If you’re planning an upcoming vacation, you may want to consider booking a home rental instead of a hotel. While hotels are often the first option travelers think of, they’re not always the most economical choice. If you have a limited vacation budget, a home rental may offer more comfort while saving you money on the cost of your next trip.
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Spend less on food
Most vacation rentals include, at minimum, a refrigerator. Some also offer a full kitchen space, oven, plates and cookware, and cooking utensils. You can save a lot of money on food costs with this kind of setup. Stop at the grocery store at the start of your trip so you have what you need to throw some easy meals together.
Even if you dine out for dinner, being able to have snacks and breakfast or lunch at your rental can be much cheaper than dining out for all three meals each day. It can be almost impossible to make entire meals in a small hotel room, but a home rental gives you more space and access to more equipment and supplies.
Save on baggage fees
If you’re staying at a home rental with laundry facilities, you may be able to save on baggage fees, too. Many airlines charge baggage fees. Unless you’re using an airline credit card that includes a free checked bag, you’ll likely pay extra to check a suitcase when traveling.
You can save on baggage fees and pack less when you stay in a home rental. Before making your reservations, check to see whether the apartment or house has a washer and dryer in the unit or offers access to laundry facilities. If it does, you’ll only need to pack a few outfits, and you can do a load of laundry during your stay.
Avoid resort fees
Many hotels now charge resort fees. Often, these fees help cover the cost of hotel amenities like the pool and fitness center. These daily fees can add up. If you’re not using the services, paying a daily resort fee can feel unfair.
The good news is most home rentals don’t charge extra daily fees. The total price, including any cleaning fees or other fees, are disclosed upfront before booking. If you plan to vacation for several days, not paying resort fees can result in significant savings.
Example: A five-night stay at a hotel that charges a $30 daily resort fee will result in $150 in extra charges being added to your hotel bill, even if you don’t use the amenities.
Bring more guests for less money
When traveling with a group or family, it can be hard to fit everyone into one hotel room. Even if possible, it will likely be cramped and uncomfortable, and the added stress can negatively impact your vacation. But the cost of renting multiple hotel rooms may not be in your budget.
Reserving a home rental is an excellent way to travel as a group more easily. You can book a property with multiple beds so there is plenty of room for everyone to relax and enjoy. While there may be a small additional cost to add more guests to your reservation, the price likely won’t change much. You may even end up paying less than you would for a hotel room.
Get a discount for longer stays
If you’re planning an extended trip, you may be able to save extra money by staying at a home rental that offers discounts for longer stays. Many rentals offer this discount as a way to incentivize travelers to book a longer stay. Check to see if a home rental offers discounts before booking.
When you book a hotel, you’ll pay a set nightly price for each night of your stay. While weekdays may be slightly lower priced compared to weekend rates, it’s rare for hotels to offer discounts for lengthy stays.
When it comes time to plan your next vacation, compare the costs of staying in a home rental with that of a hotel stay. It may be possible to spend less by booking a house or apartment, and doing so can also make your trip more enjoyable.
By using a travel rewards credit card to book your stay, you can earn valuable rewards on your spending. If you want to learn more ways to stretch your money and improve your spending habits, these personal finance resources may be helpful.