Finding Vacation Rentals

by Lauren Braden

in Trip Ideas

Vacation Rentals - Ocean - 400x600It’s snowing like crazy in Seattle right now. I can only imagine the dumping that is surely going on in my beloved Cascade Mountains. This snow really makes me want to curl up by the fire in a rustic cabin somewhere up there. I’d sip hot cocoa while watching the big white flakes fall gently onto the branches of a ponderosa pine tree outside a nice, big picture window. Later, I’d fire up the hot tub and uncork a bottle of wine…

OK, the truth is, I’m not going anywhere. For awhile. My husband and I have a sweet new baby to love and care for, one so tiny he is not yet equipped for snow. And so we are finding ourselves rather homebound this winter. But for you – a winter getaway is beckoning.

Vacation rentals have become much easier to locate, evaluate and book yourself with websites like HomeAway and VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). Owners of vacation rentals post the listings themselves, so there is no middleman or travel agency to go through. Most owners post plenty of description text and photos. Most helpful, though, is that prior renters leave comments about the rentals (if you’re lucky) so you can get a good sense of a property’s assets, pitfalls, and overall value before you commit. Many of the rentals require minimum stays of 2 nights or more, and may require a cleaning fee as well. (I sometimes try to negotiate out of a cleaning fee by offering to leave the place as clean or cleaner than I found it.)

There’s no good reason to save these websites for a vacation to Mexico – consider searching out affordable vacation rentals for getaways right here in the Northwest.

Get a few families together and this waterfront cabin on Vashon Island is a bargain at $180 a night. Or checkout Salt Spring Island from this oceanview condominium for just $100 a night. Tour the University of Oregon campus or the Willamette Valley from Eugene in this little pink house for $100 a night.

Enjoy your winter getaway. Don’t forget the cocoa!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tom January 2, 2009 at 6:54 am

We spent spring break last year in this one:
http://www.vrbo.com/124133

It snowed but it was still fun, it’s on a beach with thousands of sand dollars growing, and visible at low tide.

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