How to save BIG on vacation accommodations!

vacation keep calm

If you’re like many of us, you enjoy vacation! For us, we love to travel. But we have, as they say, “Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget”.

With the advent of so many people renting their vacation apartments and homes, you can get a beautiful place to stay for about the same price as a small hotel room. This REALLY comes in handy when you have a family traveling. A few years ago we took our whole family (there were 7 people) on a ski trip. We would have needed 3 hotel rooms. Instead, we got a huge 4 bedroom, 2-story mountain house for $150 a night. Not only was that about 1/2 the cost of 3 hotel rooms, we had TONS of room – 2 fireplaces and plenty of room to lounge around and have family time together.

Recently we took a trip to Portland, OR to visit family. Instead of booking a hotel room, we got an awesome 2-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen, living room and dining room…for the same price!

We enjoy renting apartments vs. hotels for several reasons, one of which is that you can really spread out in an apartment. The full kitchen allows us to save money on food expenses. We’ll have some meals in the apartment and then splurge on meals when we do go out. And there’s something to be said for have a fridge for leftovers!

Another reason we really enjoy apartments: I am a very light sleeper and Mr. Coupondipity and I are on very different schedules, even on vacay. I go to bed early and wake up early. He goes to bed late and sleeps in. If we were in a small hotel room, he would keep me awake at night and I would probably disturb him in the morning.

Check it out – which would you prefer?

This?

vacation apt1

Or This?

vacation apt

Believe it or not, they’re priced about the same. If you know where to look…and how.

I primarily use the website VRBO.com. (Stands for Vacation Rental By Owner). We have used this site many, many times with never a problem. I always book apartments that have several good reviews. I realize that for some of you, you are hesitant. I understand that. But VRBO has a lot of policies in place that protect you. And there’s also AirBnB.com – same sort of deal.

We’re taking a trip to Europe in the spring, and I already have our vacation apartments rented; one in Stuttgart, Germany, one is Salzburg, one in Vienna and one in Prague. Each is a 2 bedroom apartment in the city center for the same prices I was finding on hotel rooms. And not even extravagant hotel rooms…just your basic one room with a bed in it!

When booking, make sure that the apartment has everything you consider a ‘must’. For instance, in the summer, make sure it has A/C (unless you’re in San Francisco!). If you have problems going up and down a lot of stairs, make sure it’s on the first floor of the building or there is an elevator.

The downside? There is no concierge! And no…there is no room service. But every apartment owner that we have encountered has been more than happy to share great information about their city.

Take a look at what’s out there next time you go on vacation. Once you stay in a vacation apartment, you may never again stay in a cramped hotel room!

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