Sunday, January 2, 2011

Low Cost Travel Lodging - Part 2

Vacation Rentals

The first I heard about this concept was from a brother-in-law after he returned from a week's stay at his cousin's vacation place in Florida. His stay was free but he told me he had heard some people with second homes in Florida rent them out to tourists, mostly by the week, for far less than a standard hotel or motel fee but for far more than ordinary rent would provide.

Intrigued, I did a few searches on the internet and, sure enough, there were listings for vacation rentals at a considerable savings over what I had last paid for motels in the same areas.

Fast forward about five years and I went into a co-worker's office to discuss a contract and observed a photo of her and her husband in obvious vacation mode with ruggedly beautiful scenery in the backgound. I commented on the photo and she casually mentioned they had stayed in a VRBO in Alaska (pronounced "verboh"). I asked her, "What the heck is a verboh?", thinking it must be some sort of camper I had never heard of of. "Vacation Rentals by Owner" was her reply and she went on to explain how it worked, where to find it on the web and what a great deal they had gotten on their rental.

After browsing around the VRBO site I have vowed to always check there first before I look for discount hotel / motel lodging when I travel. The added privacy, convenience and cost-savings alone make these potentially great deals but when you throw in that many vacation rentals don't charge extra per person, are pet friendly and are significantly larger than most hotel / motel rooms, families or other large groups can travel more comfortably, even for extended durations. Many of the rentals that appealed to me were also located close to many of the activities I had planned and afford walking opportunities. and are both owned by with slightly different focus and layout. Check them both out before you travel. You might just be surprised at the accomodations and pricing.

VRBO® is Vacation Rentals by Owner

"About VRBO: Established in 1995, we've been in the vacation rental business for over 14 years. In fact, VRBO was founded by vacation rental owners who self-manage their second homes, like many of you do. We provide an online space for homeowners to advertise their vacation properties and make it easy for travelers to search 150,000+ rentals in over 100 countries worldwide." from

VRBO® Website

" is the leading online source for finding vacation rental properties with discounted rates and last-minute deals. Featuring more than 35,000 vacation rentals ranging from Florida beach houses to European villas, connects travelers seeking the space, value and amenities of vacation rentals with homeowners looking to rent out their vacation properties. The company was founded in 1997 and acquired by HomeAway, Inc. in May 2007." from

Vacation Rentals Website

Want to put your own second home into vacation rentals but not sure where to start? Thinking about putting some of your investment dollars into vacation rental properties? Check out these books at for more information:

Lay My Hat

"Lay My Hat is a unique resource for holiday rental home-owners, by holiday rental owners - it's full of free advice, ideas and discussions on what we all want in life...more bookings. The idea behind Lay My Hat is that between us we must know everything there is to know about renting holiday properties - it's just a question of getting together to discuss it.

On this site you can ask for help from your fellow owners, or share your know-how with them, because you’re not alone – there are many people in your situation, including me!" from

Lay My Hat Website

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