Vacation Rentals And Villas: Vacation Home Rentals Guide - My Family Travels

Villa, condo, casita, beach house, timeshare — vacation rentals go by many names. All these terms mean the same thing to families — a vacation home to rent for your family. What better way to enhance your vacation than by having a place of your own to enjoy it in?

A floating Aqualodge vacation rental moored at the Coconut Cay RV park in Key West, Florida.
A floating Aqualodge vacation rental moored at the Coconut Cay RV park in Key West, Florida. Photo c.

According to iPropertyManagement, 450 million people worldwide use vacation rentals. However, the US is the biggest market and represents about one-fifth of the more than $75 billion in global revenues.

Surprisingly, more than two out of three (70%) vacation rental companies are small. These companies aren’t always individuals who invested in a few Airbnb properties in their neighborhood. More typically, these are agents in popular resort areas who manage fewer than 20 units for absentee owners.

The Right Time and Way to Book Vacation Rentals allows users to sort rental listings by location, size, amenities and more, then create a list of favorites to review them. Photo c. allows users to sort rental listings by location, size, amenities and more, then create a list of favorites to review with family members.

Planning a vacation now may not sound like a good idea with such high inflation rates and economic uncertaintly. However, going on a vacation doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Our first tip: save money smartly by investing your travel budget in a vacation rental. Choose a vacation rental instead of a hotel says, and spend an average of 50% less per square-foot on your accommodations.

Our second tip: Be flexible when you begin searching. Heed our third tip, because being very selective about destinations and amenities costs, too. Beautiful Places, for example, is a very high end, full service company that finds villas, private homes and furnished getaways for special clients. Need a helicopter landing permit with your weekend house? Want trained ponies in the yard when the children arrive? Beautiful Places’ staff pride themselves on accommodating any request at luxury vacation rentals in Northern California wine country, France, Italy, and Mexico. Special requests and pricey destinations all add to the final cost of your vacation rental.

Size matters. A place of your own is better for a large family than staying at a hotel. You get added privacy, cooking facilities, free parking and a local vibe. These benefits are especially true when you compare beach vacation rentals to multinational oceanfront resorts.

Check out a vacation villa or rental condo from our resources below. Just follow my other tips on how to rent a vacation home, where to go, and what to think about before booking.

More Benefits of Renting a Vacation Home

Page from VRBO of vacation rental options in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.
VRBO features vacation rental options in Broken Bow, Oklahoma as an alternative to pricier lakefront summer vacation rentals.

Surveys show that travelers enjoy vacation rentals, with nine out of town saying they will rent again within three years. These are the top reasons that travelers choose vacation rentals over other paid accommdations.

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

2. Privacy and Cleanliness: Since the pandemic began, getting a more hygienic space away from other travelers has risen in importance. More than 89% say privacy and comfort are primary motivators.

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

Villa Arrow Marine in St. Jean, Saint Bartolemy has four bedrooms and rents for $60,000 per week in the winter high season. Photo c. Wimco
The four-bedroom, super luxurious Villa Arrow Marine in St. Jean, Saint Bartolemy rents for $60,000 per week in the winter high season. Photo c. Wimco

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. Here are my 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. What will everyone in the family 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 $60,000 a week in the winter high season. To have more flexibility and choice with a limited budget, look around. Sites like VRBO are great 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.

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