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Holiday rentals compared to hotels, which is better?

When planning a vacation, it may automatically occur to you to take your family (or just yourself) and check into a large hotel. With so many airplane + hotel + car packages, you can easily get into that thinking frame. And in the long run so often you can get the best vacation deals. However, there are other accommodation options you might want to explore.

For example, holiday homes offer a number of benefits that most hotels do not have. Usually owned by ordinary people (renting a vacation home means helping companies “mom and pop” instead of a large corporate-owned hotel), vacation homes usually give you full kitchens and more bedrooms. They are available wherever you would like to stay. You can find condominiums or houses (with detached houses you get the maximum in privacy for your holiday) in any part of the world.

If you prefer to be surrounded by noise, in the middle of the action you can find houses for rent (perhaps an apartment in Las Vegas or a cabin with the convenience of skiing on a ski pass), but you can also find houses for rent that satisfy peace and quiet. Many of these homes are away from busy streets and roads dominated by hotels (instead of an apartment near a vegas casino, you might prefer a house a few blocks away with a fenced yard and a private pool).

What about families traveling with pets? Is it more likely that a hotel or holiday accommodation will accommodate them? Well, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen too many hotels that appreciate even well-behaved dogs rolling through the lobby (even on a leash). On the other hand, renting a vacation is often the right way for pet owners, because many will accept dogs and cats (with an additional deposit). Be sure to check the pet rules in advance, as each owner sets their own rules.

The last thing I want to mention is the overall ambiance of the holiday homes compared to the hotels. With hotels (especially large chains) you get … almost the same thing no matter what part of the world you visit. This may be good for those who don’t like change, but if you want to stay somewhere that embraces the culture of the local area, you’ll be more likely to find it in holiday apartments. Many homeowners stay on their properties for a few weeks a year, so homes often feel like homes. They are more comfortable and kind than the cleanliness of most hotel rooms.

In order not to think that I have a plan to promote the rental of hotels (unfortunately, I do not own one or the other), I must admit that there are several disadvantages of renting a vacation home. First, finding the right place may involve more research online than simply booking through a website that offers travel arrangements. Second, because vacation homes are usually private businesses, this can be affected or missed with the service. Not all tenant owners own their own websites and owners will need some time to contact you if they are not using a management company. Third, most vacation homes do not come with a household. The rooms will be clean when you arrive (in fact, you will often be charged a cleaning fee), but don’t expect someone to come in and change your sheets every day. Lastly, renting is usually more expensive than a hotel. You usually get more square meters for your money (more bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, separate living and dining rooms, etc.), but you pay for it. That’s why renting is popular with family and friends who can share the costs.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for both hotels and vacations. I myself am a big fan of renting (among other reasons listed here, I really like to support “mom and pop” jobs instead of impersonal hotel chains), but each one has its advantages, depending on your preferences. Be sure to look around before deciding where you want to spend your vacation.