Vacationing as a young married couple was so simple, grab a suitcase, hit the road, and you are all set for a long weekend in a new city. Traveling with one child, a little more complicated, but still fairly easy. Traveling with 2 children, then 3 children, 4 children, and more, just gets more and more interesting, but still a rest from day to day life is needed now and then, so parents of large families learn to adapt. We’ve learned what to avoid and what to look for, and in this present day economy, we are learning how to vacation on the cheap.
Traveling and staying in hotels is practically torture because it includes putting over-excited kids and tired parents in the tiny space of a hotel room. The parents will end up using all their time trying to keep the kids semi-quiet and trying to keep them from destroying the room. If your family exceeds the normal number of guests, then you have to register for more than one room, or get a family suite, which makes things super expensive. In most hotels and motels, you can’t cook, so the added expense of eating out constantly adds to the vacation budget. It can be almost impossible to fill up suitcases with enough clothes to last a big family the duration of a vacation, so laundry becomes yet another problem.
Over the years and as this family has grown, we have discovered that any trip is made easier if we can rent a cottage or house. The benefits of staying in a house are many and far outweigh any disadvantages. We have used Vacation Rental By Owner or VRBO for years to find suitable places for our family to stay. The site is so easy to use, browse around a bit, and decide which location you are interested in staying in. Search by country, state, and city. We have used this site to stay in cottages in Traverse City, Michigan and Ludington, Michigan. Enter what vacation dates you are thinking of, to see what locations are available for that time period. Sort rentals out by number of bedrooms, photos, or how many people a particular rental can sleep.
Think about what amenities are really important to you. Each rental listing describes what they offer as far as air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, cable, flat screen tvs, number of beds, sizes of beds, number of bathrooms, and much more. House owners or property managers are usually very prompt in answering any questions. It is so helpful to be able to ask and receive answers to questions about safety concerns for younger children, such as, how close is the property to the road, or is it a busy road, or how close is it to any bodies of water. Properties on VRBO range from the rustic to the luxurious and the prices vary accordingly. Many of the locations have traveler reviews posted which helps you know if others found the accommodations satisfactory.
Once you have contracted with a property owner, details will be provided regarding check in and check out procedures. Generally, the property owner will send you a very detailed email regarding directions, house procedures, fun local places to visit, great restaurants to try, and any other information regarding the house or surrounding town that you might want to know. Renting a cottage or house sight unseen can be a little scary, but good communication with the owner and close reading of property description can help alleviate these fears.
This family of 8 is already dreaming of the next vacation, Chattanooga, Cave City, Wisconsin Dells? Wherever we decide to go, VRBO will help us find a place to stay.