Author: Benjamin Harty

Hi, I'm Benjamin, Digital Media Strategist for Skyline STR. I have been involved in content creation for over a decade and love helping people develop strategies to grow their business. My wife and I are AirBnB photographers that are experienced in rental arbitrage and hosting on the platform.

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Vacation Rental vs. Hotel: Why You May Never Book a Hotel Again

As vacationers, we are always looking for a vacation experience that is both memorable and affordable. Hotels have been the go-to option for many years, but in recent years vacation rental properties have become more and more popular due to Airbnb’s innovative approach to hospitality.

With hotel rooms costing an average of $230 per night*, vacation rentals can not only be cheaper but offer additional amenities too, such as kitchen and laundry services that hotels don’t provide at all.

Here are 9 reasons why you may never want to book a hotel again:

  1. Vacation rentals offer more space than hotels. 
  2. Vacation rentals can accommodate more guests.
  3. Most Hotels don’t welcome pets.
  4. Vacation rentals provide better access to facilities. 
  5. Hotels have shared amenities. 
  6. Vacation rentals provide a home-like environment. 
  7. Hotels are more expensive than vacation rentals.
  8. Vacation rentals offer more privacy than hotels.
  9. Vacation rentals enable more flexibility.

Read on for an in-depth comparison of the two options, and learn why you may never book a hotel again. 

Why Do People Stay in Vacation Rentals?

Vacation rentals are a great choice for travelers due to the many benefits they offer. They usually come with access to a fully stocked kitchen, so guests have more flexibility when it comes to planning their meals. Vacation rentals also typically allow for more people than hotels, and some even accept pets.

While hotels often have shared amenities, vacation rentals have everything in their own home, meaning you’re able to enjoy your stay without missing any of the creature comforts of home that you’re used to. Finally, vacation rentals are often less expensive than hotel rooms.

For all these reasons and more, it’s no wonder that vacation rental properties are becoming an increasingly popular option among travelers.

1. Vacation Rentals Offer More Space Than Hotels

Vacation rentals come in different sizes, giving clients enough space to unwind and engage in their activities. Although there are some tiny vacation rentals, most will still be larger than the average hotel room. 

The extra space that comes with vacation rentals can enhance the value of your stay, allowing you to feel more at home, despite living your best life on vacation. With hotel rooms, however, you’ll have to settle for the limited space, which can be a nightmare, especially if you plan to stay with the entire family. 

2. Vacation Rentals Can Accommodate More Guests

Most, if not all, hotels tend to have a cap or a limit on the number of guests allowed. While this might not be an issue for small families, it can prove devastating for large families of four and above. On most occasions, large families staying in hotels end up booking more rooms to accommodate all members, which can significantly dent your vacation budget. 

Vacation rentals rarely have limits, provided you communicate with the property owner well in advance when booking. Even better, clients can always negotiate in case a property owner has reservations on the total number of guests allowed. This means that your family of five, six or even seven can get accommodation in a vacation rental, as long as you choose a unit that accommodates your family’s size. 

3. Most Hotels Don’t Welcome Pets 

It’s no secret that most hotels are usually against bringing pets on board. This can prove problematic, especially if you don’t want to leave your furry companion or feline friend behind. Although some hotels allow pets, you might end up doing an extensive search or forking out excess cash to land one that has pet-friendly facilities. 

On the other hand, vacation rentals are a lot more pet-friendly and flexible, with most being open to a host of pets (well, ordinary pets at least). Additionally, the large amount of space that comes with vacation rentals means you and your pet won’t get in each other’s way, ensuring that everyone enjoys the much-needed time away from home. 

4. Vacation Rentals Provide Better Access to Facilities 

While hotels will market their facilities as premium, chances are you won’t have unlimited access during your stay at the hotel. This is because hotels usually have rules and policies that regulate the use of their facilities, including the heated pools and gyms. Granted, you’ll have access to world-class equipment, but you won’t be free to use them without observing the set rules and regulations. 

Vacation rentals also come with their unique set of regulations, clients usually have a lot more freedom in terms of access to the facilities. You won’t have to put up with specific rules, like when to use the gym, or have to consult with an attendant before accessing an amenity. Once you’ve cleared everything with the property owner, you’ll be free to do as you wish, provided you don’t damage the rental. 

