Honeymoon Discussions

Vacation rentals vs. hotels

Fiance' and I are looking for privacy and unique experiences. We are pretty set on Roatan now as our destination. Fiance' likes Barefoot Cay, but it looks too industrial too me. I am in love with several vvacation homes for rent by the week that I have seen on Trip Advisor. My question is: Has anyone had experience with vacation rentals in a foreign country? Can travel insurance cover some of them if, for instance, a hurricane blows in before our trip? How do you know you are getting what you see in pictures and the whole deal is on the up and up? Did you find it really difficult to strike out on your own this way, as opposed to getting everything taken care of by staff of a resort. I'd like to hear thought on this!

Thank you!

Re: Vacation rentals vs. hotels

  • AdeleDazeemAdeleDazeem member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2012
    I can't answer your questions about travel insurance and renting in a foreign country as I've never done that before.  I have done vacation rentals in the US, however!

    But, I will answer your last question: when I go on vacation, I am FAR more interested in doing what I want to do rather than what a resort thinks I want to do.  I love exploring new restaurants for meals.  I like flipping through a travel book and picking out cool ideas for the day.  On our honeymoon, we rented pedal bikes and biked an abandoned railway trail.  It was so calm, peaceful and quiet.  We were the only two for miles!  We saw parts of Bermuda that many don't get to see.

    If you have a rental, you are also free to make your own meals.  That's an awesome money-saver.

    You might also want to think about the things you'd have to bring to a rental versus what would be available in a regular hotel (or an AI resort).  You might need sheets, towels, toilet paper, paper towels...  Just things to ask before you go and find yourself without a towel after you shower!
  • We're doing apt rentals for our trip to Europe and found it was a lot cheaper than hotels.  Essentially we picked our places based on a variety of things- initially pictures, location and reviews.  From there we narrowed down and made our final decisions based on reviews and how prompt the owner was with communication.

    I think travel insurance is somewhat idependent of apt rentals; at least  what we got on for our HM it covered weather, medical, lost luggage, etc.

    Sites like vrbo.com, offer insurance in case something happens with your rental apt and you end up needed to stay elsewhere
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    When H and I were first planning our HM we looked into a vacation rental in Maui. (We ended up going to Key West instead because after buying a house we couldn't afford Maui for 14 days :).  The rental was A LOT cheaper then a hotel and it even came with a washer and dryer which would have been very useful.  Since in Hawaii a rental car is a must, the costs we would have saved by not staying in a hotel would have been used towards the rental car.  In addition, we figured that since we would have had a full kitchen we would have saved money by not having to eat out for every single meal, which can really add up.

    I am all for vacation rentals over resorts because like PP said I would rather do whatever I wanted then what the resort thought I should be doing.

  • I'm renting a little cottage on St. John. We have to rent a car there, which is expensive, like most things are on St. John, but hopefully it's worth it! I decided not to stay at an AI resort because there aren't any on St. John that are reasonably priced and I wanted to have 10 days, which I thought would get boring at an AI. I don't think I'm saving any money by renting a cottage... maybe a bit on food, but I doubt it lol.
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  • Thank you for your thoughts.I hadn't thought about towels and such! I really like the idea of freedom from a resort though.

     I would really like to hear if anyone has done this out of the country, though and if they ran into any troubles or all was as legit as the ad said. I guess my fiance's fear lies in that, and if something happened (sickness or hurricane) we would be out the $.
  • AdeleDazeemAdeleDazeem member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_vacation-rentals-vs-hotels?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:11Discussion:aaae13cc-e876-4679-a396-d9bf31049551Post:c3483012-9a15-4dd7-9174-960960ab3057">Re: Vacation rentals vs. hotels</a>:
    [QUOTE] I would really like to hear if anyone has done this out of the country, though and if they ran into any troubles or all was as legit as the ad said. I guess my fiance's fear lies in that, and if something happened (sickness or hurricane) we would be out the $.
    Posted by alannascott80[/QUOTE]

    It might be on a case by case basis.  Are you looking at rentals through a real estate agency or by the owner?  I'm not usually one to suggest a travel agent, but they might be able to recommend a good real estate agency in these countries that are reputable.  They are also there if you have problems and work as a liason between you and the owner.  They would also have policies in place for the kinds of cancellations you are describing.

    Doing this directly through the owneer I'm sure would be far more flexible, but far more sketchy.
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