In the last decade, the vacation rental market has exploded. Websites like VRBO and AirBnB have made this lodging option accessible to many who would never have considered it before, and it has become easier to search for apartments and homes around the world. Those who try vacation rentals over traditional hotels and resorts are largely pleased when they do. In one survey 79 percent of those who had never stayed in a vacation rental said their preferred accommodations were hotels; among those who had stayed in a rental property, however, the number fell by half, with only 40 percent saying they preferred a hotel. So what is it about vacation rentals that make them appealing, and when are they right for you?
1. You Like Room to Spread Out
The most obvious benefit of a vacation rental is measured in square feet. While you may pay a few hundred dollars for a hotel room each night in some large cities, for the same price you can often get an apartment with several bedrooms if you choose a rental property instead. If you enjoy the luxury of having a living room where you can read and work, but also a separate bedroom, you can either choose a suite at a traditional hotel or a rental—and the rental will generally be less expensive. At the Encore Resort at Reunion in Orlando, when you rent one of their 3-to 13-bedroom homes, you get not only a living room and kitchen but even your own swimming pool.
2. You Are Traveling with a Group One of the biggest downsides of hotels becomes obvious when you are traveling with a group, whether family or friends. If you will require at least two hotel rooms, then a vacation rental is often going to be more affordable and it will also offer the luxury of a shared space where you can all gather. Rather than having to turn one of your hotel rooms into a living room, and make space among the clothes and turn the bed into a couch, you’ll have your own private common areas. At the Encore Resort at Reunion, you get the best of both worlds. You will have your own home but unlike some vacation rentals, there’s also a restaurant, lounge, and even a 10-acre waterpark when you want to venture outside and explore the resort.
3. You Value Privacy and Quiet
If you have ever spent a night in a room with a bachelorette party taking place on the floor above you or have stayed in a hotel when every inch of the lobby has been taken over by attendees at a convention, then you’ll appreciate the quiet of many vacation rentals. Even if you do have an upstairs neighbor in an apartment rental, people are often less raucous in their own homes than they are in hotels. Of course with a free-standing home, like those at the Encore Resort, you won’t have any upstairs or downstairs neighbors.
4. You Have Special Dietary Requirements
Vacation rentals are especially popular with families with young kids because of one of their most valuable amenities, kitchens. It is easier to accommodate the eating schedules of infants and young kids when you have your own full-size refrigerator and stove. At the Encore Resort, all the kitchens are state-of-the-art: spacious and furnished with new appliances including dishwashers and microwaves. The advantages of having your own kitchen can literally be life-saving if you or someone in your group has a food allergy that means dining out for every meal brings special challenges.
5. You Know a Destination Well
Hotels and resorts can be more appealing when you are traveling somewhere you have never visited before, and you don’t know which neighborhoods are desirable, and which are not. If you want some help navigating cabs or public transportation, especially in a foreign language, knowledgeable hotel staff can be invaluable. If you are returning to a city you have visited before that hand-holding may not be necessary, and there’s less reason to pay the premium that comes with a full-service hotel. It is not always necessary to choose, however. The Encore Resort at Reunion offers its own model: The services of a resort combined with the space of a rental. You can get tips on Orlando’s dining and shopping scenes as well as help with tickets and transportation to its theme parks from the Encore concierges while staying in your own home.