Resort Life: Spreading Out With The Comforts Of Home | My Family Travels
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Frugal travelers looking for a homey touch have evolved from house swaps with strangers to booking furnished homes, condos and timeshares for their vacations.

Families are the original group travelers; they take family vacations in twos, threes, fives, even nines, and usually want to have lots of space as well as adjoining accommodations. And for no money, of course.

Those requirements make it hard for many hotels, with their strict fire codes about room occupancy and their typically compact rooms, to accommodate family travelers. That's when condos, villas and timeshare rentals come in handy, especially for the family beach vacation.

Have you ever thought, "We’ve never tried a vacation rental before, but we really want to have our own private place for the week…" 

Have you considered booking a hotel suite so that siblings and grandparents can all visit with each other in a common living room space?

Hoped to find a hotel with a lending program so that you didn't need to bring so many toys, books and so much toddler gear with you?

If so, it's time for you to look into a furnished rental for your next vacation.

Furnished Rentals Accommodate Larger Families

Whether you’re a skiing family, a theme park family, a beach family, a family of golf fanatics or maybe all of these, you will probably be able to find a furnished vacation rental property at a prime resort location. You might book a stand-alone villa, a local home represented by a rental agency, a privately owned suite in a ski in/ski out chalet, or a resort timeshare unit.

These homelike accommodations offer more space for family members to spread out, facilities to cook and share a meal together, plus enough room so that fussy teens can enjoy some privacy. Not to mention how wonderful it is for many travelers to be able to bring their pets along on vacation. Furnished rental condos and villas usually have weekly maid service, and an on-site staff who provide a safe, comfortable, full-service base for adventures in the surrounding area.

Prvately owned rental units managed by owners or their rental agents are one option, timeshare units within a resort work a bit differently. Timeshares, often known as vacation ownership clubs or fractional ownerships, offer families the chance to purchase a deeded property for one or more weeks within a “floating time” system.  The "time share" program allows owners to experience a repeat destination at a fixed price, along with flexibility to vacation whenever and wherever they want. 

Typically, the members of these vacation clubs can choose among U.S. destinations from Aspen, Colorado to Las Vegas to Orlando, or from Times Square to Waikiki, as well as far-off vacation properties in the Caribbean, major European cities, the coasts of France, Spain, and even Phuket, Thailand.

Is a Timeshare the Right Choice for Your Family?

In this market, families can choose to purchase a timeshare or just rent one for their next vacation. Because of the weak economy, many full-service, luxury resort properties have sold off a block of rooms as timeshares to raise cash. These units are widely traded on internet sites and if you shop carefully online, your family can enjoy a home away at a fraction of the cost of comparable hotel space.

Many vacationers view purchasing one or more timeshare units as an excellent investment that their families can enjoy for years to come.  For multi-generational travelers and larger families, having the space and privacy of a multi-room condominium unit, with the amenities of a resort, is ideal.  

However, these owners also like knowing that their timeshare can be rented or traded for credits to be used during another time period or even at another resort. Inevitably, with so much flexibility and trading, there are empty units which companies market as furnished rentals to visitors.

That means your family can enjoy the comforts of a timeshare home without having to invest in a purchase. In many cases, vacation rentals for short-stay guests grant temporary membership to use all the resort's facilities, another good reason to check out this vacation option.

All in all, with so much flexibility and such steep savings, maybe it's time you tried a furnished rental for your next vacation.

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This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.