Vacation Home Rental with HomeAway

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When looking for a Vacation Home Rental, browse through home profiles on HomeAway to find a cute place to stay. Our family loves to stay at a home vs. hotel when we travel, and we often like to take local staycations for a getaway family bonding adventure. I’m happy to share the really cute barn/cabin we stayed at over Thanksgiving break, I had SO many people asking me about it on Instagram, here is the full deal!

HomeAway Vacation Home RentalVacation Home Rental

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??? {MAKE SURE YOU SEE THE FULL HOME TOUR VIDEO BELOW!}

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.

After I booked our Thanksgiving home, I reached out to my friends at HomeAway and asked if they’d be willing to sponsor this post. I was already going to share it, but I’ll be sharing extra screenshots below because of our partnership, otherwise I would have just said, “go check out their site!” I shared about my love for HomeAway a year ago when I wrote about Taos ski valley lodging, but it’s worth repeating some details.

To watch our video with a little home tour, see below. I whittled down 28 minutes to just over 3 minutes, and I was pretty impressed with that!

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

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

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.

making homemade rolls

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.

In this recent trip, it was more of a staycation, and there weren’t really any “sites” to see in the middle of Texas, but it was more about family bonding in the home. We ALWAYS look for a forest to explore, that’s our family favorite. This home we went to over Thanksgiving had not just 17 acres to explore, but a state park nearby, and so many cool things inside!

The pool table was a big hit (and a blue pool table was a nice touch), so was the air hockey table, but what I DIDN’T even know about was the ELEVATOR! My kids thought that was pretty cool. I loved reading about how the owners installed that for their grand daughter with special needs. It really came in handy, because my husband with crutches found it very useful as well.

What really caught my attention when I saw this online (besides those gaming tables) was the bunk bed room. Not JUST that it had my favorite buffalo check pattern, but that all 4 of my kids could have a slumber party in there! Though there was another room, they stayed in there together, and had fun finding all the cute little cubby holes around the room.

double bunkbends

It really felt cozy, and we had such a wonderful time. We bring our own board games when we are close, but most homes we’ve been to has a stash of games and cards as well.

homeaway vacation rental

We’ve already booked our next home that we’ll stay at over the Christmas break, but I can’t say where it is yet, because my kids don’t know! But we get to fly to this one, I’m excited!

hammock in the trees

How to use the HomeAway website:

Ok, so here are some screen shots of what I do when I’m on the HomeAway website.

I love that their website is interactive. I’ll type in a destination, and it shows me homes available for my dates, and I can set a filter saying: 6 people, 2 bathrooms, wi-fi, tv, oven, etc. Of course, setting a budget price range, so I don’t even have to see the really fancy stuff outside of my range.

Below, I’ll explain what I love about the HomeAway features, once you narrow down to a general location after the home screen. See my numbered red arrows:

  1. At the top, you type in location, dates, and numbers of guests
  2. You can then adjust filters like how much you want to spend, and add in extra filters (hot tub, amenities)
  3. This section scrolls and you can see glimpses of homes, and you can see my purple pentagon, it coordinates with the other purple pentagon.
  4. As you scroll the page to other parts of town, the blue dots (that represent homes) will move to available homes for your dates, and you’ll see them show up in section 3. I LOVE this feature because sometimes I THINK I want one part of town, but want to look in other parts of town as well, but I don’t need to re-do settings, just move my mouse around the map.

vacation home rental HomeAway

When I’m browsing locations just for fun, I can save favorites according to what I LOVE to remind me where I want to go next.

Download the HomeAway app, or search around on your computer to decide on your next family vacation. They have homes in over 190 countries around the world!

Disclaimer: I partnered with HomeAway to share extra details, but I genuinely love their services and used them many times before partnering!

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