Home > Random Thoughts > Vacation Homes – An alternative to hotel stays

Vacation Homes – An alternative to hotel stays


Vacation Homes are residential properties that are let out for short stays. On one of my recent vacations with 2 other families, we decided to give vacation homes a try. The whole experience was nothing short of impressive. We got a well maintained property a few miles from Orlando for prices much lesser than what a similar hotel would have cost.

We got a 5 bedroom palace with a private pool, jacuzzi and a game room. There was so much to do in the house that we end up spending most of the time in the house. Morning by the swimming pool; afternoon playing foosball, table tennis and pool; and in the evening drinking by the pool. That was the itinerary that we had planned and we damn well struck to it :).

Pictures courtesy Akshaja...Click for a larger image

Few pointers for locating and staying in a vacation home:

  • Finding  a place: If you google for vacation homes, you will get plenty of results. Most of the listings have photos to give you a view of the actual house. I recommend going though airbnb. Airbnb is a website which lists vacation homes. The property owners get an option to upload pictures and mention details of the property. Visitors get to review the property to give you an idea of if the property owners description matches the reality. The best part about airbnb is that all payments are processed through them/Paypal. Airbnb holds all the payments till 24 hrs after the start of the booking. I was much more comfortable with this system rather than transferring the entire amount to an unknown person. (Link to the property where we had stayed)
  • Watch out for hidden costs. Most of the vacation homes have a minimum number of days of stay required. Some impose a cleaning charge. Some have a tax component over and above the price quoted. Be sure to contact the property owner and verify the net cost of the stay.
  • Be sure to google and find restaurants that deliver to the vacation home. Though you have a full kitchen, some people prefer not to cook while on vacations.
  • If you are opting for a property with a private pool/jacuzzi, enquire about the heating charges beforehand. It takes a long time to heat the water, so if you need hot water in the pool, make that decision while booking and inform the property owner so that the water is nice and warm when you check in.
  • Most vacation homes have basic supplies available. There will be a few rolls of toilet paper, kitchen towel, garbage bags, soap etc. available. Any thing extra will have to be purchased separately. Instead of running around to buy stuff while on vacation, it will be a good idea to pack a few of those from home.
  • The place I checked in had the entire kitchen setup with utensils to cook for an army. But, it is a nice idea to check with the property owner for specifics.
  • Vacation homes, unlike hotel rooms, do not service the rooms during the duration of the stay. You get a clean house. You stay there like you stay at your home keping it clean to your liking. And the house is reset to its original state when you check out. There is no maid who makes the bed in the morning. Keep that in mind before you start messing up the house 🙂
  • After your stay make sure to write a review on airbnb. This will help future vacationers.
There are other websites which i had discovered. I have not tried them but they look credible enough.
Happy vacationing!
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  1. July 12, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Good one man! very well put

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