Hotel VS. House Rental – Which is better???

Shared Amenities or Fatter Wallet?
Which would you choose?

Everyone’s first thought when they decide to go on vacation is, “where should we stay?”

And for the most part everyone first turns to hotels and resorts for the obvious reasons; they are usually easy to find and in the heart of your travel destination.  But when you stay at a hotel or even an all-inclusive resort you probably are going to encounter hidden fees or price jumps.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE staying at a nice hotel or resort for a short stay but staying in a rental house just makes more sense when you are trying to save money.
That really is all it comes down to – how much money you are willing to spend…
While you have wasted memories and money on bland and forgettable hotel rooms, savvy tourists have relaxed by private pools, enjoyed spectacular unobstructed views of the ocean, mountains and cityscape, cooked in roomy kitchens, and slept in past noon on the departure dates!  Maybe you are not even aware of the of the hotels vs vacation rentals debate, but if you are a traveler, you should be!  While it may be easy to make a hotel reservation, it is not always the smartest and cost effective thing to do. 

I think people should start considering the alternative…

House rentals…
House rentals are a fantastic option if you are traveling with large group or just your family.  You can customize your search to find properties that have a pool, are close to a certain area, offer parking, pet-friendly etc.  What you are giving up is someone turning down your bed at night, concierge service, cleaning up after you etc.  If you can vacation without those things then house rentals are the way to go!

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For example: My last trip to Nicaragua, Central America, my friends and I left the coast for a 2 night adventure to the city of Granda and booked a fabulous 3 bedroom colonial house.  It was in the heart of the city, open air, huge, private pool and gorgeous kitchen.  We found it on and booked it the day we wanted to go and only paid $45 per couple, per night!  
Check out my photos!

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* Lets compare the two *
(H) Hotel 
(HR) House Rental 

Square Footage
H: Avg 400 Sq Ft
HR: Avg 2,000 Sq Ft

H: Avg U.S. hotel cost $119/night

HR: 1,300 sq ft condo/sleeps 6
Avg $99/night

Cost of meals
H: There is an average cost of $30 per person when dining out on vacation.  
$30 x 3 x 3ppl x 7days = $1,890 just to eat for a family of 3 on a 7 day vacation.
HR: Having your own kitchen will save you a ton of money if you do not mind cooking your own meals on vacation.  And you do not have to eat all your meals at home, pick and choose what your day is going to be like and plan accordingly.

Laundry Services
H: Laundry services and dry cleaning range anywhere from $7 to $12 per item of clothing.
HR: Take advantage of being able to wash your cloths free of charge all week long if you wanted.  

H: Def usually a no on bringing Fido
HR: Absolutely!

Check In and Out Times
H: Very strick and scheduled
HR: Enjoy flexible hours that work for you and your family.

Free Perks
H: Toiletries, and occasionally parking and breakfast
HR: Bicycles, country club passes, personal swimming pools

H: Movies can cost up to $15 a piece 
(thats a 200% mark up)
Vallet parking can cost you up to $36/day
HR: Tv and movies are free in a house rental so it is perfect option when it rains. 
Free parking also!

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United Military Travel (UMT) offers some fantastic vacation rentals in Florida – check them out here!

And take advantage of UMT’s  fly now/pay later option to get your family to the destination of your choice.  Save that extra money to spend while on your vacation…not getting there!

* Websites to utilize when you book a vacation rental *

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