How to Choose a Winter Cabin Rental

This post may contain affiliate links. Privacy policy.


Planning a winter vacation? We’re sharing some tips to help you choose a great winter cabin rental for your next family trip as part of a sponsored partnership with VRBO (part of the HomeAway family).
Winter Cabin RentalLiving in the desert of Arizona, we don’t get a lot of typical “winter weather” at our house. So instead of snow days at home, we have to go on trips to experience some snow play. Lucky for us, Northern Arizona is full of mountains, snow during the winter, and even a couple of ski areas (yes, really)!  So, we decided to do a winter vacation with friends near the Flagstaff area – a great little road trip from Phoenix, perfect for some snow play days. Winter Road TripOne key to making a winter vacation like this more enjoyable is finding a good winter cabin rental. We’ve talked before about reasons to consider a vacation rental vs. a hotel and I REALLY think that’s an especially important consideration for a winter trip – all the more so if you’ll be staying with friends like we did or as a multigenerational family group. Renting a cabin (as opposed to staying in a hotel) can really add to the overall winter travel experience. On our recent trip, we absolutely loved the lake house A-frame rental with a cozy vibe that we rented on VRBO! Family Travel Cabin RentalI mean, how cute is that?! There was plenty of room to fit both our families, but the decor and all the wood really gave us that cozy cabin vibe that we were looking for. If  you know me well, you know that I especially loved all the buffalo check fabrics! It was a great set-up! Buffalo Check Cabin DecorSo, if you’re doing a winter vacation with family and/or friends, here’s some tips and things to consider while searching for a great winter cabin:

 Winter Cabin Rental Tips

  1. Pick a good location. Many popular winter spots for skiing and snow play include Breckenridge, Park City, Vail, Squaw Valley, and South Lake Tahoe. If you’re in Arizona, we highly recommend the Flagstaff area. Not only is its elevation high enough that there is often quite a bit of snow (the ski resort “Snow Bowl” just got 41 inches of snow this week), but the proximity right off the major highway is especially good for planning winter travel. You can often find some great cabins in the Munds Park or Kachina Village areas (just south of Flagstaff and right off the highway). We also think it’s especially important to be close to “civilization” during a winter trip – easy access to food/gas/supplies, as well as emergency services and road services. Northern AZ Snow
  2. Consider the viewsWhen looking at properties to rent on or, I like to look at pictures that give us a feel for the views/privacy. Are we going to be staring out the window right into another cabin or are there some good views? We were thrilled with the view of Lake Odell at this property – just look at this sunrise!!! Winter Sunrise Arizona
  3. Make sure there is comfortable spaceSometimes cabins tend to be smaller than other home rentals. So, you definitely want to double check that you’ll have a place to comfortably hang out in the morning and evenings – especially if you get caught in bad weather or it’s just too cold to go out. You don’t want to be stuck in a small, confined space – especially with kids or a multigenerational group! The cabin we rented had an awesome basement space that was comfortable for the whole crew. Spacious Cabin Rental
  4. Washer/dryer availableMake this a non-negotiable in your cabin rental search, especially if you’re planning a trip with kids. Snow play can be wet, muddy business. After hours spent playing in the snow each day, we HAD to dry things like coats, gloves, and socks in the dryer each night. Our experience would not have been nearly as nice without this access. It’s another perk of renting a property instead of staying in a hotel as all hotels don’t have easy laundry access.
  5. Has a fireplace/fire pit.  Having a fire is just part of the winter weather experience – especially if it’s something you don’t get to do at home. Our cabin had a wood burning stove inside the house and an awesome fire pit outside. The weather was warm enough that we were able to enjoy the fire pit outside for some awesome s’mores-making! Just be sure to check with the owners to see if you need to supply your own wood/fire starters – and don’t forget to bring the s’mores ingredients! Winter Camp Fire

With keeping those 5 key things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding a great cabin for your winter getaway. We LOVE booking with VRBO for our family vacation rentals and this property was no different. Start your search for the perfect cabin on VRBO here! Or, if you’re looking for a fabulous place in Northern Arizona (Munds Park specifically), we definitely recommend this lake house A-frame cabin!

And, if you need more tips on how to book the perfect property for your next trip, be sure to check out this post –>  what to look for as you decide on the perfect rental!

Have YOU done a winter cabin stay before? If so, what other tips do you have? Be sure to add your thoughts to the comments below!

Like it? Pin it! Winter Family Travel Cabin Rentals

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with HomeAway. As always, all opinions and experiences are entirely my own. We used HomeAway services for years before partnering with them. 



Explore More


I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


Get freebies, new recipes, and fun ideas sent right to your inbox!

Looking for Something?


3 Responses

  1. I loved that you mentioned the importance of choosing a cabin with a fireplace to experience the winter at its best. My husband and I are thinking about renting a cabin in the winter, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about your recommendations to help us find the best cabin available for our vacation.

  2. I’ve been planning to rent a cabin for my next winter vacation; that’s why I’m currently looking for one. I’d make sure to consider the privacy of the place when choosing a cabin.

  3. That’ a good idea to make sure that you have things like a washer and dryer at the cabin. I could see how my kids would love to go out and play in the snow, but that would make their clothes all wet and muddy real quick. I’ll make sure to get a vacation rental that has things like that to make out stay as comfortable as possible if I decide to take a winter vacation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *