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Vacation Homes

So you are ready to travel again, but feeling like maybe you want a little more distance between you and the rest of the tourists for safety and sanity’s sake? Our world looks a little different right now, and your safety and the safety of your family and friends can be a factor in deciding if and when you will start to consider that next great travel adventure. Why not consider all the possibilities and benefits a vacation home rental can provide.

Just a few of the benefits include:

  1. More space to spread out. Have you ever stayed in a Paris hotel room? Most are smaller than the closet in my bedroom.
  2. Common rooms for socializing without the need to congregate in hotel lobbies and lounges. And no one to eavesdrop on your conversation.  
  3. It can be a money saving option for those with a tighter budget. I have three kids. Most countries require us to book 2 and even 3 hotel rooms. That can be a huge budget buster and sneaking one or two kids into the hotel when no one is looking is frowned upon (and possibly illegal).
  4. The sky can also be the limit when considering all the rental types we have at our disposal for you: You want an Emily in Paris apartment, complete with an attractive chef neighbor and a cozy bistro on the first floor? Minus the neighbor, we can find this.  If you want a chateau in the French countryside, or a beach bungalow in Jamaica with a private pool overlooking the white sands and blue waters, we can find this.  Homes can also include maid service, a dedicated chef, and even a driver. Of course, if your goal is to truly isolate yourselves for safety’s sake, you don’t have to use these services. 
  5. If a deeper immersion into the culture of the country is something you like to experience when traveling, a home located closer to the locals and further from the usual tourist route can provide this.  We really love to travel off the beaten path and try to spend some time pretending we are local. Maybe we love it more than they love having us, but I’m sure we give them a few stories to tell their friends…that one time  that crazy American family decided to swim at the local pool in Iceland…
  6. A self contained vacation home can be just that: self contained.

We chose to rent a cozy two bedroom two bath apartment during our recent family trip to Reykjavik, Iceland. While cost certainly was a factor in this decision, I prefer to stay just a bit outside of the action and get friendly with the locals. It helps when you know at least a few phrases in their language, just in case, but we always seem to do ok.  Our home away from home was situated in a suburban area, 10 minutes drive from the city center, and walking distance to an elementary school, a bakery, a corner grocery and a large community center. The center was equipped with indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and even water slides. Swimming is a very popular recreational pastime year round in Iceland, so these community centers are located throughout Reykjavik and its suburbs. Just FYI: my oldest says she scarred for life because we spent an evening in the community pools. For anyone that’s not been to Iceland, everyone must shower naked, in a large open room before being permitted to swim in the public pool. And there is a shower guard. She actually yelled “more soap” at us.  

This home provided us with ample space to spread out, a balcony overlooking the city and the opportunity to experience the Northern Lights from the comfort of our living room. We had a fully equipped kitchen that really came in handy; a large pizza cost the equivalent of 50.00 US dollars. I may have cried when I received that bill. We were able to walk to the bakery for fresh bread and pastries, walk to the bus stop to meet a few of our guided tours, and use the community center for leisure activities…even though it did scar one kid, the others had a great time.

The View from our balcony in Reykjavik, Iceland

Our cozy living/dining/kitchen. The entire home, including the floor to ceiling blinds was controlled by IPad. And all floors were heated. Bonus!

Entry tickets to the Blue Lagoon: expensive

The memory of Watching the sunrise with my family while relaxing in the Blue Lagoon: priceless

A few things to keep in mind when considering a vacation home rental:

  1. Sometimes the home is not in the heart of the action, especially when budget is a factor. So map it and decide what is most important to you and your companions.
  2. A car may be necessary, depending on the location, so factor this in as well. 
  3. This is a home and probably doesn’t have a maintenance person on call 24 hours a day (although you never know). Sometimes, just like in our own homes, things break…be understanding.
  4. Communicate your needs and expectations about bedding and kitchen person’s idea of a fully equipped kitchen or luxurious bed linens may not be yours.
  5. Determine what your expectations are for what some consider necessary and others consider a luxury, such as heating and air conditioning. I learned this the hard way on a trip to Germany during the hottest July on record. We stayed at a local B & B with NO air conditioning or even a fan. It is now the first thing I ask when discussing travel accommodations. 
  6. Think about what is important to you and your companions when on vacation: is maid service the key to your happiness? Would a private pool or hot tub be a  factor when deciding if this vacation met all your expectations? Are you used to a private butler who answers to the ring of a bell?

When you are ready to plan your next vacation, and think you may be more comfortable renting a home versus staying in a hotel, a Travel Agent professional can help guide you through the process and will find the home that is the right fit for you.  We only use vetted, proven Home Vacation rental companies when booking our clients. Your satisfaction is always our first priority. 

A few examples of the Vacation home rentals available.

Montego Bay Villa, 4 bedroom, beachfront with a dedicated service staff.

2 bedroom Paris Apartment within walking distance of The Sorbonne or Notre Dame Cathedral


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