So you want to go on vacation but the budget is tight? How to find cheap vacation rentals if a hotel is too expensive?
If you book a family hotel you’ll probably find that the costs of feeding kids on vacation is crazy. Not having a kitchen means you have to eat out at restaurants which can definitely blow the budget. So does that mean you’re stuck in the rec room with the kids forever? Not exactly…
Why book a vacation rental?
So what are the differences between a vacation rental and hotel anyway? Years ago, I would book a hotel cause that seemed to be ONLY way of planning your vacation. But nowadays, trendy vacation websites help you to book someone’s house or property for a vacation.
What are the advantages of this? Well, for one thing it can be a lot more economical if you’re travelling with a family. Most vacation rentals will have kitchens and facilities such as laundry that you would have in your own home. When travelling with kids, its cheaper to shop and feed the kids at your rental without having to go out to restaurants. This is a great type of budgeting and should save you a lot of the vacation budget.
Another benefit of a vacation rental is that amenities may be completely private. You also might have the pool, decks, kitchen to yourself and this is a definite bonus is you’re travelling with a family and you’re able to have some much needed privacy.
What is a good vacation rental?
When searching to take your family somewhere on a budget, and once you have an idea of what rental you want, check under amenities. You’ll always want to make sure that the rental you choose suits the type of vacation you’re looking for. What exactly does that mean?
Well, some people travel for work and it may be important for them to have a proper work area, others travel for just a bed to sleep in and amenities may not be that important since they’re not in the rental that much.
But for families, a pool for the kids, a kitchen and a bbq area might be very important if you’re planning on spending a lot of time at the rental and need to keep kids occupied.
How Do I Find Cheap Vacation Rentals?
Obviously, the major vacation rental websites are the best way to find a place to stay and vacation rentals on average tend to be a bit cheaper than hotels. However bear in mind, you don’t have to just accept the rate stated.
Always contact the owner directly if you think there could be a rate reduction. Vacation rental owners consider various factors when considering giving you a cheaper rate. For example if you are renting during a slow time of the year for tourists or perhaps would be willing to not include cleaning, the owner may give you a discount. At our vacation villa in Huatulco we are always willing to consider a “deal” if it benefits both the guests and us.
But that being said, asking for a cheaper rate when there is extremely high demand like Christmas time or Easter in Mexico will probably get you nowhere. These are businesses after all and the purpose is to make a profit. When demand is high is the best time for the owners to actually make money so they probably won’t give you a cheaper deal.
Other ways to get Cheap Vacation rentals
Another way I recommend getting a cheap vacation rental is joining a facebook group based on the destination you are looking for. There are usually lots of business people including vacation rental owners in that area following the group. You can then post your budget and what exactly you need and you’ll probably get vacation owners reaching out to you and maybe even competing to give you the best rate.
Make sure you do this some time in advance before you plan to go on your trip so you can research all the options you’ll be given. It’s also a good option if you want to save commission and booking fees that you’ll pay by booking on vacation websites.
Do Your Research
I’m a big researcher and by looking around, sending emails and contacting owners directly I’ve frequently been able to get a cheaper rate for some of my vacations.
But at times when it’s tourist season or very busy I don’t expect that I will always get a cheap deal. It does depend on a lot of factors. That being said, why not try to save a few dollars? It never hurts to ask for a discount. And if you do get one, you can always use that money on other things on your vacation to really enjoy the area and have some fantastic experiences.
Next: Check out the 6 Most Thrilling Things to Do in Huatulco