The Benefits of Staying in a Rental Space when Traveling
Traveling is fun for most people and staying in a hotel has its perks for sure. It's nice to have the bed made (everyday if you want), a pool, a restaurant on the property and a concierge service ready and waiting to help. Not having to worry about much like preparing meals and cleaning, is a huge benefit too. The benefits of renting a space instead though might out weigh the positives of a hotel. This might not be true for everyone but keep reading to find out why I prefer to rent a space while traveling. The draw back to a hotel is having to eat out and pay for most every meal, paying for parking, noisy people upstairs or next door and high pet fees. Obviously if you don't have a pet or don't travel with him the last one isn't a big deal. For those of us who have pets, paying a pet fee or pet sitter can be expensive. The best solution I have found is renting a room or whole house while traveling.
There are a few websites that rent rooms or houses when you are traveling. Some of the popular sites to find a renting space are Airbnb, Vrbo and Homeaway. There are other sites that rent out homes for longer periods but I know these three are very popular. The benefits of renting while traveling is that you can usually find a space that fits your needs and can be less expensive than a hotel. There are many rentals that allow pets without a fee and most spaces have options of a half or full kitchen or meals prepared by the host.
In 2013, my husband and I finally went on our honeymoon (we got married in 2011). We traveled to three countries in Europe and had heard about vacation rentals but didn't know much about it. After doing some research, we found that staying in rentals while we traveled around, was much more inexpensive than staying in hotels and hostels. Now we stay in rentals whenever we travel, even if it's to a place that is only a couple hours away.
One of the biggest benefits of renting while traveling is being able to prepare meals. For someone who can't eat at most restaurants and cafes this is a huge necessity. It is also budget friendly because we are able to use the money we would spend in a restaurant, on more other travel destinations or activities. When relaying on public transportation, coffee, meals and other little travel expenses, the prices can add up. Having the extra money to sight see or save for another vacation is an added benefit.
Once we had the experience of renting abroad, we started to do the same domestically. We hardly ever stay in hotels. Having a rented space for one to five nights (depending on the trip length) is the way to go.
The Benefits of Renting while Traveling
- Less Expensive than a hotel: Usually a rented room or whole house/apartment is more inexpensive than a hotel room. This can be true especially when traveling with family or friends. In a hotel, each person or couple, would need to get their own room and that usually ends up being more expensive. If you are renting the whole house/apartment, you have access to a kitchen and can save money by eating in. Plus if you travel with pets, there isn't a pet fee, where as hotels almost always have a pet fee.
- Comfort: The comfort of home is so nice when traveling. There are days that are busy sight seeing, working (if you are on business) or what have you. Coming back to a place that is comfortable like being at home, makes the stress (even though it can be good stress) of being somewhere different less intense.
- Amenities: There are perks that come with staying in a hotel like a gym, spa, pool, etc. but there can be noisy neighbors, too many people in the pool or gym areas, just to name a couple. The features of staying in a house/apartment are having a kitchen, access to a washer/dryer, pet friendly, free parking, a fire place and a private porch/balcony. These amenities are different but still very much appreciated.
- Group or Family Friendly: When it comes to traveling with more than just a couple or a small family (mom, dad and a child), having a house with two or more bedrooms is super convenient. Everyone can be housed on the same property and the whole rental fee can be split between the people staying. It makes it easy to spend time together rather than having to travel or even find a common space that is private enough.
- Meet new People: Many times the host is near by or on the property so there is an opportunity to meet and talk with the host. This comes in handy when questions arise or advice on where to go, eat, see, etc. is needed. Another plus is meeting the host and having a familiar face throughout the stay.
I am a huge proponent for staying in rented rooms, houses or apartments. The benefits to me, far out weigh the negatives of not being in a hotel setting. Hopefully this information will help with your next trip or if you are on the fence about rentals verses hotels.