to be used by travelers for a short stay as they explore an area while on a longer journey. I have friends from college who used them as such when they went on a road trip of the United States after graduation. Sometimes hostels have entertainment rooms or activities offered at the hostel or nearby. Resorts also offer entertainment. When staying at a vacation rental you will have to provide or search out your own entertainment.

You should be cautioned that there are sometimes problems with vacation rentals. As with anything on the internet it is a device that can be used to present misleading information. Sometimes rentals are not as described, and sometimes there are outrageous instances of fraud where the vacation rental just doesn’t exist (which you won’t discover until after your money is gone). To be wary of these faults use websites listing vacation rental properties that have been independently verified.

For those of you who have no idea where to start looking for vacation rentals here are a few options you can explore. All vacation rentals are rented through either a professional property manager or by the owner. Visit VRBR (Vacation rentals by owner) to find hundreds of vacation rental listings all over the world. If you prefer more lavish accommodations try looking through WIMCO. This site offers villa rentals in the Caribbean and Europe.

Do any of you readers have an opinion in favor or against using vacation rentals? Any tips or warnings for beginners? Leave a comment to pass on your knowledge!


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