Saturday, June 27, 2015

Traveling Cheaply, Part 3: Vacation Houses

I have been so excited to write about this ever since I discovered it a few weeks ago!  I LOVE traveling, but I hate the expenses that make it difficult so I always love finding good deals to be able to explore as much as possible!  One of the easiest ways to save money on traveling is by finding cheaper lodging.  This is a great option because it is a necessity that eats up a large portion of a budget but I feel you can have a slightly lower quality to save money because, if you're like me and you like to spend the whole day doing activities (which you should!), then you won't be spending much time there anyway.  One of my first recommendations was hostels which you can read about in my post Traveling Cheaply, Part 2: Hostels.

travelAnyway, next month my husband and I will be heading to our friend's wedding in San Diego.  When I looked at the price of hotels in San Diego, I was flabbergasted.  It is hard to find one for under $200/night, and I'm talking about ANYTHING without having to go an hour away.  (The wedding is by the zoo so it's a huge touristy area).  So I got this great idea.  Since I knew a lot of people around where we live would be invited, originally I thought it might be great to get a large group of people going to carpool to save some money on travel expenses.  Then it hit me, a vacation home!  If we had enough people, we could all chip in to rent a home for a week and it would significantly lower the price, which we could then afford to spend more time and actually do some sightseeing instead of driving 9 hours just to go to a wedding and coming right back. 

Well I did some searching and found out lots of people own homes in high tourist areas just to rent out short term for vacations!  And the best thing was, I was finding very cute homes in a safe neighborhood (even walking distance to the zoo!) that sleep up to 6 people for about the same price as one hotel room would cost!  I couldn't believe the price differences.

It ended up that most people couldn't come down earlier so if we did want to spend extra time, we'd have to figure it out for ourselves.  I thought we'd have to fork out for the hotel but I realized that there weren't just large homes listed on these sites, there were grandma cottages, studio apartments, all types of housing that fit any number of people.  Heck, some people even had just a room for rent!

What we ended up getting is a "detached granny pad" as he called it for $60/night.  That's a third of the cost of a hotel room in the area!  Super cute, take a look!

So my new favorite tools for vacation planning: vacation home rentals!

Here are the two websites that I found I really liked:

vacation home rentals

Rent unique accommodations from local hosts in 190+ countries. Feel at home anywhere you go in the world with Airbnb.

This is the website where I ended up finding the place we will be staying.  There's also an app.  And by signing up through this blog, you get a $25 credit!

Find great deals on vacation home rentals, whether you're looking for a beach house in Florida, a condo in Hawaii, or a cabin in Colorado.

This is the site I originally found the house I wanted to get for the large group.

Hope this helps in your future vacation planning!  I could see how it could be really beneficial for families to be able to have separate rooms for your kids while not being totally separated and to have a kitchen at your disposal.  I also think you might be able to better immerse yourself in a city.  I'm curious to see what places like NYC might yield.  Let me know what you think about these options!

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