From everyone having their own room, to multiple bathrooms, to a kitchen for reducing costs or helping with special diet, there are many benefits of a vacation rental. Vacation rentals can also be close to attractions, offer unique experiences, and add a sense of home away from home. Special Needs TravelingMom Kathy has been renting vacation rentals with her family for years and she shares her reasons they love them.
Discover the Benefits of a Vacation Rental For Families
The first time we rented a vacation home was a few summers ago. We wanted to do a last minute beach getaway and, as can happen when you travel last minute, the hotels I found were either booked or overpriced. Instead, I checked one of the big vacation rental sites and we found a perfect beach house for a great price. We had a wonderful experience with the beach house, the owner and the rental site. After seeing the benefits of a vacation rental, we usually choose these accommodations when traveling. Here are some of the reasons we choose vacation rentals so often.
One of the benefits of a vacation rental is that it can come with amenities like private pools or access to beautiful shared residence pools or clubhouses. A few even provide golf carts for using in neighborhoods or at the beach.
Last Fourth of July, we rented a villa in a community in the Texas Hill Country called The Hollows. It came with access to a beautiful infinity pool for residents only with sweeping views of the Hill Country. There was an acoustic artist performing poolside that weekend.
The rental also had access to a clubhouse that offered organized activities like crafts for the kids and karaoke. Perhaps my favorite amenity (and one we would not have gotten in a hotel) was the 400 square foot balcony with two seating areas, an outdoor kitchen and breathtaking views of the hill and the lake.
Room for All
Hotels can be beautiful and comfortable, but one thing they rarely offer is much space. This is one of the benefits of a vacation rental and why we book one whenever we find a property that’s a fit. A few times per year, we travel with my sister and her family and my mom. With a vacation rental, we can all be in the same space for late night chatting or lingering over breakfast we’ve cooked together.
Even when we travel by ourselves, it’s nice to have separate bedrooms, more than one bathroom, and a larger living space to relax in. The space of vacation rentals also offers room for the kids to play without being on top of my husband and I and also without disturbing neighbors. After a busy day my special needs son likes to have quiet time to decompress and more so than a hotel room, vacation rentals offer him the space to do that.
One of the benefits of a vacation rental is the kitchen or grill space. We use the kitchen to reduce overall trip costs when we can. We buy easy breakfasts, like cereal or toasts and bacon. If we know we will be in the rental for any lunches, we pick up things to make sandwiches. We also have cooked dinners or grilled in rentals, but one thing I’ve learned is to shop on the day we plan cooking.
On previous trips, we have done a big shop at the beginning of the trip planning to cook dinners. Then we are too tired or are sight seeing and don’t make it make to cook and are left figuring out what to do with food at the end of a trip so as not to waste it. So now we do shopping on a daily basis, buying just what we need.
Another benefit of the kitchens in rentals is if you have a special needs child or a child with food allergies it is much easier to make sure they are sticking to their food routines.
Special Needs Friendly
We have found one of the benefits of a vacation rental is how much easier it makes travel for us as a special needs family. In a vacation rental, my special needs son can find a quiet room to decompress after a long day.
The kitchens in vacation rentals let us prepare his favorite foods which keeps him happy. We can also bring the foods on outings which lets us be more flexible in restaurant choices. In vacation rentals we also don’t have to constantly tell our ADHD son to sit down, be still, and stay quiet. This is the case in a hotel where we don’t want to disturb others. We still stay in hotels when we travel and are fortunate we can make it work. However, I do find vacation rentals a better fit for us as a special needs family.
Green Space to Play
After a long day of sightseeing and being in the car, one of the benefits of vacation rentals, depending on the one you choose, is going home to burn off some energy outside. We try to book vacation rentals that either have a yard or green space or are near a park.
Being able to run and play is good for all kids, but it especially helps my ADHD kid expend energy and get sensory input. The townhouse we rented in Belfast this summer had a beautiful side garden.
We were fortunate to have good summer weather. Each day we looked forward to coming home and grilling and the kids would play tag or kick the ball outside. It was made even nicer by the long summer days in Northern Ireland. The cottage we rented outside Edinburgh had fields for literally miles. It was such a great experience for my kids to truly be in nature and see the untouched beauty of Scotland. The little flat we rented in Carrickfergus did not have a green space but it was just steps from a local park. When we are sightseeing and the kids get restless, we remind them we can get some playtime when we return to our vacation home.
Want to stay in a castle? How about a teepee? Or a houseboat? Check the listings on vacation rental websites and you will find just that. One of the benefits of a vacation rental is being able to give your family the experience of staying somewhere unique. A unique property adds to the vacation memories and can also fulfill dreams. Our whole family had always wanted to stay in a teepee. For my son’s sixth birthday that’s just what we did. The grown ups loved it as much as the kids.
In Scotland we stayed in a 200 year old caretakers’ cottage in the middle of a farm. The home had been lovingly restored and had modern amenities while keeping much of the historic charm. The property was just as much a treasure as the cottage. It’s not every day we can wake up to rolling hills, green fields, misty mornings, and nothing but us and wildlife for miles and miles. Consider the adventure of a unique property when choosing a vacation rental.
As you’re planning your next trip, check the listings for vacation rentals in the area. My final take is rent from one of the reputable vacation rental sites, read the reviews on the property, and do a price comparison of similar properties and hotels in the area. There are so many benefits of a vacation rental, including those I listed here, and they often can be in the same price range or even less than the cost of a hotel. Book a vacation rental and enjoy a home away from home.