In 2008, I was planning a trip to NY and wanted an alternative to a $500 hotel shoebox. The pickins’ were slim. Fast-forward to recession-ridden 2011 and suddenly every investment banker and model is renting out their chic pad for a quarter of the price of a hotel room.
Where do I go to find my dream vacation rental? Well, there are a plethora of sites from Home Away to Vacation Rentals by Owner. For those willing to open up their own homes to strangers, house swap sites such as Home Exchange also make it possible to travel in style without paying for it.
Do you get your money’s worth? Well, my experience has always been good. My family of three was recently in San Francisco and rented a house in Potrero Hill. Our place was a newly renovated 2-bedroom with a good size living room, kitchen, bathroom, and eating area for $180 US/night. The owner filled the house with age appropriate toys and left a food basket with babyfood for my daughter Nadia. The house came with a crib and highchair and the owner was so kind she even offered to look after our little one when our sitter didn’t show up. There were great restaurants nearby and a Wholefoods, so we were able to whip up a quick meal or two. We even entertained friends while we were there.
Courtesy of HomeAway.com – Santorini, Greece
Many places can also provide the conveniences of a hotel for an additional fee: daily maid service, chef, sitters, etc. without the over-inflated price tag of a hotel.
Courtesy of HomeAway.com – Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Home Away (UK site)
Cottages 4 You (UK site)
Holiday Rentals (UK site)
Owners Direct (UK site)
*Note: Please check the local laws governing short-term rentals at the location where you are renting. Some cities, states, and countries do not allow short-term rentals or require owners to procure special permits. In addition, run a google search on your owner to see if the rental is legitimate and/or has received any negative reviews. RebelMom.com is part therapy and part fun. It’s an opportunity for me to tap into all my hip and worldly friends who know “what’s up”, as well as share tips and tricks to make life a little easier and more enjoyable. So, sit down, grab a coffee, and make a little “me” time.
Thara – RebelMomRebelMom.com – Life Beyond Mac ‘n Cheese!
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