Monday, December 8, 2008

Top five perks of vacation rentals

I've been raving about the benefits of vacation rentals for years to anyone who will listen. So what's so great about staying in a house or apartment instead of a hotel room? Here are my top five reasons to go local.
  1. You can discover new neighbourhoods. In many cities, hotels are clustered downtown or in touristy areas. Not that there's anything wrong with either, but sometimes it's nice to see another side of things. In Paris we stayed in Montparnasse, on a street where we could watch chic young moms taking their equally chic children to the local primary school. (For more details, see the article about that trip on my freelance writing website.)
  2. You get more space. Hands up, all of you who have tiptoed around a hotel room trying not to wake your sleeping spouse, only to trip over a half-open suitcase and clatter against the dresser. OK, maybe it's just me. But our apartment in Buenos Aires (see photo above) was about three times the size of the hotel room our friends had booked downtown. That meant while one of us slept, the other could be reading a book in the living room, enjoying a snack at the dining table or soaking up the view from the balcony.
  3. The price is often right. That apartment in Buenos Aires cost less than our friends' hotel room. Especially if you're travelling with a family or a small group, rentals can be a great deal.
  4. No more trying to outwit the maids. I like getting my bed made as much as the next person, but I hate having to try to second guess where the cleaning staff is going to be at any given time. Forget to put the "do not disturb" sign on your door, and the next thing you know, the maid is at the door at 8am, brandishing a vacuum. In a rental, your tidiness is your own business (unless, of course, you choose one of those high-end rentals where maid service is included).
  5. Brekkie in your PJs. One of the most luxurious things about being on vacation, for me, is the chance to linger over breakfast in my 'jammies with a good book. But in a hotel, unless you feel like springing $15 for room service bacon and eggs, you have to get dressed and get yourself down to the restaurant before the breakfast hour ends. In a rental, you can have all the fixings for a fine breakfast waiting in your own kitchen, from fresh fruit to croissants. And you can have breakfast at 2 in the afternoon if you like (not that I've ever done that, oh no).
Interested in a vacation rental? Check out some rental tips on, my website for people who want to live like locals while travelling.

Of course, no vacation option is perfect; rentals have their drawbacks, too. But that's the topic of a future post.


Pauline Kenny said...

We just had brekkie in our PJs sitting outside in the sun looking at cactus and mountains in the Tucson vacation rental we are in for the next 10 days! A nice way to get a break from winter.

Laura Byrne Paquet said...

I'm so jealous, Pauline! It's -14C in Ottawa today.

Room Exchange Network Admin said...

Interesting article. Our website: is a place where people can go to find housing for their next trip. We let owners of apartments/spare rooms list on our site for free. Our members find they can usually pay 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a hotel, with more amenities, and have a more enjoyable stay. We encourage people to give us a try on their next trip.