It’s no secret that we LOVE family travel! And one thing that we often do when traveling with kids (and especially when traveling as a multigenerational family group) is rent a vacation home instead of staying in a hotel. So, I’m excited to talk summer travel plans today and explain WHY we consider vacation home rentals as part of a sponsored partnership with HomeAway. If you haven’t planned and booked your family’s summer travel plans yet, now is the time! In fact to beat highest demand, research shows that it’s best to book your summer vacation rental before April 1st and your 4th of July spot before May 1st. So, booking soon is definitely a good idea! We actually are in the midst of finalizing details for an EPIC family trips with the kids – as we’re heading to Fiji and Australia this year! We’re meeting up with family living in Australia and are booking a HomeAway vacation rental for our time near the Great Barrier Reef!! Ahhh! That’s right – there are HomeAway rentals in Australia!!!
Top Vacation Destinations
Did you know that HomeAway actually has more than 2 million unique places to stay worldwide?! So, it’s a great option to look into no matter how far from home you’re traveling. But, if you’re curious about the top destinations for vacation home rentals, here are some interesting facts:
- For domestic travel in the United States, beach destinations reign (no surprise there, right?!)! What might surprise you is that Panama City Beach, Florida tops the list.
- Among the next most popular spots (based on demand) are Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama; San Diego, California; and
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
- Internationally, Paris actually leads the pack displacing last year’s most popular international spot of… Whistler, Canada!! (Who knew?!). The rest of the top International spots go to London; Rome; Puerto Peñasco (“Rocky Point”), Mexico; and Florence.
Interesting, right?! Have you ever stayed in vacation rental in one of these spots! We have! In fact, we’ve stayed in multiple vacation rentals in the San Diego area! And this adorable “Seagull House is our #1 pick from our various San Diego stays! One destination that did NOT top the list that surprised me is Hawaii. We stayed in multiple vacation rentals there on our multigenerational family trip last summer and it was fantastic!!! Our favorite house was in Volcano, Hawaii (yes the town is really called Volcano!)!! We LOVED our stay at Hale Ohia Volcano House and highly recommend it if you’re planning a visit to Volcanoes National Park!
Why a vacation rental vs. a hotel
Obviously, there are MANY nice hotels out there and those can be great! But, booking a vacation rental really has some great perks that are worth considering if you’ve never tried it before! Here are some of the top reasons why our family loves booking vacation home rentals”
- More space! Did you know the average vacation rental home is 1850 sq. ft. versus the average hotel room that is 325 sq. ft?! That’s a HUGE difference – especially when traveling with kids!
- More privacy! Not only do you have plenty of space, but you have more privacy. There’s no thudding of footsteps from the hotel guests above you at 5 in the morning; little disturbance from neighbors; no crying baby (other than your own 😉 ) waking you in the night; no party goers being rowdy down the hallway…the list goes on and on!
- Perfect for family time! Having more space and less disturbances really allows for a nicer set-up for family time. There’s room to spread out; get cozy; play games or roam in the yard, etc.
- Having a kitchen! This is a BIG one for me! Not only can it be nice for family times, but it saves you from having to eat out for every single meal.
- Authentic experience! The tourist thing can definitely be fun. But it’s also cool to experience life a little more like a local. When you’re staying in a neighborhood, going to the local grocery store, etc., it can give you a better true vibe of what the culture is like where you are.
- Potential money savings! With that (even just having the kitchen alone), can really allow for some vacation money savings. Often times you can find vacation home rentals for twice the space of hotel rooms for less than half the cost per night! That’s certainly a factor that can help the budget!
This house that we stayed out in Kauai is a GREAT example of all of those items! We saved money, had a lot of privacy (with a distant ocean view), had a great kitchen, had space for the kids to play, and got to experience a nice local neighborhood complete with pineapples growing in the front yard! Awesome, right?! So, we already looking at places for our upcoming Southern Hemisphere adventure. Here’s a gorgeous beachfront spot we’re eyeing in Bundaberg, Australia (which is the southernmost spot for going out on the Great Barrier Reef): A bit down the Queensland coast is the town of Noosa (which we hear is quite popular) and HOW AWESOME IS THIS RAINFOREST HOME?!?! I love the look of this Noosa National Park house! We’re also planning a trip to Australia Zoo (the home of Steve Irwin’s family) and found this adorable little place actually borders the zoo!!! Talk about convenience! The hardest part is just deciding! What about you?! Now that you know WHY to consider booking a vacation home for your next trip, be sure to head over to our post on what to look for as you decide on the perfect rental!
Have YOU stayed in a HomeAway vacation rental? What do YOU love about staying in vacation homes? Be sure to add your thoughts to the comments below!
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.