This summer my husband and I are all over VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner). Instead of checking hotels in the areas we planned to vacation, we checked VRBO or Airbnb to see what was available in our price range. Why are we saying goodbye to hotels?! Well….
1. Price. As part of a family of 5, two rooms are expensive! I often cannot find two rooms that are affordable; and if I do, then I need to be sure they are next to each other or at least on the same floor. These logistics just add stress which isn’t the idea when you go on vacation!
2. Accessibility. It is so nice to just all be together. We can stay up late playing a game and then just walk into our bedrooms to sleep, just like we would at home. Or, we can enjoy a feature of the new place that we don’t have at home. On a recent trip to Charlotte, both mornings we woke up early to enjoy a screened in porch, which isn’t something we have at home.
3. Space! Anyone else think that hotel rooms are getting smaller?! When we are on vacation there is often an hour or more in between activities where you want to just relax. In a hotel, that usually means sitting or lying in bed since there aren’t many other places to sit! However, in a VRBO, there is usually a living room or a porch or a kitchen eating area where you can relax. You just have more options.
4. Cooking meals. I am the cook in the family and while going out to eat definitely has its perks and is a fun way to see the city, there really is nothing like a home cooked meal. When we choose a VRBO, we have a kitchen which not only allows for fun family bonding time, we also save a little money which gives us a little more money to be used on other experiences.
5. Design ideas. If you haven’t been able to tell from the blog, we absolutely love good design. Seeing how other people design their spaces is like walking into a design magazine! I have gotten some great ideas from some of the places I’ve stayed in, such as how to store firewood to using plates as a place to leave your jewelry.
6. Personal Touch. Some of our VRBO stays this summer have welcomed us with a gift basket – and can I just say how nice it is to walk into a display of snacks and a bottle of wine after a long day of traveling?! It is the best! I’ve also signed a few guest books which is a great idea. These personal touches makes me feel like I am at home, which sometimes isn’t a feeling I can achieve in a hotel.
The Internet has made it so easy to find spaces to rent. 30 years ago you would have to know someone who knew someone who had a place of rent if you didn’t want to stay in a hotel. This idea of sharing spaces is totally something I can, and am, getting behind.
There are two potential downsides to VRBO that I want to mention. The first is you generally have to pay upfront and sometimes you are asked to pay an additional deposit, which can get expensive. Also, you generally have to make your decisions fast as availability changes rather quickly. We lost the initial place we wanted to stay in two of our vacation spots this summer because we waited over 24 hours to decide. This can add to the stress, but in our case, it was worth it!
Lastly, the images included are all from the places we stayed this summer. We did 4 VRBO’s in 4 different cities in 6 weeks. Craziness!
So, what do you choose – VRBO or hotels?! We’d love to know which one you prefer and why!