Where to Find Cheap Vacation Rentals

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Have you always wanted to get away on holiday, but there are too many people in your family to make a hotel stay affordable? Or perhaps you'd rather be able to go on a lovely trip and still cook your own meals or do your own laundry to save money. A fast-growing option for saving on holiday is to get a vacation rental property, such as a condo, villa or home.

Benefits of a Vacation Rental
Why a vacation rental rather than a hotel room? A vacation rental is more like staying at home while on vacation, with all of the luxuries of home but nicer--who wouldn't mind suffering through a little laundry folding while gazing out the window at a white beach and blue ocean?

Some rentals accommodate up to ten people, meaning you can bring your entire brood, friends or other relatives on holiday with you. A condo or villa is much more cozy and intimate than a huge hotel, allowing you the freedom to come and go as you please and enjoy your vacation thoroughly. You have the freedom of cooking your own food if you like, saving you oodles of money while allowing you to eat healthier than if you dine out the entire trip.

A vacation rental is often cheaper than a hotel room, especially if you have a large group to house or want to stay for an extended amount of time. A hotel for four on the beach in Jamaica would cost around $2700 for eight days. A vacation rental in the same area is a steal at $650 during allotted weeks. Imagine what fun your family could have with those thousands you've saved!

Online Vacation Rentals
A great place to research cheap vacation rentals is online. Where else can you find either a villa in Perth or a cottage in Italy and compare prices with the click of your mouse?

There are many vacation rental websites. VacationHomes.com is a great site to visit for listings of vacation rentals all over the world. Whether you want to have a holiday in Australia, the USA, Europe or Belize, there are vacation rental options for you to consider.

The nice thing about VacationHomes.com is that the site doesn't receive money for the listings, nor do you have to become a member. One feature allows you to narrow your search for rentals that are pet-friendly, on or near golf courses, skiing properties or waterfront or beach rentals. You'll book your stay at your chosen vacation rental directly through the property manager, saving you the headache of dealing with a middle-man agent. Each property has pictures, a list of amenities, nearby attractions, and a schedule of availably and prices.

In VacationHomes.com $500US-and-under section you can find great deals on vacation rentals. Of course, this rate applies to certain weeks and has limitations, but you can't beat the bargain for a holiday getaway of a lifetime. For example, one selection is a gorgeous four-bedroom villa on a golf course outside of Orlando, Florida. Within 30 minutes of the airport and Disney World, this home has access to three pools in a secured community. You'd probably pay double if not triple for the same accommodation benefits in a hotel.

Want something tropical? How about staying in Ochos Rios, Jamaica for $650 a week? This inclusive vacation rental includes four bedrooms and baths in a ranch home right on the Caribbean. A private chef will prepare meals for up to six people while you swim or visit Ochos Rios, only 20 minutes away. What more can you ask for in a vacation rental?

Home Swap
There's nothing cheaper than free, and considering a home swap could be a great way to get cheap vacation accommodations. A home swap means you swap homes with another person, couple or family. It's becoming all the rage lately, and it's definitely a holiday option you should look into.

Basically, you trade homes with another family or couple for a designated amount of time. The key to getting a good home swap deal is to be flexible with your destination and travel times. If your heart is set on a certain date you may miss some super opportunities. You'll want to compare different online sites and get a few references, if possible, to make sure you're getting into something that's beneficial. Also, some sites charge membership fees, while others charge only to list your home, so check into fees and length of time your home will be posted before joining.

You should begin advertising and looking into swaps three to nine months before your desired travel date. You should list your own home to generate more interest. You'll want give details about your home, attractions near you and your preferred dates of travel.

Global Home Exchange (www.4homex.com) lists home exchanges, or swaps, all over the world. Want to experience a Canadian, old-fashioned Christmas with snow? One couple did, swapping homes with a couple in Waikiki Beach, near Perth. They found Christmas in a hammock to be relaxing, while the Aussie family enjoyed winter sports such as skiing. The arrangement worked out wonderfully for both--could it work as well for you?

Global also offers vacation rental listings that can be rented or swapped. Fancy a villa in Andalusia, Spain? For $835 for four persons ($125 for each additional person up to seven) you can enjoy a 2 bedroom luxury villa with pool and hot tub. Some of the homes are open to either vacation rental or swap, such as a lovely apartment in Tuscany for $760 to $1100, depending on the season. It's also available for exchange.

HomeExchange.com is the online site made famous by the recent movie, "The Holiday" starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. This site also offers swaps all over the world but you need to become a member to offer for a swap or list your own home. You can browse to see if any homes interest you and sign up for membership later.

In Conclusion
A holiday with the family or your significant other doesn't need to break the bank. There are many cheap vacation rentals you can find if you do some research and consider different options, such as home swapping. In all cases, you need to have an open mind and a willingness to tailor your travel plans to what's available. Then you can sit back and enjoy your holiday while your wallet grows fat with savings!

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