Traveling costs money, no doubt about it. The costs in traveling are transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment. Thankfully, there are lots of nifty ways to cut the cost of a place to sleep. Hostels, discount hotels, camping, and even couch surfing are all good ways to save. One other option that works well, especially for groups or families, is renting an apartment or house for your holiday.
We are a family of six, which means that we need two hotel rooms or a suite when we travel. Depending on the situation, renting a house or apartment is often less expensive, gives us a lot more space, and often comes with a full kitchen and sometimes even laundry facilities.
How do you find a rental apartment or house? The details differ a little bit by country, but start by doing an internet search on the name of the town you are visiting and vacation (or holiday) and apartment/house/accommodation. This should give you a place to start your research. You can also check Vacation Rental By Owner to see what they offer.
Once you have begun looking, you need to decide if you are comfortable renting from an individual or if you would feel safer renting through an agency. It is easy to be scammed when renting from an individual over the internet, so I feel more comfortable using an agency.
Look through the websites terms to see what costs might not be included in the quoted fees. For example, we are staying in a rented house in Rome this weekend. Various different sites had extra costs for additional people beyond a certain number, or a cleaning fee, or other various fees. These costs can add up quickly and make it difficult to compare prices between sites.
Decide what features and facilities are most important to you before you start looking. For example, with five females in this family, a second bathroom is nearly essential. When my kids were younger, a closing door between the sleeping spaces and the living spaces was key to a fun trip.
With some research and comparison shopping, a spacious, comfortable apartment or house can make your travels more comfortable and also free up money for the other fun stuff on your trip.