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!
If you think this post may be a good reference to you in the future, please pin it!
Please pack me in your suitcase next time! 😉
Great list, Jessica!
You can go in my suitcase anytime dear friend. xo
I highly second your suggestion to rent a home. It just offers so much more than a sterile and small hotel room.
We used to run a family friendly inn that could hold up to 50 people. We quickly realized folks needed such a place as you describe so their entire families could stay together without having to worry about bothering other folks. We were witness to such wonderful and joyful gatherings. Folks had space and time to relax and just enjoy one another, to pick up a thread from the last time they had gotten together. It truly was magical, and we were so humbled and happy to be a part of that.
What a lovely story! Thank you for sharing.
I couldn’t agree more. Last year we stayed in a hotel because I had won a trip free through my work. We made it work, but we were so cramped and I hated not having the kitchen. We said we will most likely never do that again with the kids! Especially for a beach vacation.
Yes, yes, yes to being cramped. I don’t think we could have done it.
Kristen Strong says
Super fab list here friend! I’ll be sharing it with my man, too. Love you and your generous heart, Jess. You always share the good stuff with us Mom Creative readers! xo
Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home says
I loved the sweet pictures of your family. It looks like you had a fun and relaxing week!
Coming from a great photographer like you Dawn, that means a lot!
Jessica Kelley says
Amen to all that–it’s so great to have a real “home” on vacation. And great idea about washing your clothes there so they all come home clean! I did about five loads of laundry this past weekend when we got home. Our condo had a washer and dryer but we forgot to bring detergent, so we just used it to rinse out bibs and burp rags and stuff!
I forgot a lot of stuff – can’t believe I remembered detergent!
emily freeman says
Yes and yes! So great with kids to have that extra elbow room. And Hilton Head is our favorite place to go as a family.
MainlineMom aka Sarah says
Great post!! I wholeheartedly agree with all these points. My mom owns a beach condo in Bethany Beach, DE and she rents it out through ResortQuest. We love love love it. We spend a few days there each summer…used to be lots more when we lived in Philadelphia.
Our family has always done this, and oh how you make me long for Hilton Head!
I’m seriously thinking of going there for a next vacation…..It really looks peaceful and relaxing !!
Love this post Jessica! Going to pin it! I was wondering if you had a favorite restaurant in Hilton Head? We won’t eat out much because of the leisure you mentioned in a condo, but we always love to hear of others favorite restaurants when they go to Hilton Head!
I’m planning on doing a post next week on all our favorite spots. One we especially liked was Roastfish and Cornbread. http://www.roastfishandcornbread.com/
I was reading your vacation posts while we were on vacation at the same time — we were in San Diego for a week and rented a house, because it wasn’t much more than a hotel, we saved on meals since we had a full kitchen and grill, and our daughter had her own sofa bed, so our evening didn’t have to end when she went to sleep like it would in a hotel room. It was awesome!
We have also rented a larger condo with family — a 3 bedroom, so my family of 3, my brother and his fiancée and my parents all fit comfortably. Such a great way to do a family vacation, especially with a 3 year old — when we did a hotel before, I had to be back in the room once she went to bed, and I felt like I missed out on so much. With a condo, she could go to bed in our room and then we could all still be hanging out in the living room.
We did the same in Italy this past summer when we were there with my in-laws — cheaper to rent an apartment than 2 hotel rooms, and it was great to all be together and have breakfast there and not need to eat out every single meal.
Love it as a new way to travel:)
I agree so much! Vacation homes definitely beat out hotels for convenience + comfort for families.
For our next trip, we hope to book a house WITH another family – to save on costs and add to the fun! 😉
From your post, i can understand that you have lived like a local in Hilton Head 🙂 I always prefer vacation rental homes instead of hotels. Privacy is the main matter every people cant compromise when it comes to vacation. I would like to suggest you to check out hometeltravel.com for your next vacation. One of my friend had used this service and he suggested me to check out
I was perusing your get-away posts while we were out of town in the meantime — we were in San Diego for a week and leased a house, since it wasn’t a great deal more than an inn, we saved money on dinners since we had a full kitchen and barbecue, and our little girl had her own couch bed, so our night didn’t need to end when she went to rest like it would in a lodging room. It was wonderful!
Lillian Schaeffer says
This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that vacation rentals allow you to cook at home. My husband and I are going with my siblings and their spouses on a trip, and we’re trying to get the details sorted out for that. It would be nice to be able to cook at home so we can save money on food throughout the trip, so I’ll definitely suggestion a vacation rental to the rest of the group. Thanks for the great post!
Yes! You will love it!
