Vacation Home Rental

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I’ve mentioned before that when we travel, we prefer a vacation home rental to a hotel for many reasons (listed below). We got a home rental on our trips to Sedona Arizona,  the coolest Cabin in the woods, and Taos New Mexico.  I’m happy to partner with HomeAway today to share about checking something off of my 40th birthday bucket list this summer, in the form of an EPIC travel adventure with my family. We’ll be renting a home again on that trip, as well. I shared on Instagram a few days ago this picture of our family with a shot of a place on each of our travel bucket lists.

travel bucket list

I teased those friends on Instagram, asking if they could guess the locations, and surprisingly, some got a few RIGHT! From left to right, here is where each of my family members would like to go:

  • Hawaii
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • Banff, Canada
  • Australia
  • Hawaii

As I’m planning our EPIC summer adventure for my birthday, I’m looking at vacation home rentals in each of these places, and I have narrowed it down to ONE of these locations! I’d love to have you WEIGH IN! First, I want to share a few reasons whey we love rentals, then I’ll share a few places I’m deciding between.

HomeAway has 2 million unique vacation home rentals ALL OVER THE WORLD, and sometimes I like to explore by searching cool places they suggest on their website or app.

NOW is the Time to BOOK for summer travel (before April 1st)! More tips on the best time to book vacations on the link.

Interesting facts about vacation home rentals coming from HomeAway data:

  • IN the United States, the beach reigns for vacation goers with Panama City Beach Florida at the top of the list!
  • Just following the above PCB is Orange Beach, FL and Gulf Shores Alabama. San Diego, and Hilton Head South Carolina follow right after.
  • Internationally, #1 is Paris, but it just just knocked the previous front runner to get there, which was….Whistler Canada! Wow, who would have thought??
  • After those international destinations comes: London, Rome, Puerto Penasco Mexico, and Florence

Have you rented a home in any of those locations???

Buffalo Plaid Christmas Jammies Family Pictures

When I look for a vacation home rental whether we are doing a nearby staycation or traveling to a new city, I want something CUTE! Really, is that too much to ask? I really don’t think so. Unfortunately, the word “cute” isn’t a filter on my options, probably because it’s subjective. I like modern, I like colorful, I want to enjoy my environment, so I look hard for something that resonates with my personality. Sometimes I see more “grandma” type stuff which is more floral/victorian, and I’ll turn away from something if I don’t like the decor. Is that prejudice???

I’ve also played around the app a bunch, and just look for cool places to stay that have been featured (following HomeAway on Instagram is a fun place to make a bucket list) because it encourages me to think about going to new places, JUST FOR THE HOUSE that I might not have otherwise thought to go.

Why we love a vacation home rental vs. a hotel:

  • so much more cozy
  • kitchen with oven/stove to cook
  • more space to spread out and play games
  • yard to roam/play
  • couches for movie night
  • no noise from neighbors
  • hardly ever see anyone else/privacy

Did you know that the average vacation rental is 1850 sq ft. a hotel room is 350 sq feet???

I do know some people love eating out, but for us, we prefer to stay in. So we’ll hit up a local grocery story and grab easy dinners (my kids love frozen taquitos) and make a few favorite dishes. But you still CAN eat local, but the home rental kitchen are often stocked with necessities, which makes it easy.

Sometimes our travels take us to new places where we are off exploring for the day and come back to relax, so I like to look for amenities like a nice family sitting area to watch a movie (and this one had a media room) or sometimes I’ll find one with a hot tub or pool, but often a high priority is a yard to play in, or a forest to explore.

homeaway vacation rental

More interesting vacation home rental facts, read more on HomeAways trend report:

  • Up-and-coming Vacation Destinations. HomeAway spotted places where demand for vacation rental homes grew dramatically over the past year:
    • Broken Bow/Hochatown, Oklahoma : These southeastern Oklahoma towns are near Broken Bow Lake, Hochatown State Park, Beavers Bend State Park and McCurtain County Game Reserve. Hochatown bills itself as the Deer Capital of the World. More than half of the vacation homes for rent in Broken Bow have three bedrooms or more, so the area attracts groups and families.
    • Davis, West Virginia : mountain biking destination near Canaan Valley and Monongahela National Forest
    • Spirit Lake, Iowa : largest town on Lake Okoboji
    • Texas Hill Country : The area, rich with wineries and rivers, attracts short getaway visitors from nearby Austin and San Antonio. Towns attracting more travelers include Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Spicewood and Wimberley.
  • Barns, Birch, Boats: Hottest Alternative Accommodations. Home-ified barns, treehouses and house boats stood out among atypical getaway abode choices over the past year, with demand up double-digits for each.
  • Most Traveled Town in America (Outbound). Cumming, Georgia. This Atlanta exurb books vacation rentals at the highest rate per capita of any U.S. city, at a remarkable one out of every three residents.
  • Pet friendly places, too!

For my best tips on how to navigate the HomeAway website, click on the link.

So here are a few homes (in our $200-300 per night price range) for a family of 6, that I love in the places we want to go:

New Zealand: Modern 3 bed holiday house

New Zealand house rental

Near Banff Canada: Upscale Modern Mountain House

New Zealand house rental

Hawaii: Maui Plantation Cottage

Maui house rental

Switzerland: Stunning Chalet


Now, to decide on a location and pick a home rental! Where would you go if money were no object? Unfortunately…money is always an object though, right?

The best way to decide where to go is to:

  1. Poll the family where they would like to go
  2. Look around for fabulous homes to stay in
  3. Pick the spot that fits in your budget best (flights included)

Pin the image below to your travel board to share with others, and save for reference later!

How to rent a vacation home rental for your family

Disclaimer: I partnered with HomeAway for this post, but I truly love their services.

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