Americans are increasingly taking advantage of the space, value and amenities that vacation rentals provide and hotels just can't match. With the average U.S. hotel room measuring 325 square feet and including not much more than a bed, tiny bathroom, a TV and a $3.00 bottle of water, it's no wonder travelers are changing the way they stay.
Nearly 1 million properties listings across 190 countries on HomeAway.com make it easier than ever to find the perfect accommodations for every type of travel.
Here are the top seven reasons vacation rentals make hotels seem oh so small:
1. Show me (room for) the money...
On average, vacation rentals are at least 50 percent less expensive per square foot than hotels, according to HomeAway, which operates the number one global online marketplace. In fact, travelers shell out 80 percent more per square foot in some popular destinations including Orlando and Destin, Florida.
2. The Eiffel Tower is in Paris, oui?
Unlike hotels that work to replicate experiences found in other destinations, vacation homes have an inherent authenticity, where travelers quickly become locals and leave "tourist" at the door. So instead of seeing Paris from a casino lobby, try standing on the balcony of a Paris apartment rental that overlooks the real Tour Eiffel. It will have you exclaiming "magnifique!"
3. Live the Dream - at the Destination
Maybe you simply dream to get away from it all - or perhaps you wish to live as a princess, captain or conductor. Regardless, when you want to escape, vacation rental sites like HomeAway.com make it easy to find both traditional properties, including ski-in-ski-out condos and beachfront houses, as well as extraordinary castles , yachts and cabooses . You choose: stay in a hotel room that looks identical in every location or live out a fantasy vacation by renting a teepee or an entire island.
4. Do Not Disturb
Privacy comes without asking at vacation rentals.
5. More than a mini bar
At vacation homes, amenity options are endless - stay connected with free Wi-Fi, catch the game in the home theatre or get pampered by personal concierges, masseuse and chefs. The pools, hot tubs, tennis courts and other amenities you would otherwise share with hoards of hotel guests become yours, and only yours.
6. No Room in the Inn
A family that stays together in one hotel room, with Mom and teenaged Sally in one double bed and snoring Dad and baby Johnny in the other, is, well, anything but relaxed. The multiple bedrooms and additional living space found in vacation rentals on HomeAway.com means the whole family can rest easy while on vacation. Many owners designate their houses "pet-friendly" too, meaning even the furriest family member can have a little R&R.
7. Local Flavor
With hotels, dining means restaurants and room service, which gets expensive and bland fast. Kitchens make it easy to cater to special dietary needs and please a child's fickle taste buds, while saving mucho dinero in the process.