Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Inexpensive Vacation Lodging for a Family Budget

Have you ever tried to fit 4 children and 2 adults with all of their luggage into a standard size hotel room for a week?

It's not pretty, let me tell ya!

Which is why we rent suites when our stay lasts more than 2 nights.  Suites (Residence Inn is our favorite) usually have a separate living room so Mom and Dad can stay up later than the kiddos.  They almost always have a fridge and microwave so you can keep drinks cool and heat up breakfast or a snack.

But a suite can be pricey, which is not a good thing for a family on a budget.  Depending on the trip we usually pay up to $150 a night.  Do that for a week and you are out a chunk of change without a whole lot of space.  I don't know about you but I prefer to spend my money on souvenirs and tourist activities.

That's why I'm excited to tell you about a discovery I made before Christmas!


Vacation Rentals by Owner.  They have listings for all over the country.  For one bedroom city apartments to sprawling 6 bedroom (or more!) country estates.  You find the listing you're interested in, email the owner and work together to book your stay.

When our extended family decided to have an early Christmas reunion we wanted to all stay in one location.  We could have done that with suites but it would have been complicated.  So we searched VRBO.com in the area half-way from their Texas homes and our Rhode Island home for a house big enough to accommodate 13 people.  

We found a listing in Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee.  5 bedrooms and 4 baths in a beautiful log cabin.  It sounded too good to be true!

But it wasn't.  Too be honest I was a little nervous going to the deal.  What if the owner had exaggerated the space?  What if it was filthy?  What if there were no kitchen supplies?

There had been no need to worry.  Five minutes after we arrived I could tell that this house would live up to its advertising.  We had a great time in an amazing house.

From now on I'll be checking VRBO.com when we plan a vacation!

Have you used VRBO or a similar site to rent a vacation house?  What was your experience like?

Disclosure/Disclaimer:  No one asked me to blog about this.  I have received nothing in exchange for this post.  I am just really excited about this website and having a non-hotel option for our vacations.  There are similar websites; this is just the one we used.


Nil Jhonson said...

I am share your site with girl friend. She will be to happy to see your info.

Carrie said...

I'm going to have to remember that site for convenience sake. We like using vacation homes as well. And we like bringing friends with us. =D (Last year we found an AWESOME vacation rental from a home school family in Sun River which was i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e and HUGE and we were able to invite three other families to join us! This year we're renting a home on the coast and taking the same three families. It's just a blast and we love it!

You get the comfort of home, the character of someone else and a larger space to spread out and relax.(And so far - it IS cheaper than a hotel room!)

Rachel said...

We used a similar site to get our beach rental for a week this summer. My best friend and her family are joining us and we're splitting the rent. We're so excited!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

We have never done a vacation with friends but after staying at this log cabin I can see how it would be really fun! Maybe we'll get to do that in the future.

Leeta said...

I LOVE that site! I have used it multiple times for various occasions for I want to say like 7 years now! I just don't recommend it always to people because once in a rare occasion it wouldn't be true to the print (which has happened once to me and another time it was way more rustic then what it advertised). But it's awesome for families and people needing lots of space and sometimes you helps you get out of the mainstream tourist trap areas! How did you hear about it?

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Leeta, we heard about it or another site from one of Joel's co-workers. Then we just googled for similar sites. This one had the house that worked best for the trip we took in Dec.

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