How to Stay in Better Places for Less Money When Traveling
Upgrade Your Experiences in Travel!
If you like to travel, you’ve certainly spent time online searching for the best accommodations you could afford. If you’re like us, you’ve probably also wished you could have stayed in a nicer place than your budget allowed!
We’d like to let you in on a little secret: vacation rentals.
You may have already heard of vacation rentals, or even know someone who owns one. Don’t worry, if you haven’t stayed in a vacation rental yet, you’re still in the majority. For now. Vacation rentals are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to travel in the U.S., and for good reason. Most folks don’t realize that you can stay in a private vacation home for the same price (or less!) than many chain hotels offer. To make the deal even sweeter, you usually find much better amenities in a vacation rental, too.
What sort of amenities?
Our vacation rentals offer many of the following features:
- Full size kitchens
- Private hot tubs
- Private or community swimming pools
- Free wireless internet
- Fireplaces (wood burning, gas, or electric)
- In-unit washer and dryer
- Pet-friendly options
- Amazing views
- Private yards and seclusion
- Peace and quiet (no chance of being stuck next to the elevator here!)
Can you really get all of this for the same price – or less – than many standard hotel rooms?
Yes. Here’s the secret that makes it work: it’s all about occupancy. Standard hotel rooms are based on double occupancy, meaning it’s assumed that two
people will be staying in each room. They’ll often allow kids to stay in the room (for a small additional fee), but that means a family of four is crunched into a single room with someone sleeping on the floor! What if it’s two couples? Two rooms. Four couples? Yep, you guessed it: four rooms.
A four bedroom vacation rental can easily sleep four couples comfortably, without even talking about the pull-out sofas and futons that are commonly placed throughout. When comparing a vacation rental to hotel rooms, if you count the occupancy, you get a much clearer picture: a four bedroom home is equal to renting at least four separate hotel rooms.
Let’s try it out in the real world:
A four-bedroom vacation rental in Asheville, NC, for a 5 night stay from September 8th to the 13th, 2016, lists for $1,705 (before taxes). Before you gasp at the quadruple-digit price tag, remember that we’re looking at occupancy first.
Take that total and divide it by four couples and you get $426.25 per couple. Divide it again by the 5 nights, and you’re paying only $85.25 per night, per couple.
A quick search on Expedia for the same date range shows hotel rooms ranging from $65/night/couple (the cheapest room at a Motel 6) to $112/night/couple (at the Best Western in town), to $359/night/couple (at the Hyatt Place, in downtown).
As you can see, renting the vacation home provides the best value by far. The home referenced above is
called Harvest Moon, and includes: a wood burning fireplace, large flat-screen TV’s, a hot tub overlooking a bamboo forest and stream, a large game room with pool, darts, and entertainment center, a jetted master bath tub, a gourmet kitchen, seclusion, mountain views, and master craftsman woodwork throughout the home. All for less than a comparable stay at a Best Western.
Again, the secret is in the occupancy. Do the test yourself the next time you’re traveling, and you may be delighted at the amount of home you can get for your money! The savings become most apparent for groups of 6 or more traveling together, and can become simply astounding for groups of 10 and up. This can make vacation rentals an ideal option for your next family vacation, reunion, or corporate retreat.
Aren’t Vacation Rentals a Hassle to Rent?
Not really. They are a little more involved, but that’s because someone is renting out their private home to you. Imagine if you were to rent your home out – a smile and a handshake wouldn’t cut it, right? The same theory applies here.
In North Carolina you’re required to sign a short term lease agreement. This agreement clearly spells out the expectations of all parties involved (the renter, the property owner, and the property manager), and the payment terms. Since vacation rentals are technically real estate, the agreements are very thorough and binding. If you often have trouble completing your stays or are prone to last-minute cancellations, make sure you review the lease agreement very carefully. Cancellations are often not permitted within a certain time frame to protect the home from sitting empty during your stay dates. (By the way, if this is you then you should already be aware of Travel Insurance!)
Another major difference is that you are renting a private home, which means there is no "front desk.” Carolina Mornings, for example, has around 100 properties spread across a 50 mile region. If something at the home needs attention, we respond as quickly as we can – but just keep in mind it may take longer than it would in a hotel room. One additional note about this: hotels have multiple identical rooms to move guests between when something occasionally does goes wrong (TV has a problem, etc). As a real estate office representing privately owned homes under lease agreements, guests can’t be moved to another property. In the rare event that something does break in the property, simply report it to the management office and they’ll dispatch a technician to repair or replace it if possible.
Finally, if you have very specific needs (for example, you need a certain caliber of blender for your morning shakes, or you prefer Keurig coffee, or you only use porcelain cookware), please bring anything you know you will need with you. Most units are basically equipped with pots and pans, tableware, a coffee maker, ironing board and iron, etc. but a safe rule of thumb is"when in doubt, bring it yourself or go without.”
How Do I Get Started?
Vacation rental properties come in all shapes, sizes, locations, and prices. Do yourself a favor the next time you’re traveling and consider a vacation rental company. If you’re heading to the Asheville or Western North Carolina area, be sure to find us online at www.CarolinaMornings.com or give us a call at (877) 902-9441. This advice works just about anywhere in the United States, though. Specific laws, regulations, and terms may change in other areas, of course, but the gist is the same. Just make sure you read all of the policies carefully and plan to have a great time!
To learn more about the homes in the Carolina Mornings Vacation Rental Program, contact