Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Luxury Retreats.
I didn’t have a chance to write about my summer vacation plans yet, but when you are reading this post I’m on my way to Europe. We are heading to France, Spain, and Belgium—with a quick stop in the Netherlands. On that trip, we will be staying both in hotels and in a rental house—so I decided why not explaining which option is actually better depending on what type of vacation you are looking for. In full disclosure, this post is brought to you by Luxury Retreats—a website that specializes on posh vacation home rentals (check out their Exuma house rentals—these are out of this world!). Okay, now let’s get into vacation planning mode and chat about hotels vs home rentals for your next vacation.
Why I Prefer Vacation House Rentals
Perhaps, the most important thing to consider while picking where to stay on vacation is the size of a crew that comes with you. It’s one thing to quickly book a hotel room for a couple and call it a day, but when you are going on vacation with a few people, staying on different floors of the hotel is not an ideal situation.
First of all, since you are not in the same location, you will need to spend too much time coordinating your plans. Group texts, WhatsApp chains, calendar invites—these are the things I’m too fed up while in the City, and I definitely don’t want to look on my calendar while on the beach vacation. When you are in the house though, all it takes is a quick living room chat – and you are all on the same page.
Then, even though it’s supposed to be a friends’ getaway, all of your interactions will happen either on the beach or at the restaurant – which is fun, but not as relaxed and cozy as it could get in the house. Even though I’m not the best cook, I love lazy nights when my culinary talented friends take over the kitchen so we enjoy an intimate dinner followed by an at-home movie time. That type of experiences definitely makes me feel more connected with my squad—so we all feel like one big family!
Finally, living in the hotel limits you to constantly being surrounded by people. I’m not talking about your friends—because that’s whom you chose to go on vacation with—but all the other guests in the hotel. Maybe it’s a bit anti-social of me to say, but I live such a fast-paced and stressful lifestyle that all I want while on vacation is to disconnect from crowds, noises, and human interactions. Meaning, I don’t mind my friends’ company at all, but I don’t need dozens of hotel staff chasing my every step, trying to make sure that I’m enjoying my time. And yes—it sounds bouji, but I’ll take a private pool over a shared pool at any given moment!
My Experience with Vacation House Rentals
In case you don’t know, I live in a tiny New York City apartment and vacation for me is not only about all the tourist attractions, special moments with my friends, and delicious food, but also about relaxing in a spacious, stunning place. Meaning, I don’t want to be limited by a tiny room in an expensive hotel—I want all the space I can have including pool, an actual living room with TV and even a normal size kitchen. Since we love exploring the cities we are staying at, it’s also great to have a garage—and don’t pay extra for parking. And yes—I want a space where I can actually open the windows and not be limited to air-conditioned rooms…
Writing this list down, I realize how high my expectations are when it comes to travel lounging. But I have to be honest with you—living in spacious villa or house is something I can have only while on vacation because NYC apartments are tiny and not very convenient for living. So, vacation mode for me is like a retreat from space limits, crowds, and noises of the big city—and I’ll take this option every single time while traveling.
Talking about vacation villa rentals, I had a few amazing experiences with those over my recent trips. My friends and I rented out a villa in Napa Valley so we can comfortably stay there while discovering nearby wineries. That space was fantastic—with a separate bedroom and bathroom for each couple, fantastic mountain view and a pool, and phenomenal landscape surrounding the house.
This spectacular vacation house rental experience inspired us to do the same for the upcoming trip to Ibiza, Spain. Instead of going for a traditional hotel rental, we picked a lovely villa where we will be celebrating summer and enjoy each other companies in an elegant and private setting. Definitely stay tuned for a full house tour on Stories—I’ll make sure to chat about and demonstrate why house rentals are so great while traveling with friends.
Next destination on our travel wish list is The Bahamas—we’ve been there a few years back with Ben and we absolutely loved the beach and nature in this tropical paradise. We stayed at the touristy Grand Bahama and it was fun for a couple’s romantic experience—I will always remember singing and dancing there on the New Year’s Eve with hundreds of people from nearby hotels. This time around, we want to explore the Exuma Cays—an archipelago of 365 cays in the Bahamas known for their laid-back surroundings with sapphire-blue water.
While there are a few traditional Iceland experiences to explore in the Exumas (like visiting Tropic of Cancer and swimming with pigs on Major’s Spot Cay), for me it’s all about reading, doing my yoga, and communicating with my friends. The thing to know about renting a house on the Exumas is that it could be as expensive or affordable as you wish, from a cozy beach house for six to a celebrity-style villa with private beach and an on-premises SPA. It’s all up to your budget and the number of people traveling with you.
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There you have it: a full breakdown of all the things that I love about staying at rental houses while on vacation. I hope this post was helpful and you helped you to weight all pros and cons about picking your next lounging spot. Please let me know in the comments what’s your number one vacation destination that you would love to visit. Happy travels!