Vacation Rental Homes – A Different Way To Travel

Until I lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I thought vacation accommodations were limited to hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts. When I arrived in Nags Head back in 1996, I noticed that virtually all the houses on the ocean side of the main highway displayed “for rent” signs. I needed a place to live, so the bounty of rental signs was encouraging, but after just a few calls I realized all these homes were not year-round rentals – they were vacation rental homes.

Private individuals who own these residences stay in them two weeks out of the year and place them in a rental program for the remainder of the year, providing vacationers with an option other than hotels or motels. In the U.S., this type of accommodation is prevalent in the country’s most popular vacation spots: Hawaii, Florida, and destinations on both coasts, although their popularity is growing in the interior as well. Vacation rentals are also available in tourism hotspots around the globe – places such as Mexico, the Caribbean, South Pacific, Europe, Asia, and even Africa.

Vacation rental properties are never rented by the night; for most the minimum term is one week and some (such as in parts of Florida) require a minimum stay of one month. Arrangements can be made through vacation rental firms that represent owners in specific cities, but more and more, owners are marketing and renting their properties directly through websites that allow free listings of vacation rentals, such as Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO).

Staying in a vacation rental has its advantages. Most newer properties provide unparalleled amenities such as a private pool, hot tub, rec rooms with billiards, media/theater rooms, and multiple master bedrooms with private baths. Having a fully equipped kitchen allows guests to save money on restaurants, and because many vacation rentals have six or more bedrooms, multiple families can band together to make the high rents more affordable.

If you plan to vacation at one of the more popular tourist destinations this year and want to stay in a “home away from home,” then a vacation rental might just be the perfect solution.

6 thoughts on “Vacation Rental Homes – A Different Way To Travel”

  1. Interesting!

    Everyone loves going to a vacation. It is a good activity or bonding with family and friends. It is very to check on the things you need to bring. Start with the most useful like clothes, toiletries and stuff you need. Select a vacation bag that is comfortable for your belongings and also comfortable for you to bring.

  2. Dear Barbara,

    Fully agree with you that vacation rentals are an amazing way to travel. In fact, we love it so much that we are about to launch a website in that space as well! We will not only provide the functions traditional VR sites have but not many many more. On housetrip (our website) each owner will have a profile (like on facebook) because we know how much the profile of the owner is a important criterion in the choice of your accommodation. Another difference is that we handle the payment through HouseTrip – one simply books with his credit card – so it is less risky. We launch the website in September. Here is a link if you want to see a preview:

  3. This is the change that is sweeping through vacation lodging everywhere. The savvy traveler is realizing that you get more square footage for your $$ and privacy that a hotel or condo cannot touch. Professionally managed VHR’s are cropping up everywhere and real estate buyers are seizing the opportunity to make a cash return on second home investments

  4. In Australia anyway, these holiday homes have struggled with reputation at times and I think makes some people nervous. I am sure there are some really good companies out there but it has suffered from some mediocre press over the years in Australia. Not sure about Europe or North America.


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