Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Travel - Vacation Rentals - relax & live like a local

May is a good way off, but I'm already in the planning stages for my next family vacation. My son is (finally) graduating college and we'll be leaving Florida to go up to Rhode Island to watch him get his diploma as well as to catch up with all of our family and friends that we left behind when we headed south for the warm weather.

To make things easier on both my husband and my family we opt to not stay with relatives. If we did, it would become a tug of war for our time and no one ever wins in that situation. We'd rather be in our own place, where we can choose what to do, when we want to do it.

My first thought is to look at houses to rent for the week. I spent yesterday on Craigslist looking at vacation rentals. I found one that's a POSSIBILITY, except that they require a 2-week stay and we really only want to spend one week up there. We have a dog and this rental does not allow pets, so I'd have the added expense of boarding the pup for 2-weeks (plus travel time) which would MORE THAN DOUBLE the cost of the house rental. Boarding him for one week, is quite enough.

In the past I've used Priceline to get us a hotel room at a ridiculously low cost. As a matter of fact, I can stay in a 4* hotel for less than renting a house. But - when you consider the cost of eating ALL of the meals out - PLUS, the fact that we want to host a small graduation party (which would mean a room rental or taking EVERYONE out to dinner) the cost becomes A LOT higher. Of course I'll be purchasing some gift certificates before I go. Right now you can get 70% off PLUS a Dale & Thomas gift card FREE just by using the Promo Code: SUPER (so, a $25 restaurant gift certificate will only cost you $3).

In all honesty, I haven't made the decision which way to go. I'll be spending today looking over various online listings of rental houses. If YOU'RE planning a vacation in the future. There are plenty of places to look for places to stay, beyond the Motel 6 variety. Whether you'll be driving to your destination or leaving the country, you'll find plenty of options for renting a house, condo or apartment. I actually prefer this way to stay, as you feel more like a part of the community vs. just being a hotel guest.

Here are a few of the places that I'll be searching.....

Vamoose - With over 250,000 listings, Vamoose is by far the LARGEST directory of vacation rentals. From the US, to Europe and BEYOND you'll have an amazing amount of rentals to choose from.

Way To Stay - If you're planning a trip to Europe, Way to Stay offers apartment rentals in Paris, London, Lisbon, Berlin, Madrid, etc.

- Vacation Rentals by Owner is a worlwide listing of timeshares, apartments and houses in just about EVERY corner of the world. Is is extremely easy to navigate and when we used to go north skiing, this was the site that I'd use to find our ski condos.

World Vacation Rentals
- This site lists rentals not only by area, but also by activity. So, if you're looking for a golf condo, ski chalet or a little cottage by the beach you might want to start your hunt here.

There are a LOT more places to look for rentals, but after a while it gets a bit overwhelming. Of course you should always try Craiglist in the area that you'll be visiting, as the listings are free for the owners and you may find a gem that is not listed anywhere else. Oh & if you have a house in Rhode Island that's available for Rent from about May 15 - May 22, PLEASE send me an e-mail (you'll find the e-mail link on the sidebar).


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dh said...

Thanks for the list, it's great to have options. We've used VRBO before with great results.

Zipporah said...

dh - I'm so glad to hear that you've used them before. I actually found a little cottage on the water to rent through VRBO yesterday (after posting). Now, the only part that I'm dreading is the driving....

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