Travel Tips

Hotels vs. Short Stay Accommodations for Family Travelers?

By February 5, 2015 October 5th, 2017 6 Comments

Hotel vs Short stay accomodations

This is a collaborative post with World Escape, but all opinions are at the sole discretion of the Pure Wander staff.

A tried and true hotel chain may be your go-to when choosing places to stay for family vacations, but that would be such a shame to limit yourself! These days, the web offers a wide range of possibility for rented apartments, homes and independent accommodations worldwide. These options can often save you money and headaches over lack of space, kitchen access or location quarrels. Consider both sides when checking out where your family will call home base on your next getaway.

Pro: Destination Authenticity

We do love a solid hotel pick that is reputable and has a global reputation. However, we prefer immersing in a destination, which often does not include whitewashed hotel walls and generic décor. Instead, choosing a rented apartment or home gives your family the chance to travel authentically and stay in a local environment. The neighborhoods where these homes can be off the main tourist drag too, providing not only real experiences but a real atmosphere too.

Pro: Travel on the Cheap

It can be tough to negotiate a fee at a hotel, but rates directly from renters are often flexible. You have the chance to contact several people, get quotes and choose what works best for your family. Seasonal and space variables also can be factors in fluctuating costs. Not to mention, apartments and home often run cheaper than two standard hotel rooms.

Pro: Spread Out in Style

You have a brood of six and you’re wondering how to cram into one hotel room. Seems a little impossible, right? That’s why we especially dig rentable apartments and homes when traveling with larger groups. It’s simpler to keep everyone under one roof and accounted for. Bedrooms and space can be separate, but this can be especially great for families wanting to try some trips with little ones and are worried about splitting up hotel rooms. Also, those hotel suites that can accommodate more people are nice, but often come with pricey perks that most families don’t need.

Con: Potential Unreliability

Crews with kids sometimes will hesitate at the thought of renting a vacation home. The idea of no room service, housekeeping or concierge is unpleasant. Some also worry the reservation will fall through and they could be left stranded. Fortunately, there’s not plenty of fail safes in place, such as money back guarantees and certified renters. But those stereotypes still hold true for many and are hard to overcome.

Where to Rent Holiday Homes Online

Feel free to Google any number of websites that offer a liaison between you and the home renter. When trying this for the first few times, choose hosts that have great reviews and a steady reputation. Know the golden rule, “if it’s too cheap, it’s too good to be true”.

One fantastic option is World Escape. They have excellent 24-hour customer service, ties to Trip Advisor and a giant list of great urban and rural stays. Families can book for a long weekend or a month, it’s up to the group when and where to travel.

Have you used a vacation home rental before? Do you prefer hotels or rented apartments and houses?

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Twitter @Crooked_Flight

More posts by Eileen Cotter Wright

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Love these tips and have shared them. I’m a great fan of renting an apartment or home, especially on family trips where we can all stay under one roof and have money in the budget to explore the area.

  • I love a hotel where I don’t need to cook (!), but I think apartments/holiday homes work really well for families and can take away a lot of stress (not least not having to all sleep in one room!). Great tips.

    • Absolutely. It can be just as fun and immersive to shop at the local market and cook as it can be to go out and eat! Apartments allow for that and cater a little more to those picky eater kids too 🙂

  • Very hard to relax in any hotel room. You feel you want to be out , while staying in an apartment it is much easier to relax and chill. Unless you get a hotel suite or an hotel-apart then a vacation rental apartment is the way to go for any vacation.

    • Shauna Armitage says:

      See I much prefer a hotel! I love knowing that someone else is responsible for cleaning up, there’s always shampoo and toothpaste in stock, and when available, I can get cheeseburgers delivered to my room at midnight.

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