If you’ve grown weary of vacations where your whole crew is crammed into a small hotel room for days on end, consider upgrading to a luxurious resort residence. Picture this: model home quality furnishings and decor, a balcony with a view, a full kitchen, separate bedrooms for the kids, a fireplace, washer and dryer, and resort amenities to delight all ages. You can enjoy these perks plus, what you might not expect from an upscale resort residence: nightly rates that are equal to or less than the price of staying in a hotel.

Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. Photo by Big Family TravelingMom, Heidi Gollub.

Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. Photo by Big Family TravelingMom, Heidi Gollub.

This summer, I planned an epic 5,500-mile road trip for my family of seven, from Texas to Canada and back again. And by planned, I mean I said to my husband, “Sure! Let’s do it!” and then neglected to book a single hotel. I figured I’d have a good 75 hours on the road to work out the little details, like where all five kids would sleep each night. So, that is how I found myself an hour outside of Branson, Missouri, urgently hotel-shopping on my phone.

I knew I wanted to stay somewhere near Silver Dollar City (because they offer discounted admission in the evening) and not too far from Billy Gail’s Cafe (because breakfast is best with bigger-than-your-plate pancakes). Remembering that Branson has a lot of timeshares, I had a flash of inspiration. Although I had never booked through the site, I knew that Vacatia offers unused timeshares at discounted rates. I hopped on Vacatia.com, snagged a great deal on a one-night resort residence stay, and well, now I’ve been ruined for life.

Here are ten reasons why my family thinks resort residences are the cat’s meow, followed by your chance to win a $500 booking credit with Vacatia! 

Space, space and more space

It used to be, when I would suggest going on vacation, my husband would say, “How about we just invite all the kids to sleep in our room tonight, because that’s pretty much the same thing.” In a hotel room with seven people, that’s true. But in a resort residence, there is room to spread out between bedrooms, living room, dining room, and kitchen. It is heavenly to have a vacation home base with so much space (and doors to close when you need a moment of peace).

Classy digs

Hotel rooms are a mixed bag. I can’t tell you how many times I have booked a hotel based on glowing online reviews, only to end up in one of the rooms that hasn’t been updated since 1979. But we were blown away by the decor in our first resort residence rental. My husband was so impressed with Cliffs Resort Table Rock Lake in Branson, he made a glowing video when we arrived. In it, my teenage son exclaims, “It’s like a house. It’s like a model home. Let’s take it!” And my husband says, “Yeah, very fancy. Very fancy, I like it.”

Convenience

Just as I’d hoped, we were able to check in at our resort and head straight to Silver Dollar City, a mere three-minute drive up the road. We stayed until the park closed at 10 p.m., and were grateful for the short trek back to our condo. It was fantastic to be able to have a quick amusement park adventure right in the middle of our cross-country drive, before hopping back in the car the next morning.

Silver Dollar City; photo by Big Family TravelingMom, Heidi Gollub.

Silver Dollar City; photo by Big Family TravelingMom, Heidi Gollub.

Floor plans online

When looking at resort residences on Vacatia, you can not only see so many photos of each property that you’ll feel like you’ve already been there, but there is also a floor plan of each unit online. It’s great to be able to mentally assign sleeping arrangements before you book.

Amenities galore

We loved our first resort residence stay so much, we used Vacatia to book a night at another resort, The Suites at Fall Creek by Diamond Resorts, for our return trip through Branson. Once again, we had a two-bedroom suite with plenty of space for all, but this resort further delighted us by offering a huge array of complimentary amenities. After swimming in the pool, we headed to the playground. Then, my three boys played a round of mini golf while my teenage daughter and I played tennis, with borrowed equipment from the resort. We checked out the indoor game room and rented a movie, all the while lamenting that we weren’t going to have enough time to swim in the indoor pool or watch the dive-in movie at the outdoor pool. If only we could stay another night, or four!

Branson MO

The Suites at Fall Creek by Diamond Resorts; photo by Big Family TravelingMom, Heidi Gollub

Laundry

You may not think you want to do laundry on vacation, but you do! During our first resort residence stay in Branson, we washed all of our wet bathing suits and towels, which were starting to give our car an interesting aroma. During our second Branson stopover, we washed all of the laundry from our trip, ensuring that we arrived home with suitcases full of clean clothing. It was life changing to not have dirty laundry mountains to deal with after our vacation.

Full kitchen

When on the road, it is so nice to take a break from eating out three meals a day. With a real kitchen at our disposal, we were able to fill the fridge with healthy snacks like yogurt and string cheese,  have a home cooked meal, make ice for our cooler, and enjoy a full pot of our own coffee (brought from home, which always tastes better).

Beautiful Branson; photo by Big Family TravelingMom, Heidi Gollub

Beautiful Branson; photo by Big Family TravelingMom, Heidi Gollub

Ease of booking

I appreciated that it was so easy to make resort residence reservations on the fly. I browsed Vacatia’s photos and floor plans on my phone, compared rates, and booked. Checking in and out was easy too.

Low nightly rate and no hidden fees

After two happy, reasonably priced resort residence stays, I heard another Traveling Mom mention that Vacatia was having a sale on several Orlando properties. Well, nothing gets my attention like the possibility of a discount, so I hopped online to have a look. Sure enough, in minutes I was able to book a stay at Liki Tiki Village for $47 per night, for an upcoming Orlando trip. My kids are going to be thrilled when they see the onsite water park.

Vacatia #LikeFamily Membership Benefits

Vacatia has handpicked 500+ resorts that employees say they would recommend to their own family members. If you want to be “like family” to Vacatia, simply sign up for #LikeFamily membership – it’s free! As a member, you will be able to:

  • Hold a reservation for free for 48 hours
  • Pay over time, interest-free
  • Receive large group and extended stay discounts
  • Enjoy exclusive members-only offers
  • Get complimentary insurance: Book your rental by October 31, 2016 (for travel anytime!) and receive a refund when you or your travel companions can’t travel because of a covered accident or illness

And now for the Family Holiday Giveaway…

For your chance to win a $500 booking credit with Vacatia so you can plan your very own family holiday, sign up for Vacatia #LikeFamily for free and enter below!

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TravelingMom Vacatia Sept 2016

Please! Read all the legal fine print here.