Vacation Homes as Hotel Alternatives
By Pamela J. Thomas
A rental rate of $8,000 or $10,000 may seem shocking at first, but divide that amount into 10 and you’re able to live in grand style for the same price as a one-week stay in a tight hotel room.
Combine resources with friends and family to get luxurious living areas, kitchens, outdoor spaces, and an infinity pool for a “rich and famous” lifestyle.
But, before you plunk down your hard-earned money, keep these things in mind when planning a group stay:
- Decide who is going. If you don’t get along at home, you won’t get along on vacation!
- Next, decide the type of accommodations. Your budget will help narrow this choice. Popular homes get snatched up at the end of the summer, so act quickly, and make a deposit to get the cream of the crop for the following year.
- Tell the rental agent what you’re looking for so they can match you with the right property.
- Discuss who pays for what such as groceries and beverages. Some rental managers can have the kitchen stocked prior to your arrival for a fee in addition to the cost of the groceries.
- Make sure there are enough double beds if your group consists of all couples and/or sufficient single beds and baths for single travelers and children. If everyone is paying the same price, decide who’s going to sleep where before you arrive or make it plain, the first person to arrive gets a choice of bedroom.
- Determine whether your accommodations will be cleaned daily and communicate the frequency to your group in case they’ll be expected to pitch in with the cleaning. Prepare a cleaning schedule so there is no misunderstanding.
- Each rental company will have its own agreement and rental procedures regarding length of stay, age requirements, payment methods, cancellation and refund policies. This is a legal, binding contract so review the agreement carefully prior to signing.
- Put one person in charge of the finances and collect all monies due prior to the start of vacation.
- Finally, if yours is an adults-only group, you can save hundreds of dollars by traveling during off-peak times. Rates can drop dramatically in the ‘shoulder season”, the weeks prior to and after Memorial and Labor Day. The weather is still good, but the crowds of summer are long gone.