By Jayne Clark
Vacations are supposed to be an antidote to work-day stress. But as any traveler knows, time off away from home can give rise to some less-than-relaxing situations.
Choosing a vacation rental over a hotel room can alleviate some of those potential headaches. Following are seven ways in which this lodging option actually reduces travel-induced stress.
A vacation rental can help you manage expenses. Not only can you determine in advance exactly how much you’ll be spending on lodging, you’ll save substantial amounts on food by having the ability to prepare meals at home.
Eating at home saves money, but it’s also, in many ways, simpler than going out to a restaurant. There’s no dashing to breakfast before the buffet closes. No deciding (or arguing) about where to go for dinner. No getting the kids (or yourself) ready to go out. And no standing in line waiting for a table if you forgot to make a reservation. In fact, a Wyndham Vacation Rentals study found that 94% of vacation rental travelers agree that having a kitchen on vacation reduced stress with many attributing it to not having to get ready to go out.
The added space in a vacation rental allows friends and family to spend time together in common areas. This time together is important for socializing and sharing communal activities. Conversely—and just as important—the added space gives everyone time apart.
Once you’ve booked your rental, you can plan around your home base. Vacation rentals can help you plan in advance. Knowing you can eat in opens up more opportunities to book excursions and activities – you won’t be guessing at restaurant bills or wait times. You can also plan out nap times for younger children and bring along indoor activities to entertain the older ones. You’ll enjoy more flexibility having a home away from home at the center of your plans.
Staying in a vacation rental allows you to get into the rhythms of a local community. Become a regular (albeit temporarily) at the local coffee shop and other area hangouts, and feel part of neighborhood life.
Packing is less complicated when you’re staying in a vacation rental. Depending on the rental property, basic household necessities might be included (kitchenware, linens, etc.). And because laundry facilities are often available, you won’t have to pack as many clothes or worry about not having enough to get you through your stay.
Book a pet-friendly vacation rental, and take along four-legged members of the family. What could be more stress-reducing than that?
Sources: Wyndham Vacation Rentals Summer 2015 Road & Rentals Study
Washington, DC-based freelance travel writer Jayne Clark has been a travel reporter at USA TODAY and several other daily newspapers.