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My travel tip for large families is to forget about hotels and motels! Yep…you heard me right….you can do BETTER than cramming into one or two tiny overpriced hotel rooms!
This travel tip for large families is one I wish I had 10 years ago! We have a family of 6 and traveling is not as easy as getting a cheap hotel room anymore! Now that we have 2 teenagers and 2 younger children…we just don't all fit in one room. It is a bummer on our wallet to say the least!
My parents like to vacation with us most summers and depending on who goes along….we will have 7 or 8 people in our group for most trips. We needed something a little more economical than getting 2 hotel rooms at a decent place.
Several years ago I stumbled across a site called, Homeaway and it really changed how we vacation!
I like to be able to RELAX when I go on vacation. I don't know about you….but being stuck in a tiny hotel room with 4 kids running around wild is not my idea of relaxation! I like to be able to spread out….make a simple breakfast…..etc. You just can't do that in most hotels.
When I found Homeaway I realized that we could stay somewhere really nice and really roomy for LESS than we would pay for a hotel! I am serious….LESS MONEY…..MORE ROOM….crazy I know!
We used Homeaway several years ago when we went to the Smokey Mountain area in Tennessee. We rented a 2+ bedroom, 2 bathroom cabin in the woods that had a hot tub on the deck….it was only about 10 minutes away from Gatlinburg. We rented it for a full week for around $700! That is $100 per night….if we had stayed in a hotel we would have had to get 2 rooms…and it probably would have cost us over $200 per night! We LOVED the cabin! We had a full kitchen and were able to save money on food by eating breakfast and a few other meals in the cabin. We had a great time and since then we have used Homeaway to rent several other homes for our trips!
In case you aren't familiar with Homeaway…let me fill you in on what it is! It is a website that allows travelers to find homes, rentals, condo's etc to rent all over the world. These can be for short or long-term rentals. They may be right in the middle of the action in a busy city or up a mountain side! There are endless rental options! You can modify your search based on location, arrival time, how many guests, etc.
Here are some tips for using Homeaway for your next trip:
1. Sign up on the site as a traveler. It is free and it is worth the few minutes it takes! This will enable you to go back to specific properties later without any hassle!
2. Narrow down where you want to travel and search the Homeaway site for options. Once you get your initial list of options you may be surprised how many there are! There will be options in every price range. You can begin to modify your search more at this point…by price, bedrooms, baths, amenities, etc. Once you have a manageable list of properties to choose from you can start reading about each property.
3. Click the small heart button to favorite properties you like. This will save you so much time later! You can just look over the list of favorites and do more research, contact the owners, etc. without starting your search all over again! You can even do a comparison of the properties you are interested in.
4. Read the reviews from other travelers. I always read the reviews and ask the owners questions. I follow the guidelines that Homeaway suggests to make sure I am paying for my rental securely! I am always surprised by how many repeat travelers some rentals get! People go back to great rentals!
5. Step out of your comfort zone…..the first time we used Homeaway I was a little nervous. We had never gone and stayed anywhere other than at hotels. Renting a cabin in the woods was a NEW adventure for us! It was so worth it!! 🙂
Have you ever used Homeaway? I would love to hear your travel tip for large families!