Monday, May 26, 2008

Rent a vacation home instead of a hotel room

Can you save over $150 a night by renting a vacation home instead of staying in a hotel room? Probably only in rare circumstances, but you may be able to save a considerable amount.

One way of getting more for your money: hit the Internet to find a vacation rental instead of a hotel room, gaining space and possibly saving a couple of bucks. Today, vacationers can connect directly with second-home owners online.

Having access to a kitchen allows travelers to cook some of their own meals. Also, renters often aren't paying someone to clean up after them as they would at a hotel.

Often, the cost per square foot will be cheaper at a rental than at a hotel. But in some markets, even the larger accommodations will cost you less, says Bob Barnes, chief executive of Salt Lake City-based, a vacation-rental Web site.

"It happens in the Orlando market, it happens in some ski destinations," he says. Renting a condo or privately owned apartment can also be less costly than a hotel room in some urban markets, including Chicago and New York, he adds.

Besides Zonder, the story mentions and, and of course good old

I've had relatives stay in an apartment when visiting us instead of a hotel room, and they saved a bundle on a week and a half stay at Christmastime. There was no maid service, but they had a full kitchen.