HomeAway Encourages Americans to
Join the “Save Our Summer Vacation” Movement

Vacation Rental Company Plans to Petition Congress Requesting ‘National Vacation Day; Searches for the Person Most Deserving of a $10,000 Vacation Getaway

AUSTIN, TX, June 02, 2009 — With many families feeling uneasy about spending money in today’s challenging economy and studies showing travelers putting off summer travel, HomeAway® – the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace – today invites people to join together to “save our summer vacation.” In fact, HomeAway is launching a national movement to help consumers relax and unwind during these troubled times.

As part of the movement to save summer vacations, HomeAway has created the website  www.SaveOurSummerVacation.com and is asking consumers to sign a petition requesting Congress to proclaim a “National Vacation Day” on August 7, 2009.

“In stressful times, vacations help bring families together and let people recharge, getting them ready to return to work or school with a renewed attitude,” said Eileen Ogintz, family travel expert and author of the syndicated column “Taking the Kids. “While several recent surveys have shown that families are putting off vacations in light of the economy and rising gas prices, there are actually many ways to cut costs – but not corners – and still stick to an affordable travel budget. For example, vacation rentals through sites like HomeAway.com allow you to rent a whole home for less than the cost of a hotel, and they come with added perks like full kitchens that allow you to dine in and save even more money.”

Searching for the Person Who's Most in Need of a Summer Vacation

In addition to campaigning for a National Vacation Day, HomeAway is searching for the person in the United States and Canada who is most deserving of a week-long summer vacation.

Whether they’re stressed out, tired of hearing about the gloomy economy, or simply haven’t taken a vacation in years, HomeAway is giving them the opportunity to share their story for the chance to win a $10,000 vacation getaway. Two runners-up each will receive a $5,000 trip.

“At HomeAway we believe now more than ever people deserve to take a break from work and stress and enjoy a relaxing vacation with their families and friends – without busting their budget,” said Brian Sharples, chief executive officer of HomeAway.

As part of the contest, consumers can submit a short text, video or photo entry at www.SaveOurSummerVacation.com, explaining why they deserve to have their summer vacation saved by HomeAway. The entry period runs today through July 2, 2009, at which time the general public has the chance to vote for the person they believe is most in need of a vacation. The voting period ends July 16, 2009, when an expert panel of judges will select the winner from the top 15 vote-getters based on creativity, originality and effectiveness at expressing their need for a vacation. Judges include Stacy DeBroff, CEO of Mom Central, a one-stop web resource dedicated to providing busy moms with smart household and parenting solutions; Eileen Ogintz and Brian Sharples. Winners will be announced on or around July 28, 2009.

The official entry form and contest rules are available at www.SaveOurSummerVacation.com. The contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada, excluding residents of Quebec, who are 21 years or older as of June 2, 2009 (for U.S. and District of Columbia residents), or the age of majority or older within the Canadian province in which they reside as of June 2, 2009 (for Canadian residents).

For information contact:
Eileen Buesing
Director of Global Public Relations
HomeAway, Inc.
Office- 512-493-0375

Kyle Rose
MM2 Public Relations
Office- 214-379-3704
Ways to Save and Still Take a Summer Vacation:Advice from Family Travel Expert Eileen Ogintz
  • Consider Driving to your destination instead of flying, and before you leave, map out the cheapest gas along your route by visiting sites like gasbuddy.com
  • Stay in a vacation rental home, which offers extra value compares with traditional hotels.  In fact, vacation rentals typically cost 50 to 80 percent less per square foot than the average hotel room. 
  • "Eat in" to save money.  Because vacation rentals have kitchens, shop for groceries and keep dining out to a minimum-- a much more affordable way to feed the family. 
  • Look for coupons before you hit the road.  Go online for special offers on attractions you want to visit while on vacation.  Local chambers of commerce often offer free vacation guides filled with coupons. 
Six Insider Secrets for Finding a Vacation Rental Perfect for Your Next Vacation   
1. Pick your destination based on the type of trip (i.e., family reunion, girlfriend getaway, or couples retreat) and your group’s specific interests (i.e., the beach, city, or mountains).
Check out websites that offer an extensive selection of vacation rentals to choose from, such as HomeAway.com or VRBO.com.
2. Research your options by reviewing photos, property descriptions, and traveler reviews.  Talk to the vacation home owner who can provide additional detailed information and personal recommendations about the area.
3. Select a home or condo based on price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, amenities such as a pool or barbecue grill, and the proximity to local attractions.
4. Look for deals and freebies if you’re traveling at the last minute by visiting VacationRentals.com, which features the largest inventory of vacation rental special offers.
5. Book through a company that offers a rental guarantee that provides payment protection, so you can rest easy and rent with confidence.