The traditional concept of the vacation is changing in the new millennium. Vacations are much more than selecting a destination, a hotel and a flight. The contemporary vacation is now infused with purpose, purpose beyond the simple act of escaping the routines of everyday life. People want adventure, history, culture, learning and more. Vacations are becoming an extension of one’s persona.
Fascinated by yoga? Devotees are traveling to India to experience it first hand. Love Chinese food? A vacation in Shanghai is in order, to learn more about it, first hand. Are you a Civil War history buff? Time to trod the Gettysburg National Military Park. Avocations, in other words, are becoming vacations.
So how does this tie in with vacation rentals? In today’s difficult economic climate, it is more important than ever to make sound fiscal decisions. Increasingly, the vacation rental is proving to be the least expensive form of accommodation, and that is especially true for families or friends traveling together. Even if you are traveling alone or as a couple, you can still benefit from the vacation rental financially and aesthetically. I’ll have more on the aesthetic aspect later.
The boom in vacation rentals is not unlike the “Bed & Breakfast” boom of the 1980’s or the “Time Share” of the 1990’s. As people’s tastes and needs change, the free market always seems to find a way to respond.
Although vacation rentals have been around in Europe for years, they are just gaining a foothold in the consciousness of the American traveler. In short, you will not be pioneering a new concept. They’ve been around a while and they have a track record. Interest is growing, primarily for fiscal reasons. It is fact that a vacation rental is usually the least expensive option for families when the benefits are considered in their entirety.
Let’s be realistic. A family of 5 or more is a nightmare in conventional hotel accommodations! The family ends up either very uncomfortable or divided. Neither option is particularly attractive. Then there is the cost! Multiple rooms, meals, gratuities, taxes, laundry, entertainment and the list goes on! These costs often make a decent vacation impossible for the low to middle income family. Enter the vacation rental!
Now you have everyone in the family under one roof. You have a living room, kitchen, bathroom(s), bedrooms, TV, Internet and laundry facilities. It is, quite literally, a home away from home. Doing your own cooking and your own laundry minimizes costs. Keeping your children entertained, occupied and safe is much easier in this environment as compared to a hotel.
I urge you to explore this option as you consider your vacation plans. A number of companies on the Internet specialize in listing vacation rental properties. The sites are professional, informative and, in most cases, easy to navigate. Vacation rentals can be found in almost every conceivable destination from Bali to Bohol.
Earlier, I said we would talk about the aesthetics; so let me close on that point. The vacation rental affords you the opportunity to live among the locals, especially important if your destination is outside the USA. You get a genuine experience of “place”. The character, culture and lifestyle of your destination become a first hand experience. You are a participant rather than an observer. How does one put a price on that?