Caden Dahl says
Thanks for bringing to my attention the value of having extra space by using a vacation rental. I’m going to be going on a trip with a lot of my siblings and their significant others, and I imagine we’ll be doing a lot of just hanging out. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get a vacation rental so we have plenty of space.
Frank Delaware says
My wife and I are planning on going vacation to a rental cabin soon, and we were curious about what benefits we are getting by doing that. It’s interesting that you say that it can actually provide you with a lot more privacy than a hotel would. Since my wife is all about relaxing and not having to worry about noise, this might be a perfect fit for us!
Bernard Clyde says
It’s good to know that vacation home rentals are pretty cost effective when compared with staying i a hotel, as you mentioned. It’s important when you go on vacation to stay in a very interesting and enjoyable place. So much of vacation time is spend in your hotel or rental. I think it’s wise to make that experience meaningful for you and your family to get the most out of your vacation.
Tomas Killington says
My wife and I are going on vacation soon. We have been looking at different lodging options, but we’re not sure which type would fit our family’s needs the best. I didn’t realize vacation rentals have extra space to relax with the family while allowing for privacy when it is needed. I’ll be sure to discuss this option with my wife.
Ashley Turns says
I love how you mention that by getting a condo vacation rental you were able to spread out and not be on top of each other during your down time. My husband and I are planning on taking our three kids on vacation and we’ve been looking at the kind of accommodations we want to stay in for the week we are gone. We’ll definitely look into condo rentals so that each of our three kids will be able to have their own room and spend our relaxing time truly relaxing.
Kyle Wayne says
I like your point about how cabin/vacation rentals can offer all the comforts of living in a real home. My dad’s side of the family are planning on renting a cabin for a family trip but aren’t sure if it will be as good as camping. I think I will encourage them to find a quality cabin that will feel like home so we can all have a good, fun time together.
Persephone de Vito says
What I liked the most was you said that renting a vacation home offers a different view, different decor, and different amenities and that we can choose a vacation rental depending on the budget. This will be the first time that I will be having a vacation with my husband and since he’s a very private person, I’ve decided to rent a vacation cabin rather than booking in a hotel. I’m pretty sure he will be thrilled to hear about this because I was not telling him about it yet. Thank you for sharing. It surely got me excited.
Raeger Wynchester says
It was really nice how you mentioned that one of the benefits of renting a vacation home was that it offers the comfort that a home can give, maybe even better than that. I have been thinking for a while whether or not to go for a vacation home rental for our vacation this spring. My family likes their privacy as well as the feeling that they didn’t leave the house, so hotel really isn’t in my options. At least, now I know, that my decision was right. Thanks.
Todd Stauffer says
I like how you said that some vacation houses can be rented by multiple families, making them cheaper than a hotel. My wife and I love this idea. Every year we take her side of the family on a vacation somewhere. Sharing a house together and having lots of fun together seems like a really great and cheap way to vacation!
Ellie Davis says
My family is wanting to go on vacation but because we have 3-month-old twins, the place we stay needs to be quiet so they can sleep. Thank you for pointing out that when I rent a vacation home we have privacy because there aren’t other guests around. I’ll have to look into finding the best vacation cabin for us in the area we are vacationing.
Rosie Beckett says
My husband and I are thinking about renting a large cabin this summer so that we can have a fun family reunion with all of our children in one house. You make a great point that vacation homes will allow us to cook together and we won’t have to eat out for every meal, so that would save us money. Also, the fact that we will be able to spend extra time together is the most important benefit to me because I want to make sure that we get as much family time as possible.
Jane Burt says
I appreciate how the article explains that staying in a vacation rental is beneficial as it helps to provide all the comforts of home and allows you to have a more relaxed vacation. My family and I are wanting to go on a vacation to the beach but we are wanting it to be very relaxed and comfortable. Maybe we will look into renting a vacation beach house to have all the comforts of home.
Alec Burns says
It’s good that you point out that renting a home for your vacation gives you a place to cook during your trip. I want to visit a place in Idaho this summer, and I’m considering renting a vacation home so that my family won’t have to go out to eat. I’m going to look for good vacation rentals in the area we are going to.
Levi Armstrong says
It’s great that you mentioned that one of the benefits of vacation rentals over hotels is that they provide lots of privacy, plus they may even have pools and BBQ grills. My husband and I want to book a vacation for the family since we’ve been cooped up at home all year because of the pandemic. With what you’ve said, it would make sense to rent a cabin for a family vacation to keep us away from large crowds. Thanks!
Charlotte Fleet says
Thank you for mentioning how you can find vacation rentals virtually anywhere you want to visit. My parents want to take our family on a trip and stay somewhere in the mountains. I will suggest that they look into finding a cabin vacation rental for us to stay at.