Our vacation to Hilton Head was our first time vacationing in a vacation rental. We stayed in this three-bedroom, two-bath condo and it was magnificent.
After reflecting on the week, I thought it would be helpful to share these 15 benefits of a vacation rental.
1. Laundry: This is such a huge benefit! Most vacation rentals have a washer/dryer in them. This means you can pack less and save on baggage fees if you are flying. You can also do laundry mid-week, or if you are like me, do all of your laundry while on vacation, so you come home with two big suitcases full of clean clothes! (Don't forget to bring laundry detergent with you.)
2. Ability to cook at home: Having a refrigerator and oven can really help you save money on eating out, especially for breakfast or lunch. We had breakfast at “home” every day and most days ate lunch or dinner there as well. Eating out is SO expensive and we often find that we feel better when we eat our own, usually healthier cooking! Now of course, it is fun to try some local restaurants when you are on vacation, but eating out too much can really impact your budget. (One reader recommended to menu plan before you go so you know what foods/spices to bring from home and what to buy at the grocery store when you arrive to your destination!)
3. Extra space: This is a HUGE benefit. Our condo was truly a “home away from home”. It was so nice to have extra room to lounge, relax and unwind, instead of being cooped up in one room. We were able to really enjoy our family down time and were much more comfortable in a living room rather than in a hotel room. The kids were able to spread out and play, and nap in separate rooms, which was a blessing.
4. Cost effective: We were surprised by how cost effective our spacious condo was. The price was definitely comparable to a hotel. Because many vacation rentals are large, oftentimes families rent them together, making them even cheaper than a hotel. ResortQuest offers an easy to use calculator to figure out rental costs on their website.
5. Community: Our condo was in an area in Hilton Head called Sea Pines. This built in community within the beach town translated to exclusive beaches, yummy restaurants and a community of other people all enjoying the area together. If you travel with family or friends, a vacation rental condo can also offer the perfect space to experience with your loved ones.
6. Variety: every vacation rental is different – different décor, different view, different amenities, etc. You can choose your own vacation rental and preferences based on your budget, whether small or large and how you want to define your vacation –near the beach, near the golf course, or somewhere in between.
7. Comforts of home: Vacation rentals offer all the comforts of home (and maybe some your home doesn't have). You have space to sprawl out, comfortable living rooms, multiple bedrooms, etc. It truly felt like “home” for the week. We found ourselves saying, “Elias, it's time to go home.” This translated to easy transitions for us, long naps for the kids and an overall more relaxing vacation.
8. Lots of Privacy: In a vacation rental, usually you have private balconies and private entrances. This means you have no need to walk through the lobby every time you return to your unit. Moreover, depending on the unit, sometimes private pools and BBQ grills (mostly found in private single family rental homes) are included too!
9. Everywhere: Vacation rentals are available virtually everywhere you want to visit!
10. Safety: From exclusive codes on the locks to being located in gated communities with guards, vacation rentals are very safe. As a family, this is so important.
11. Technology: Our condo had WiFi, televisions throughout with cable and DVD players. So if you want technology while you vacation, you can definitely have it.
12.Customer service: When renting through a property management company like ResortQuest, you are provided with excellent customer service both before and during your stay. They can help you make the right decision about your rental choice, advise on activities while on vacation and more.
13. Entertainment options: Vacation rentals often offer a lot to do. We had access to a private pool, the beach, tons of restaurants, bike paths, free movie rentals and more. We could have never left Sea Pines and had a perfect vacation.
14. Less crowded: Because we were in a condo and not a hotel, there were obviously less people.
15. Memories: The memories we created during our vacation will last a lifetime!