Wherever you travel in the world you have limitless choice nowadays regarding accommodation. Your choice depends on the type of vacation you desire. If being in an isolated Spanish finca in the mountains where you can admire the scenery and enjoy tranquillity and solitude is what you really want then a noisy sprawling hotel on the bustling Costa del Sol can never compare.
Here are the pros and cons concerning vacation rentals:
A vacation condo is a veritable ‘Home from home’ in stark contrast to the artificial environment found in a hotel. Hotels can provide you with an entire fortnight of five star opulence in a foreign land but you may experience none of what that country has to offer. This is ideal if you just want to laze in the sun and enjoy a bit of well-earned luxury but it is not the best way to learn about other cultures and traditions or ‘Do your own thing.’ Renting a condo will enable you to adopt a more ‘Hands on’ approach to your holiday. If you hire a holiday home you will have to get out and about to buy food locally and mingle with the locals and will naturally discover more about your location. You will need a relatively independent spirit and a zest for new experiences and encounters.
The best way to learn what life is like in a foreign land is to rent a condo. You will return home with far more insight and understanding and realise that there are alternative lifestyles to those you are familiar with. ‘When in Rome…’ as the old saying goes is a good premise to remember. Ways which you perceive as totally alien may cause you to suddenly question your own ingrained attitudes of a lifetime. There is no better way to learn than to observe the customs and traditions of another culture.
Renting a vacation condo provides greater privacy, freedom and space than a hotel-based package. You will not be committed to designated mealtimes or forced to fit in with strict cleaning regimes whenever housekeeping expects you to vacate your room. This allows you to have more control over your holiday.
Space is often limited in hotel rooms which can be annoyingly claustrophobic however sumptuous the decor. This is not ideal for families with young children or those that have a lot of luggage. For the independent-minded family, a vacation home rental is by far the better option.
Vacation rentals provide discerning holidaymakers with all the facilities they take for granted back home. There are washer/dryers available instead of paying for expensive itemised washes on a hotel tariff and fridge/freezers that store shop bought snacks and ice cream instead of you paying exorbitant hotel prices.
A daily itinerary can be planned by you without the restraints normally associated with hotels and you will not have to change from your casual beach gear if you don’t want to. Vacation rentals tend to be in locations that are more secluded and away from deafening bars and clubs. There is nothing worse than being allocated a hotel room above a bar or cafe and still trying to get to sleep well into the small hours. In renting a vacation home you will have more say in finding the best holiday for you and you can ensure that the property you choose will be equipped with all the items relevant to the location.
Holidaymakers are often deterred by the thought of self-catering but opting for a vacation rental doesn’t mean mums will have to swap one kitchen sink for another. Of course you still have the choice of preparing your own meals made with fresh local produce if you prefer or you can enjoy the local delicacies by eating at a restaurant nearby. Hotel cuisine is sometimes monotonous or not the type of food that kids enjoy however good the establishment. Why opt for an expensive all-inclusive package only to find that your children don’t like anything on the menu?
If your family are not the quietest of folk a vacation rental is definitely the better choice. You don’t want to be constantly apologising to other guests and hotel staff for your child’s bad behaviour.
Families often prefer not to spend their vacation in a typical hotel environment where they are pressured to participate in some activity or other or go on local excursions. By hiring a vacation rental you will likely avoid contact with tour reps and guides etc. Although most hotels nowadays do cater specifically for families with younger children it can be dreadful to find yourself in one of these family-orientated hotels that are just too crowded and noisy.
A great deal will depend on the ages of your children and the size of your individual family but generally speaking the vacation rental option allows families to have more freedom of choice in a pleasant and peaceful environment.
You will be able to find off peak or last minute bookings at a fair price and owners who sign up for Internet advertising of their properties are vetted thoroughly to prove their adverts are genuine and not misleading.
Cost-wise you may find that the larger your group the cheaper your holiday will be. Split between several people the rental cost is marginal and you will find you have more money to spend on your own enjoyment.
Vacation condos are easy to find on the internet; a search for a suitable one need not be daunting and costs nothing. With the help of the Internet, reputable accommodation can soon be found in all destinations.
Adverts and details of vacation rental properties are described in a variety of languages on homelidays. Flipkey works in conjunction with tripadvisor where you can read real reviews written by tourists who have visited their selection of rental properties. Most sites provide a reliable and trustworthy service to those seeking a holiday rental.
There are not many disadvantages to taking your holiday in a vacation rental condo but it depends very much on the size of your family and their various ages and interests as to whether it would be a suitable alternative to a hotel.
A private vacation rental will most certainly not have an evening programme of entertainment for adults or animation for children that comes as part of a hotel package. If yours is the type of family that places a lot of emphasis on socialising with other people from your own country whilst on holiday then a vacation rental is probably not for you.
A family focused hotel will have standard child-minding facilities, kids’ clubs etc laid on a regular basis making this an excellent arrangement if you and your partner intend to share quality time together knowing your kids are safe and entertained. This is not usually possible with a vacation rental where your children remain your responsibility throughout your stay.
There will not be as many representatives to assist you with the day to day planning of your holiday in a vacation rental. You will perhaps only see the agency official or key holder a few times during your stay. Tour guides and reps will most likely be absent even if your chosen vacation rental home is in a large complex.
If your family is not independent-minded it is perhaps not a wise choice to rent a vacation home and you would likely feel happier in a hotel-based environment where there is a ready-made itinerary guaranteed but on a vacation rental you will need to be more adventurous, make your own fun and plan each day ahead to make the best use of time.
Renting a vacation home will not give you a break from shopping or meal preparation unless you choose to eat out for each and every meal. Before you book a vacation condo ask all family members to list their individual preferences and see whether renting a vacation home is the best choice for you as a group.
Be careful when renting a vacation condo if you do not drive; you will regret it if it turns out to be miles from the nearest beach and away from the main amenities. Make sure you study the location in depth before you book. Many vacation condos have a Google Earth map embedded into their websites so you can easily tell if the condo is near the attractions you wish to visit.
In conclusion there are always compromises to be made and no type of vacation can be said to be perfect whether you are travelling alone or in a group but by weighing up the pros and cons of vacation rentals you will be in a much better position to decide which holiday is best for you.