Hotels or Condos: Which option is right for your group and budget?
After a year of “sheltering in place”, people are more than ready to start travelling and seeing the world again. When deciding the best way to make the most of your travel budget, many people consider the benefits of staying in a condo compared to a traditional hotel. There are benefits to both options, depending on your group, your expectations, your budget, and your vacation priorities. Here are some things to consider when trying decide on the perfect accommodation.
Hotels are the most common and the traditional way of securing lodging when traveling. Travelers almost always know what to expect from a particular brand or “level” a of hotel. Budget hotels provide the same kind of amenities, in room coffee, linens, for example, while four or five star hotels might offer complimentary breakfast, higher quality or eco- friendly amenities like soaps and shampoos, linens, and concierge service. When booking a condo, you’ll be required to do a little more research to ensure the accommodations are up to your personal standards. Vacation rental companies and on-line services like VRBO depend on customer feedback and owner transparency. Friends are also a good source of information and can share their experiences with certain properties.
A condo will allow you more flexibility in locations. In most places, areas are zoned for business and you’ll normally find most hotels in the same general vicinity. Condos and other rental property can be found anywhere; beach front, water view, downtown, in a specific neighborhood. Depending on what you have planned for your vacation, and your wiliness to drive, walk, or use public transportation to get to your activities, location is something you will want to consider before booking your stay.
Travelers can also search for and book condos based on amenities. In addition to the location, you can look for spaces that offer specific amenities, like private beach access, pools, or type of view. When booking a hotel, everything is communal, and your only amenity choice might be floor level or water view. Depending on the size of your party, a condo rental can also offer more “together time”. Condos will have living rooms, media rooms, or dens, equipped with state of the art TV, sound systems, streaming services so you can all be together. Many condos also provide board game, books, and puzzles, so you don’t have to pack “low tech” information either.
In a vacation rental, you can expect to find clean linens, towels, and most units come equipped with a washer and dryer in the in the unit or close by, making keeping your space tidy a little easier. Since you can book your condo units based on how many bedrooms you need, you’ll be able to spread out a little. If you’re planning on an extended stay, sharing a couple of beds in a single room in a hotel may not be ideal, especially if your group has both night owls and early birds.
While you will want to explore your vacation location and sample some the restaurants, condos provide travelers with a full kitchen, plus pots, pans, glassware, dishes, and utensils. This helps you manage your budget, as you can cook some meals at home. Many resorts and complexes have community grills if your condo unit doesn’t have its own. Even if you eat out most of the time, you’ll have a place for snacks and drinks. This might free up some fun money to do more things, like tours, side trips, or extra scoops of ice cream after mini-golf. If you’re staying on a beach, you can be sure there is a blender, so you can have some frozen cocktails! Condo owners who rent out their places usually put a lot of thought into the décor and the amenities, helping you feel more “at home” while you are away
Deciding to stay in a hotel or to rent a condo is a big decision and helps set the tone of your getaway. Vacation rentals are a great option to give you the breathing room, privacy and amenities you and your loved ones need to fully experience the ultimate r & r!