An alternative to hotels – vacation rentals


Casa De Imaginacion

When spending months abroad, it’s important to remain flexible in considering lodging options. While hostels are a fairly typical way to stay someplace cheaply, and get the advantage of meeting fellow travelers, sometimes it might be nice to have a place of your own.

One alternative to hotels are sites like HomeAway which are vacation rentals by owner. Many of them offer weekly or monthly rates. For example, Casa De Imaginacion in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico can be rented for $30/day for a month. The site represents owners worldwide who are willing to rent their second homes. There are over 188,000 homes listed, and the distribution highlights their vacation focus; 51% in Europe, 40% in the US, 3% in the Caribbean. However, all the continents (except Antarctica) are represented. For example, take this bungalow on the Island of Samar in the Philippines, that can be rented for the same price.


Paradise Village

Vacation rentals have a lot of advantages over hotels. For one thing, you get to deal with the owner directly, which is more personal. A good owner can be a great first contact in a new location, one who will point you towards points of interest, and tell you what to watch out for. Their homes tend to have character, there are often locals that are available for help, and the price tends to be cheaper for the same or better quality of lodging that you would get at a hotel.


Zen House

A similar site owned by the same company, is There is a significant overlap between the listings, as might be expected, but they are not exactly similar so it is a good idea to check both sites.

As always, some places cost more than $30/night, but it’s nice to dream. For 60€, I certainly wouldn’t mind spending the night in the Zen House, located in the medina of Marrakech with an open roof and an atrium housing 20 birds, despite the oddity of being a zen house in an Arabic city.

Posted by | Comments (5)  | January 14, 2010
Category: Hospitality, Hostels/Hotels

5 Responses to “An alternative to hotels – vacation rentals”

  1. Says:

    Thanks for the reminder about vacation rentals. There are probably great deals that travelers are not taking advantage of and they could be. It would be nice to be in your “own space,” cook your own food, and get to know your neighbors.

  2. Bob Malkin Says:

    Just a two hour drive from New York City
    is a vacation rental home perched at the edge
    of a major waterfall. Sleeps up to six. Fireplace
    42″ Hdtv WIFI. SPectacular views and sounds
    from every room. Located in the Catskills near
    Woodstock, NY.

  3. » Sometimes you just need a place to crash :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Says:

    […] few months ago, we talked about the usefulness of vacation rentals as lodging alternatives, offering many of the same amenities as hotels at closer-to-hostel prices. While the two biggest […]

  4. Lizzie Says:

    Another great thing about staying in a vacation rental is that it feels so much more homely and comfortable than some of the more expensive hotel chains. The personal touches in the house can make a holiday so special.