Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rentals vs. Hotels

I am a HUGE advocate for renting properties while you travel. Rental properties allow you to find exactly what you want and have a space that caters to your needs. It typically allows you a little more room to relax while you travel. Again, like planning your own travel, this is one of those things that requires a little research and time, but the payoff is tenfold.

One of the reasons I like renting properties is the people that you meet. Every place I have ever rented, we were happily greeted by the owners. The benefit to this is you are really welcomed into someone's home and have an opportunity to get the scoop from them first hand on where to go and what to skip/avoid. I have met lots of wonderful people this way and the hidden gems they have always sent us to have been superb. Renting is also well suited to traveling in small groups. Depending on where you travel and your level of accommodation standards, the average hotel costs somewhere around $150-$200 depending on where you go (for a mid-range hotel with amenities). Since there are four of us that always travel together, that means we need two rooms, or at least $300 a night total for you standard hotel room. But for $200 a night total ($100 a couple) you could get a house or apartment right next to that hotel, and have TONS more room to settle into and relax.

Another bonus is the kitchen-buy some basic groceries and you can save lots of cash making breakfast and lunch that you can spend on your vacay, or a fancy dinner. We have rented some places with such fantastic decks or views, we even stayed in for dinner, opting to grill a healthier meal ourselves. Also, many rentals have a washer (and sometimes a dryer) to do laundry...which make packing for two weeks in a carry-on bag super easy. Other bonuses include free wifi, computers, bigger beds, DVD players, bicycles, lake/beach toys, game rooms, and, the best of all...? Dogs!! Yep, we have even rented places with resident dogs that we could cuddle with when we were missing our pups who had to stay at home.

Homero-the cutest beagle in Argentina was a wonderful host and companion. He is especially fantastic at tricking visitors into all kinds of things...just look at that sweet face!