Hotel or Vacation Rental: Which is Right for You?

We all want to make the most of our precious vacation time. These days, the rise of vacation rentals means that there is more choice than ever before when it comes to accommodation.

Staying in a city apartment or a luxury villa can be the ideal way to make yourself at home—and it may even be cheaper, too! But sometimes, nothing beats the creature comforts of a hotel, with 24-hour service, fresh linens, and a cleaning team.

So is renting right for you, or will the convenience of hotel life prove too good to resist? Use our guide to find out what’s best for your next vacation.

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Do you want to live like a local?

Vacation rentals can help you have a more authentic traveling experience, with the chance to live among locals and get a taste of their way of life. But it's vital to do your homework. Where is that chic apartment or lavish villa actually situated? An industrial suburb may not be what you had in mind! Google maps may help, as will reviews by previous visitors.

A hotel is likely to be in a good location for tourists, but the more central you get, the more expensive it could be. Research the area so you get to know the best shops, restaurants and things to do in your chosen neighborhood. Look for tours offered by locals—and learning some of the language will get you a long way!

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Is your itinerary crammed with activities?

After a long, exhausting day on your feet, you may find a hotel the ideal place to put up your feet and relax. A well-reviewed restaurant, spa or even a concierge service... they provide that extra touch of luxury you might be craving after a full-on sightseeing trip. Look for spacious rooms with king-sized beds for added comfort and check whether you have to pay extra to use any of the facilities.

Also read: 10 Most Awesome Hotels with Indoor Pools

On a budget?

Cutting costs often means staying in lower-star hotels, but you could get much better value for money in the vacation rental market. Always use reputable sites and scan the reviews carefully. Look out for extra fees and taxes, and if in doubt, ask for a full breakdown of costs.

Also read: Tips to Save Money When Booking a Vacation Rental

Are you traveling with friends, children or pets?

Renting will definitely give you more space, privacy and flexibility if you’re traveling with a lot of companions. But don't economize too much; make sure the place is big enough to comfortably fit you all. A spacious garden or balcony will be crucial for avoiding cabin fever, particularly if the weather is hot.

More family travel tips:
• 6 Tips For Choosing a Great Vacation Rental For Your Next Family Trip
• 14 Tips for Traveling with Pets
• 7 Questions to Ask to Find the Best Family Travel Insurance
• Top 10 Dog-Friendly Vacations Around the World

Want to get away from it all?

Sometimes you just want to treat yourself and book the nicest hotel you can find. A vacation rental may feel too much like a home if you want to have a total break, with no responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning to worry about. It may be worth paying extra (if you can) for a late check-out so you can sleep in!

Also read: What is Travel Insurance and How Does it Work?

Coronavirus Pandemic Considerations

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live in many ways, especially when it comes to traveling. And, that’s not likely to change anytime soon. See how hotels and vacation rentals are protecting their guests during the pandemic.

Consider where and when you are traveling, as well as you and your companions’ health situation when choosing your accommodations. Are social distancing and other health considerations important on your trip? If social distancing is important, make sure the hotel is taking proper measures or consider a vacation rental, where you can better control your interactions with others.

See our page with tools to look up Coronavirus travel restrictions as you plan your trip


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