Do or Don’t: Vacation Rentals

Vacations are just the best. Don’t you agree? Half the fun is planning where to go and where you’ll stay. Even though I appreciate a good hotel, more and more I gravitate toward vacation rentals. I love feeling like a local during my stay, and rentals allow you to become part of the city. Plus, they’re typically less expensive and have more space.

If you’re new to the rental scene, some of the well-known sites are Airbnb and HomeAway. When researching rentals, I look for places that people have already tried, have good ratings and include the amenities I’m looking for. Make sure you read all the details of the property overview. You may find they charge an extra cleaning fee or have an early check-out time. It still takes just as much research as finding a hotel, but my experiences have always been more memorable.

On a trip to the South of France, my boyfriend and I used Airbnb to book a duplex in an 18th century farm house (très romantique!). The owners were so lovely, and we enjoyed cooking together and relaxing in their garden.

Another memorable vacation was a recent girls’ trip to New York City. We used HomeAway to book a trendy brownstone apartment in Harlem. There was plenty of space for five people – way more than a hotel room – and it was cool to feel the energy of the area.

If you’re in the mood to discover some truly unique rentals, check out Airbnb’s roundups (link: You might end up staying in a retro trailer or even a lighthouse! So what do you think? Would you give vacation rentals a try?

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Mary Jo Spletzer

Mary Jo Spletzer loves to travel and is always looking for her next adventure. She works in public relations for a food company and enjoys exploring new cities, playing soccer and trying to cook. Fun facts: she dates a guy from Germany and can do a pretty good zombie impression.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi Mary Jo! Not sure if you remember me (it’d probably help if my picture was included), but I was in Brick Road PR for Michele’s campaign class and you my advisor ? I stumbled upon your article and went to comment before I realized – “Hey, I know her!”

    Anyway, great article – I love AirBnb. I’ve only used it once when I visited Nashville this past September but I had an amazing experience with it. The host was out of town but always in contact via text and she was so nice – she even left us food and told us to leave her the dishes in the sink! I would love to know where you stayed in France; that sounds amazing!

    • Hi Anna – Of course I remember you! Nice to hear other folks are enjoying the vacation rental scene. Nashville seems like the perfect town to utilize a rental. Here is a link to the place we stayed in France: You’d need to rent a car as there isn’t public transportation nearby, but it is the perfect place for a relaxing escape.

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