5. Hotels Have Shared Amenities 

Not unless you book a presidential suite during your hotel stay, chances are you’ll have to contend with sharing most amenities with fellow guests. While this isn’t an issue for most people, it can come with its fair share of disadvantages, especially if you want to enjoy some private moments either alone or with your loved one(s). 

Vacation rentals are, without a doubt, the better option if you want exclusive access to amenities. Depending on the type of rental you book, you can end up with your own pool, yard and basking area, among a host of other luxuries. Even if you book a vacation rental with shared amenities between different units, you still won’t have to share with as many people as you would when staying in an ordinary hotel room. 

6. Vacation Rentals Provide a Home-Like Environment

While hotels will give you a chance to detach from your usual environment, you might end up frustrated, especially when planning for long stays. This is because you’ll have to contend with the potentially annoying (and untimely) knocks of housekeeping. Moreover, the thought of having to leave the room to access the restaurant or having room service interrupt your privacy whenever you need something might prove overwhelming. 

Since many vacation rentals are privately-owned homes or properties, they’re also laid out like your home might be, giving you and your family more comfort while on vacation. Some properties will offer master bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, storage closets, laundry facilities, and even a fully-equipped kitchen. 

A rental gives you a much-needed, home-like environment and access to kitchen appliances, laundry facilities, board games, and various entertainment gadgets to make your stay more enjoyable and comfortable.

7. Hotels Are More Expensive Than Vacation Rentals 

Hotels are notorious for overcharging guests, more so due to the hidden costs. On most occasions, you’ll need to pay for every service accessed or amenity used in a hotel as long as it wasn’t included in your package. While the hidden cost might not be too much, it can still affect your budget, especially if you end up spending more than initially planned. 

One of the greatest advantages of booking a vacation rental is the lack of hidden costs. With a vacation rental, you’ll be charged for the entire property, including all the amenities that come with it. This might bring the cost up a bit, especially if you book a rental with several outdoor and indoor amenities, but you won’t have to deal with additional charges. 

8. Vacation Rentals Offer More Privacy Than Hotels

When staying in hotels, it’s inevitable to interact with people and staff members. Whether you’re at the bar, walking around the premises or just basking around the pool, chances are you’ll have to interact with other people, which can be a buzzkill if you want some alone time or the other patrons are unruly. Staying in your room might be the only way to have some alone time, which isn’t the case with vacation rentals. 

Vacation rentals give you the opportunity to have some exclusive fun as you spend time away from home. On most occasions, the guests are usually the only people on the property, meaning you and your family can have some alone time and do as you wish. The privacy that comes with vacation rentals is hard to find in hotels, especially since you won’t need to interact with any staff members or other guests during your stay. 

9. Vacation Rentals Enable More Flexibility

Hotels often have set schedules for their services, such as restaurant opening hours, pool and gym opening hours, laundry availability, and concierge support, which can limit your free time while on vacation. 

Vacation rentals give you more power, especially when deciding what you want to do and when to do it. You can sleep in for hours and cook a quick meal when you’re hungry without worrying about the restaurant closing, take a dip in the pool whenever, and do your laundry at any time without waiting in a queue of other guests.

Airbnb vs VRBO: Which is better to rent from?

As a guest, you’ll find that vacation rental websites have many nuances that might not be immediately clear. For instance, VRBO and Airbnb both provide you with the opportunity to book private residences, homes, villas, and apartments, etc. However, Airbnb offers different types of properties while VRBO only provides entire homes that can be rented. Furthermore, while VRBO doesn’t have a limit on the number of people who can stay in the property at any given time, Airbnb has a limit of 16 guests at a time per property.

With that said, users typically find Airbnb to be the better interface with a smoother booking process over VRBO.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a hotel that offers more privacy, comfort and flexibility than your average resort or chain property, vacation rentals are the way to go. Vacation rentals give you exclusive access to private homes with large living areas, kitchens stocked with appliances and utensils, laundry facilities just steps away from your room, and outdoor amenities that make it easy to enjoy time outdoors without dealing with crowds of people.

If this sounds like something you want in your next getaway experience then we invite you to explore our website where we offer an extensive list of properties around the world waiting for bookings!

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