Vacation Rental vs. Hotel

Most people think the hardest part of planning a vacation or getaway is deciding where to go. Once you’ve determined the destination, the difficult decision comes with where to stay. Is a hotel the way to go; or maybe a vacation rental? We’ve outlined some things to consider to help you determine which option is best for you and your family.

Square Footage

  • Vacation Rental: The average vacation rental is 1,850-2,000 square feet.
  • Hotel Room: The average hotel room is 325-400 square feet.


Per Night Rate

  • Vacation Rental: A mid-size condo by the ocean runs about $150 per night.
  • Hotel Room: The average hotel by the ocean runs about $180 per night.


Staying Options

  • Vacation Rental: When choosing a vacation rental, you have so many setting options to fit your lifestyle. Choose from duplexes, beachfront condos, oceanfront cottages, pet-friendly accommodations and much more.
  • Hotel Room: When it comes to hotel rooms there are usually just the same three options you get: double queen, single king or a suite. Also, most hotels are not pet-friendly.



  • Vacation Rental: The main reason you want a vacation home is to avoid large crowds and pestering noises of a hotel. A vacation rental is the ideal setting for a real getaway of rest and relaxation or a little romance.
  • Hotel Room: If you choose a hotel for your next getaway, you will probably give up some of your privacy. From maids knocking to clean and restock your room to noisy hotel guests in the halls/next door. You’d also be dealing with crowded pools/hot tubs and other shared amenities. These are just a few of the pitfalls of staying at a hotel.


Staying Together

  • Vacation Rental: One of the perks of having a vacation rental is that everyone is under one roof. Everything you like in a home setting you will have: multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, living area, kitchen, backyard, pool and more. Most vacation rentals have enough space to be together as a group, yet still enough space to maintain individual privacy.
  • Hotel Room: Often a large family or group of friends on vacation will need to get 2-3 rooms to accommodate everyone. When everyone wants to hang out, you will find yourselves crowded in one room sitting on a bed; there are few gathering space options available.



  • Vacation Rental: Avoid the expense of eating out for every meal. In a vacation home you will have your own full kitchen with all major appliances. Stock your full-size refrigerator and freezer with groceries and refreshments. Plus, you have 24-hour access to your kitchen.
  • Hotel Room: Hotel restaurants and room service are often pricy and only available at awkward hours (I.E. breakfast ends at 8:00 a.m.). Sleeping in should be an option while on vacation, not following hotel service hours. Not to mention almost everything in the mini-bar is pricey!


Laundry Services

  • Vacation Rental: Washers and dryers come standard in vacation rentals and will save not only room in your bag for souvenirs due to less packing, but also save you money on hotel dry cleaning and laundry services.
  • Hotel Room: The cost of having a men’s button down shirt dry cleaned at a hotel can range from $7-$12, a woman’s skirt $6-$8, overcoat $13-$16, etc.  These prices quickly add up to extra charges on your final bill that you never intended.


Hidden Costs

  • Vacation Rental: Since you have already met with the property manager, you are aware of all costs and fees ahead of time. You will avoid any hidden fees and find that vacation rentals do not charge for Internet access, cable, DVD players, parking, etc.
  • Hotel Room: You can never completely know what your final hotel bill will be. Additional charges such as resort fees, energy surcharge fee, baggage holding fees, Internet access fees, parking fees and fees for movies and using room towels at the pool; all these things can quickly add up, raising your final cost exponentially.


When it comes to overall space, privacy and saving money, there is no comparison, a vacation rental is the ideal choice for a place to stay while on vacation. Hotels can be great for an individual, but once you add more people to the equation you will find a vacation rental is the best option.

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