By Veronica Stoddart
Family vacations can be stressful enough. Each member of the family has his or her own needs, desires and expectations of the experience, which may not always be in sync. And being away from home brings its own discomforts. But one way to minimize that challenge is by feeling at home in a vacation rental. Think of it as bringing your comfort zone with you.
A vacation rental can provide far more space than traditional lodgings such as a hotel because more closely approximates what you have at home. There are private spots for peace and quiet as well as gathering spots for socializing and sharing. This is especially important for multi-generational vacations, when everyone from grandma to grandkid can do their own thing but still come together easily as a group.
In fact, those communal spaces are essential for such activities as playing games; watching movies, videos or TV sporting events; or just hanging out with your family or friends. Those hang-out zones help cement the bonding moments that are so important for the success of a family getaway.
If your family includes babies or toddlers, staying in your own vacation rental provides the extra value of multiple rooms—just like at home. It allows your tykes to nap at any hour in the bedroom, while you hang out by the backyard pool, relax in the living room or play indoor games with your older kids.
Many vacation houses and condos also feature homelike amenities, such as a washer/dryer, large-screen TV, entertainment unit, outdoor grill and the like. No need to sacrifice on the standard conveniences that are typically part of daily life at home.
And who can imagine home life without a kitchen? It’s often the heart and soul of a home, no less so in a vacation rental. A fully-equipped kitchen facilitates eating anytime, whether at midnight or midday, snacking as often as you like, and preparing your own food, whether a family favorite or a locally inspired recipe. And there’s no easier way to feed small children, with their picky palates, than being able to cook their meals yourself.
More (Furry) Family Members
A vacation rental can make it easier to bring your pets. Nothing heartens a vacationer more than having their beloved dog or cat—essential family members—take part in the vacation, too. It reduces the stress of leaving them behind and helps you truly feel at home.
Explore rental homes, condos and villas for your next vacation.
Freelance travel editor and writer Veronica Stoddart was the former editor in chief of the Travel Media Group at USA TODAY. She has written for nearly two dozen publications and websites.