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Pet-Friendly Travel Options: Staying in a Vacation Rental
There are lots of reasons why pet-friendly hotels and motels are great for
travellers with pets. But if you've been feeling adventurous and are looking
for something different, vacation
rentals might just fit the bill.
Vacation rentals are furnished, self-contained homes, suites, apartments,
and condos that are offered as alternatives to hotel stays. Sometimes they
are the only home on the property, while other times the property might also
contain another rental or even the owner's own residence. Vacation rentals
may be rented out privately by the owner, or may rented out by a property
management company that handles the guest's stay from start to end.
Here's a short comparison of hotels and vacation rentals; you might find
that there are times when hotels or motels fit your needs better, and other
times when you want to stay in a vacation rental.
Consistent - you generally know what you'll be getting
when you book a hotel room.
Unique - each vacation rental is individualistic, often
reflecting the personality of its owners.
Sometimes you can find good deals online, though various
travel sites or just by contacting the hotel directly.
If you're traveling with a group and need more than 1 room,
you just book as many as you need. Large groups might get
Vacation rentals can be tiny, cozy spaces at an affordable
budget rate, or they can be luxurious oceanfront properties.
Parties needing more than one room may find that some vacation
rentals offer a more affordable choice; instead of booking
two or more hotel rooms, there's the option of booking a
single vacation rental with multiple bedrooms.
Services and Amenities
Some properties offer extra amenities like a gym, pool,
restaurant, picnic areas, balconies, etc (but note, not
all of these areas may permit pets). You can also expect
toiletries, complimentary coffee, and the usual other
amenities from most hotels.
Hotels might offer additional non-standard services
and amenities for an extra fee, like valet parking or
laundry service, or an extra cot for the room.
Services and amenities will vary widely depending on
the individual owner. In general, it's hard to hold
expectations of what will provided at the property
since every property and every owner is unique.
Some properties will not offer any amenities at
all, and will be completely "self-catering" -
they provide the accommodation only, and guests bring
anything else that they need or want. Other properties
may offer hotel-like amenities. They might also have
more unique offerings like a yard (or even better, a
fenced yard!), a deck, pool, BBQ, or a dock.
Because vacation rentals are each so unique, guests
should specifically ask about any services or amenities
that are important to them.
Hotels may offer kitchenettes, usually at a small extra fee.
Vacation rentals generally have their own full kitchens, whose
use is included in the rental rate. This gives travelers the
option of preparing their own meals (and saving money!) if
Daily housekeeping is generally offered and included in the rate
(although housekeeping staff are sure to appreciate tips!).
Vacation rentals are typically "self-catering", meaning that
daily housekeeping isn't available. Guests may have access to laundry
facilities to do their own laundry (if desired). A cleaning fee may
be charged so that housekeepers can do the laundry and clean the home
after your visit is over.
Travelers generally know what to expect from a hotel room or suite,
even though the size of the unit can vary dramatically. Typically
the room includes the bed (although sometimes there's a separate
bedroom), chair, perhaps a desk, plus the bathroom. A kitchenette
might also be available. Friends and families requiring two or
more rooms may enjoy having completely separate rooms and their
own space, rather being all together in one space.
Vacation rentals are each unique. They can range from single rooms
to whole homes, with thousands of square feet of space! They can
be a good option for friends or families who would normally need
to book two or more hotel rooms, and who would want adjoining
rooms. Instead, with a vacation rental, a single property can
be booked with multiple bedrooms so that the whole party can
stay together in one space. Shared spaces like living rooms and
kitchens are good for gatherings too. The extra space can also
be handy when there's a pet or two also hanging around.
Yard or Green Space
Hotels sometimes have shared green spaces that guests can enjoy
(of course, pet owners should always be courteous and pick up
after their dogs). Extra amenities like picnic tables, BBQs,
gazebos, games, etc... might also be available.
Some vacation rentals may have private yards - even a fenced
yard, great for travelers with dogs!
Hotels are full of people coming and going. Generally, pets
need to be accepting of lots of strangers coming and going
for them and their families to enjoy a stay at a hotel.
Vacation rentals are sometimes single homes where there are
no others on the property (or with small numbers of other
parties on the property). They can be a better choice for
travelers whose pets are uncomfortable with noise and
strangers, or whose pets may not be suitable for staying
in a hotel (for example, due to a tendency to bark).
Hotels don't typically offer a home-like feel, although there
are some travelers (or some circumstances) who prefer a hotel
Vacation rentals can offer a "home away from home"
atmosphere for travelers who prefer it. Privacy, space, and
full kitchens, amongst other things, can make vacation rentals
seem more like home. Travelers with dogs may find it easier to
manage their dogs with the extra space and possibly easy access
to a yard, too.
Hotels often have a "guest manual" in the room,
detailing things to see and do in the area, restaurants,
hotel rules, contact information, etc. Hotels with a
a concierge can help guests arrange for things to see
Some owners take a more involved, hands-on approach to guests
and can offer personal suggestions on what to see or do around
the area. Many travelers enjoy the "personal touch"
and a local's perspective of hidden gems in the area.
Vacation rentals can be a good option for travelers with pets.
Browse the Pet Friendly site for vacation
rentals and many other types of accommodations, too.