Are you feeling stressed? Overworked? Disconnected from your friends, family, or passions? I bet a vacation sounds pretty perfect right now.
About 25 percent of working Americans get no paid time off, according to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. In contrast, French workers get 31 days of paid time off, workers in Italy get 31 days, those in Japan receive 10 days, and Canadian workers get 19.
Even if you’re lucky enough to get a generous amount of paid time off, employment website Glassdoor found that three out of four employees with the option to take paid time off didn’t use all of their days, with only 25 percent of survey participants reporting that they took off all their paid days every year.
Buck the trend and give yourself a break! Grab the kids, the best friends, or whoever makes you happy, and make a getaway. Beaches are a great cure for work, so start by picking a seaside (or lakeside) destination that calls out to you.
Once you have a location in mind, it’s time to choose where you and your group are going to sleep for the next few days. What should you be searching for — luxurious hotels or beachfront villas?
Hotels may be easier to find, or more numerous, but well-maintained house and condo rentals could be the perfect place for you and yours to kick back and finally relax.
These short term rentals are growing in popularity: nearly one out of every four leisure travelers and family travelers have stayed in a vacation rental in the past two years, instead of opting for a traditional hotel or resort room. Another 24 percent have stayed in a condominium resort. And TripAdvisor found that almost two thirds of survey respondents had plans to stay in a vacation rental in the next year.
Here are a few reasons why those beachfront villas might be your best bet.
- Price: Beachfront condos and other beach home rentals are surprisingly affordable, especially for larger groups. 62 percent of survey respondents reported that they would opt for a vacation rental because they’re cheaper than hotels.
Think about it: beachfront villas could sleep ten or so people, whereas choosing a hotel would mean booking multiple rooms. HomeAway found that a 1,300 square foot condo that sleeps six averages about $99 a night, while the average hotel room in the United States costs $118. No contest, that condo is a better deal.
- Savings. Also consider all the other ways you can save money with that oceanfront rental. A full kitchen means you can cook meals, make your own coffee and tea, and stock your own snacks and drinks. And if the rental offers a washer and dryer, you can even do laundry, which means you don’t have to pay for the service, or over-pack for your trip.
Parking can also be a big source of savings when you stay at one of those beachfront villas. When you forgo valet parking and just park in your own little rental driveway, you could save up to $36 a day, according to HomeAway.
Don’t forget about the little extras you could be getting for free at short term rentals. Depending on the rental, you’re likely to have access to televisions, DVD players and DVDs (and/or Blu-ray players and Blu-rays), and probably Wi-Fi. There might even be an online streaming service so you can watch whatever you want. And it’ll all be free, instead of the expensive movies and cable you’d buy at a hotel.
- Space: This is worth repeating: a vacation rental will have way more space than your average hotel room, which means you and yours will have plenty of space to spread out for “you” time, and plenty of space to come together whenever you want.
More space also means more privacy. You and your group will have your own building, not just your own room in a giant hotel filled with other travelers. Depending on your rental, you could be pretty isolated — sometimes you just need to really get away.
What are you waiting for?