I am always fascinated by the dynamics of free market economies in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Entrepreneurs seem to possess an almost supernatural ability to define a need and fulfill it
Even something as ubiquitous as travel continues to evolve in the free market, as consumer needs and demands change.
A recent evolution here in the United States, is the vacation rental. Although the vacation rental has enjoyed a long history among European travelers, it is just coming into its own in the United States. It is gaining acceptance for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is economy. Beyond economy, however, is the desire on the part of the American traveler to have a better vacation experience, an experience that truly imparts the local flavor of the destination. Travelers are beginning to recognize that the vacation rental accomplishes this goal better than any other form of lodging.
How? Living among the locals, gives you the real experience of place. It is a home, not a generic hotel room. It is unique and it reflects the character, culture and lifestyle of your destination.
Another factor in the growing popularity of the vacation rental is choice. The vacation rental provides the traveler with the opportunity to travel to places not served by the omnipresent hotel conglomerates. The vacation rental opens new territories to explore.
You can choose lodgings as exotic as a tree house, as ostentatious as castle or as conventional as an apartment. You can vacation in Sicily or in South Carolina. Choices are limited only by your imagination.
Just for grins, I decided to see what was available for my dream destination of London. Here are the results.
The least expensive hotel I could find was situated in West London. Far from the sights we wanted to see. I knew we would be learning the public transport system or spending quite a bit on taxis. A seven days stay for our family of four at this hotel would cost $ 1612.80 (USD) plus taxes and tips. We would be crowded together in one room and the kids, ages 10 & 13, would be sleeping on cots.
In contrast, I found a vacation rental in Clerkenwell, Central London. It is one of the more fashionable neighborhoods and less than 2 miles from Big Ben and less than 3 miles from Tower Bridge. We would have room to behave like a family, a place to do our laundry and a kitchen in which to cook. This was going to save some serious money. At $ 1305.00 (USD), $ 308.00 less than the hotel, we were getting so much more! We could save on meals out, save on transportation and actually live in one of the better sections of London.
I would advise anyone to consider the option of a vacation rental when putting together travel plans. In my own, less than scientific, experiment with the concept, it is apparent that travelers can save money while at the same time, enjoy a better travel experience. I believe this to be the best option, if you are traveling with children.
Malör – Bali