Advantages and Disadvantage of Renting Homes and Cabins Over Hotels for Vacations

By Nabewise

Should you get a standard hotel room or rent a cabin or home on your next vacation? I will help you make your decision.

For the last few years my family has decided to rent cabins or rental homes for our vacations.  Not that there is anything wrong with hotels its just that the homes have been better for us.  Renting vacation homes gives my family much more space than hotel room offers.  It is nice that the kids can go to another room and play while my husband and get some relaxation after a long day of site seeing. 

If you don’t think you can afford to rent a vacation cabin or home you may be surprised.  On our last vacation we rented a nice sized cabin home for 5 days, the price came out to only about $90 per night which is about the cost of most average hotels.  The cabin had three floors and 2 large bedrooms, and a very nice comfortable living room with a pool table.  It also had a full functioning eat in kitchen and 3 bathrooms, we also had our own hot tub, and one of the bedrooms had a jacuzzi tub.  We even had a deck with a BBQ in the back of the house. 

If you think you would like to try renting a home or a cabin on your next visit just look up vacation homes or vacation cabins in that area on line. For example if you want to go to Branson Missouri just look up “Vacation home rentals in Branson Missouri”, or “Rental cabins in Branson Missouri.”  I happen to know there are quite a few in Branson.  You can also try looking up rental condos in many areas as well.  We have rented vacation condos in the past as well and while they are not as big as a house or some cabins they are usually bigger than most hotel rooms and have fully functioning kitchens, and a separate bedroom or more and separate sitting area with more than one TV.

Most of the homes are privately owned and the owners hire a management service to rent the homes out for them. 

Disadvantages of Renting a Home or Cabin Over a Hotel

No on site staff:  This can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on how you look at it.  If you have a problem at a hotel you can call the front desk and they can usually assist you right away.  If you have a problem in a rental home you can call the management office and they will get to you as soon as they can. We have had to call rental offices on two different occasions at two different rental homes and we were taken care of with in an hour both times. 

No Pool or Gym Usually:  At most hotels there is usually an indoor or at least an outdoor pool and/or a gym.  These things can be very nice to have.  Many houses don’t have pools but if you look around you might just find one that does.  Some houses even have gyms.  You may pay more for the rental for these types of things though but you might not.  We rented a wonderful little A-Frame house in the Wisconsin Dells with some friends years ago and the home had a small gym, a small pool and a hot tub.  So it is possible to find homes with these things, it is just a little bit more difficult.  Many rental homes have hot tubs, or at least Jacuzzi tubs.  Some homes may be part of a resort and you can use their pool and other facilities.

No Free Breakfast: You are not going to get free breakfast at a rental home, cabin, or condo but you will get your own kitchen so you will be able to bring your own food in to make breakfast every day.  If you don’t want to cook bring some bagels and cream cheese, or bread, butter, and jelly or boxes of cereal.  Or hit a local grocery store when you get where you are going for food. 

Advantages of Renting a Vacation Home, Cabin, or Condo

Bathrooms:  You usually get more than one bathroom.  If you are traveling with a family it is wonderful to have more than one bathroom.  Most rental homes and cabins have more than one bathroom even if one of them is just a powder room.

Privacy:  You have more privacy not just from strangers but from each other.  If you want to read a book in silence and the kids want to play you can just go in to another room to read. 

Fully Equipped Kitchens:  You don’t get free breakfast but like I said you can bring your own food and have breakfast before you head out for you site seeing everyday.  You can also have lunch and dinner at your home if you like and save money on dining out.  The last time we rented a home we had felt like we had spent too much money that day so we just went to a local grocery store and bought a loaf of bread, a tiny jar of mayonnaise, some lunch meat and cheese and some chips and just went back to the house and had sandwiches for dinner.  We had enough left to have sandwiches for lunch another day so we probably saved at least $50 if not more. 

Space:  You just have a lot more space in a home then a hotel.

Pets:  Not all rental homes will allow you to bring pets but some will, and if your dog barks too much you will not be disturbing others like you would at a hotel. 

Washer and Dryer:  Every vacation home we have ever rented has had a washer and dryer.  This is a lovely thing if you are on a long trip.  You don’t have to pay extra to do your laundry and you don’t have to sit in an empty boring hotel laundry room guarding your stuff. 

Invite Friends:  If you feel you can’t afford to pay for a vacation on your own you can invite friends to come along and split the cost.  Many rental homes and cabins sleep at least 8 people.  Someone may have to sleep on a pull out bed in living room but everyone will have a place to sleep.  Some cabins sleep up to 16 people.  Of course those cost more but if you divide it up it doesn’t cost all that much per family or couple.  That A-Frame in Wisconsin I mentioned before had 4 bedrooms.  We went with 3 other couples and 2 single guys.  Each of us couples had our own bedrooms and the 2 single guys each slept on sofa sleepers in the family room.  We split of up the cost of the house each of the guys paying half of what the couples paid.  It only ended up costing each couple $55 per night, and each of the guys $22.50. We stayed for 3 nights and 2 of the nights we cooked dinners at the house so we actually saved a lot of money.  Everyone helped with the cooking and we made easy things like spaghetti with meat sauce and tacos.  We had a blast.  We stayed up one night till 3 in the morning laughing and talking something we could not have done at a hotel. 

When we went on our last vacation we were just 4 hours from where my brother lives so he came down one day to spend time with us.  We had plenty of room in the house so he spent the night and went back the next day and it cost him nothing in a hotel he probably would have had to get his own room and pay money.  So that was a nice advantage too. 

Location:  Most rental homes are placed in desirable locations.  Those who buy homes to rent out want to make those homes desirable for renting so they usually have them in lovely areas.  Like near the ocean, or in the mountains.  So you will almost always be surrounded by something beautiful.  The house we rented in Pigeon Forge was nestled in the mountains and it was quite beautiful. 

More Than One TV: This is very important in my family usually the kids want to watch different things then we do so it is nice to have more than one TV.  The last home we rented had one on each floor. 

So next time you go on vacation check out vacation rental homes and cabins.  If you divide the cost out by night you might just find that they are very reasonable or just slightly more expensive then a hotel, to me the slight extra expense is worth it having a private home is so much more relaxing.  You can also always make up the cost by cooking at the home if you like.  Or really save money and split the cost with friends or relatives.