post off: do you rent houses when you go on vacation?

One of my favorite pastimes is planning vacations. Before I was a part of a family, I would corral friends far in advance and plot out adventures in remote places, hunting down unusual hotels and quintessential experiences — like a cave hotel in Andalucia or a tree house in Kauai. Now that we have a little one, the idea of plopping down in a gorgeous spot for a week is what we crave — and one hotel room just doesn’t cut it: The kid falls asleep around 8:30 and then me and the hubs are left watching tv very, very quietly. It’s special kind of torture. Sooooo, for our next trip we’re renting a house in Florida that we found through homeaway.com. I swear their recent sardonic Super Bowl ad had nothing to do with that decision. But suddenly I feel empowered. Where else can we rent houses … Maine? Costa Rica? Italy? I love the idea of digging in, shopping locally and exploring my domestic side in far away lands. Browsing the site shows that many of the houses for rent are, to put it mildly, decorating cliches (think seashells and an rope anchors). Somehow those things are always charming when you’re in the place. The key is to not get seduced and bring any of it home with you!

Btw, the above paradise is in St. Lucia, just $600 a night. Click here to make it yours (and please, write about it here so we can live vicariously through you).

Do you rent houses when you go away? What have your experiences been? Do you know of other sites besides homeaway.com?

From our partners
Lori

We have a house we rent out in the summer. It is listed on VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner). That site is now affiliated with Homeaway.com. We have also rented a house in Florida Bonita Beach area that was listed on VRBO.com. The main thing people have to do if they want to rent a house from owners is to ask a lot of questions to make sure they get what they want and there are no surprises. We loved the area in Florida, but the rental condo was not that great and the owner still had his food and stuff all through the place. His cleaning service (if he had one) was not very good. But, we got a good last minute deal, so all was good just me me and my honey.

eve

Renting houses is the best ever, especially if you have a group of people. I’ve done this a couple of times in Jamaica and once in St Croix. Nothing better than having your meals, laundry, chauffeur and babysitting done for your leisure. Jumping in the pool without dealing with a bunch of strangers. Heading into the kitchen for a snack whenever (and not have to clean up after yourself). Horses brought up to your little stretch of private beach… Need to do this again soon!

Susan

We’ve rented homes, condos and apartments on our past few trips to places like Hawaii, the San Juan Islands, Playa del Carmen and Paris. It’s totally the way to go. I’ve found it to be cheaper than a hotel and you’re able to cook meals in and relax in a much larger space! While I’ve used vrbo.com and homeaway.com, it can be beneficial to google “vacation rentals” for the city and location you’re traveling to. Many times the cities and locations have local companies that specialize there (this is especially true for big cities like Paris). Oh, one more benefit, the convenience of in-house laundry facilities means you can pack lighter and avoid checked luggage! :-)

We have been renting vacation homes for the past 8 years or so. We save sooooo much money and have much better healthier eating habits. We’ve also been able to rent homes with better locations than the hotel rooms we could have booked. Viva La House Rentals! PS the kids love it too, they’re adults now and we all have our own bedrooms and rarely end up sharing a bathroom.

Angela M.

Thanks for your comments. I agree! Being able to do your laundry does mean you can pack lighter. Never thought of that! And… a house that comes with its own horses that get delivered to the door for a ride? Where do I find that? Sounds like heaven.

Catherine

Last time we went on vacation, we rented a house– it worked out really well with the toddler since we had a separate dark and quiet room for him and washer/dryer!

I haven’t used this site yet but it was recommended to me: http://www.airbnb.com/
My friend used it to find a sublet when she had family and friends in town. It worked out great for her and it was so much cheaper than the b&bs and hotels in our area.

Pencils

Several times I’ve stayed with family at homes we’ve rented in London. The last time we had an entire house in Fulham, which is a great neighborhood. Nice house, too, very comfortable, with a bedroom for each of us, full eat-in kitchen, washer/dryer, and I had the loft conversion with my own bathroom. Once we stayed in Browning house in Kensington (William Browning had lived here, William James had lived across the street) right down from Kensington High Street. It’s really convenient when you’re traveling with kids–when we were in Fulham, everyone but me managed to get sick, including the kids, so it was really nice to be in a house, not a hotel, while sick. And it’s so much cheaper, I can’t imagine how much hotel rooms for each of us would have cost, and it’s so much cheaper to make at least some of your own meals.

Alison

Back in 2008, my best friend arranged a house (really, I should say MANSION) in a gated community by the water in Cozumel, Mexico that slept 16 (!) for around $2,500 for the week. It was fully equipped (laundry, wifi, full kitchen, cable tv, etc etc etc). Some guy in North Carolina owns the property and rents it out over the internet. It worked out really well – about 12 people went and we were sort of self-grouped into little groups of 4 (for car rentals, groceries, etc). It was great: we weren’t in boring hotel-land, we got to stay by the water, they had a gorgeous pool overlooking the ocean/sunset, we didn’t all have to do activities as a group, and if someone (ok me) needed some time away, I could hang out at the house/pool for the day and no one would feel bad (I’m a bit of an introvert, so while I love my friends, I need alone time or I go bonkers). One night, we hired a lady and her daughter recommended by someone who worked in the complex to cook us all dinner and we had a big “family meal” in the house and a party afterward…Angelica (the lady) and her daughter stayed, it was lots of fun.

I would definitely rent a house again (a small one for me and my BF, or a big one for a large group), and when I win the lotto, I’m totally buying properties to rent out to people. The whole house renting thing is genius.

I haven’t rented a vacation home, but am planning a trip to London this spring and looking at that as an option. However, my husband and I do have a vacation home in southern Baja that we’ve been renting out for a couple years to rave reviews. We’re listed on TripAdvisor under “vacation rentals.” TripAdvisor also lists restaurants and activities in the locale which is handy when you’re planning a trip. People seem to like the community feel of a vacation rental versus the resort option. We’re lucky in that there is also a hotel close by, so renters can take advantage of the amenities there, then come “home” to a roomy, private space. If Mexico is on your radar, check us out at http://www.casa465.com.

The cost of St. Lucia, is so much but the view and environment are friendly