Vacation Rentals And Villas: Vacation Home Rentals Guide - My Family Travels
Villa rental from Hideaways International's inventory.
Villa rental from Hideaways International's inventory.
Torre Antica villa rental from Hideaways International.

Villa, condo, casita, beach house, timeshare rental, vacation home rental, they go by many names, but they all mean a space to rent for your family. What better way to enhance your vacation than by having a place of your own to enjoy it in? Check out a vacation villa or rental condo, and see how much money you can save. Just follow my tips on how to rent a villa, where to go, and what to think about before booking.

In hard times planning a vacation doesn’t sound like a good idea but going on a vacation doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. If you want a smart money-saver, investing in a vacation villa is better than staying at a hotel, especially if you compare beach vacation rentals to oceanfront resorts.

Fellow travelers seem to enjoy it: “89% of vacation rental guests indicated that they will rent again within three years” said PhoCusWright. And according to Homeaway Inc, by choosing a vacation rental instead of hotel, travelers can spend an average of 50% less per square-foot on their accommodations.

Why Would You Want to Rent a Vacation Home?

According to the YPartnership/Yankelovich, Inc. Leisure Travel Monitor, more than 2.5 million family reunion travelers who took an overnight trip of at least 75 miles from home said they stayed in a vacation rental they rented or owned during the past year.

When polled again for the Ypartnership/Harrison Group Portrait of American Travelers, leisure travelers gave these reasons why they chose a vacation home rental.

1. Value for the price: More than nine in 10 travelers rate value as the main reason they’ll select vacation rentals on trips. They often provide significant cost savings vs other lodging options.

2. Privacy: Most travelers also enjoy a sense of privacy and comfort, with 89% having named this as a primary motivator.

3. Full kitchen facilities: Nearly 90% of travelers choose vacation rentals for access to fully equipped kitchens, which offer the freedom to prepare meals, store snacks/leftovers, or visit local markets for fresh, regional ingredients.

4. More space overall: Vacation rentals often provide from 1,000 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet of space. 86% of travelers agree this is a key reason to rent.

5. Amenities: This is a top consideration for 85% of travelers. Amenities and facilities such as bath toiletries, fresh linens — even game rooms, private swimming pools, fireplaces, in-home movie theatres — may be provided by professional property managers.

6. Extra bedrooms: Fully seven in 10 travelers find multiple bedrooms to be a top vacation rental motivator.

7. Family “togethering:” 68% say they’ll choose vacation rentals for the experience of quality time together underneath one roof. For many, it’s this atmosphere that sets vacation rentals apart.

Tips for Finding Vacation Home Rentals

If you never thought about renting a villa for a reunion, or really aren’t sure how, it’s not as hard as you might think. With the help of Mike Thiel of luxury rental company Hideaways International — an industry leader for more than 30 years — here are some tips on how to rent a villa that will fit the needs of you and your very posh family.

1. Where to go? The first thing you want to think about is where you want to go and what you will do  there. Places with a tropical climate probably will be more expensive than others.

2. What is your budget?  Of course this will tie into how much money you have to spend. For example, at the full service villa rental agency Wimco, a spacious oceanside, four-bedroom villa at St. Barts can cost as much as $40,000 a week in the winter high season. To have more flexibility and choice with a limited budget, look at VRBO because vacation rentals by owners come in all price ranges.

3. Remember, research is your friend. Planning ahead will give you lots more choices, especially for the busy summer and holiday seasons and you can save a lot too.

4.  Being very selective costs too.  Beautiful Places is a very high end, full service company that finds villas, private homes and furnished getaways for special clients who want select accommodations with an epicurean flair. Need a helicopter landing permit with your weekend house? Want trained ponies in the yard when the children arrive? Are you so recognizable that you’d prefer a chef come to your Napa Valley retreat instead of dining out? Beautiful Places’ staff pride themselves on accommodating any request, and their repeat business is a testament to their ability to do so. At present, Beautiful Places has nearly 200 select rentals in Napa and Sonoma Counties, Nantucket, The Hamptons and a few other Us resorts, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Italy, France and Mexico.

Of course, the tips regarding how to choose the best of the best in high-end rentals also apply to budget options.  Keep in mind, there are always other options available and research will pay off.

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7 Replies to “Vacation Rentals And Villas: Vacation Home Rentals Guide”

  • Thanks for a great article. The only thing I would add is that some new websites are starting to focus on relying on personalised vacation rental referrals from their own social media friends network.

    This is a great step forward to avoid potential fraud attempts etc, and ensure your family vacation goes as it should!

    Have a look at – its a great new way of finding a great holiday home for your next family vacation.

  • Cudos to Homeaway for their campaign: choosing a vacation rental for 1/2 the price of a hotel.

    There are some great properties around, but I am still amazed how some owners put little effort into their ads. Having great photos, descriptions and reviews from past guests gives searchers confidence in your offer.

  • If you want a smart money-saver, investing in a vacation villa is better than staying at a hotel, especially if you compare beach vacation rentals to oceanfront resorts.

  • Its amazing I have been reading vacation rentals are one of the only areas of growth throughout the recession. I tried to go for one this year but ended up in a hotel.

    Its definitely best for families and groups you save a fortune.

  • This is a fantastic resource. I heard today as many as 2/3 of the UK may be opting for rental holidays over the next few years.

  • Great Information, Algarve Agency, , offer a great deal on Algarve villas.. upto 20% off! in fact, for most remaing dates this season. If you contact me directly I can offer a even better deal. We have been operating in the Algarve for almost 30 years and now all our properties intimately. Contact is for fantastice deals

  • Vanessa, great article! Another great source of both domestic and international vacation condos/resorts/villas/homes is With over 2 Million weeks in 200 countries, there are a lot of choices at prices that are really affordable- especially for a family. Check it out