Vacation rental is the renting out of a furnished apartment or house on a temporary basis to tourists as an alternative to a hotel. The term vacation rental is mainly used in the US. In Europe the term villa rental or villa holiday is preferred for rentals of detached houses in warm climates. Other terms used are self-catering rentals, holiday homes, holiday lets (in the United Kingdom), cottage holidays (for rentals of smaller accommodation in rural locations) and gites (in rural locations in France).
Vacation rentals have long been a popular travel option in Europe (especially in the UK) as well as in Canada and are becoming increasingly popular across the world.
Types of accommodation
Vacation rentals usually occur in privately owned vacation properties (holiday homes), so the variety of accommodation is broad and inconsistent. The property is a fully furnished property, such as a holiday cottage, condominium, townhome or single-family-style home. The client/traveler arranges to rent the vacation rental property for a designated period of time. Some rent on nightly basis similar to hotel rooms, although the more prevalent vacation rental industry practice is typically weekly rentals.
Vacation rentals can range from budget studio apartments to lavish, expensive private villas in the world's most desirable locations, some with pricetags of many thousands per night and all the amenities you would find in any luxury accommodation (fully staffed, private beaches, boats, chefs, cooking lessons, etc.) to cater to the guests. Some vacation rentals, particularly condominiums or apartments, offer many of the same services hotels offer to their guests, e.g., front desk check-in, 24-hour maintenance, in-house housekeeping, concierge service.
Villa holidays are very popular in Europe, and main destinations include Spain, France, Greece, and Turkey.
Vacation rentals are available in most states of the US and is prevalent in major tourist areas such as Florida, Hawaii and California. The vacation rental market is much larger in Europe than it is in the United States, and Florida is a popular destination for villa holidays for Europeans.
Differences between villa/vacation rentals and timeshares
Consumers unfamiliar with the concept of a vacation rental may confuse it with the seemingly similar, but distinctly different, timeshare. A timeshare can still be rented as a vacation rental should an owner decide to put his owned week(s) on a vacation rental program. Many timeshare resorts offer quarter-ownership which offers the owner 13-weeks of ownership and, therefore, more weeks to offer for rental.
A timeshare is a piece of real estate—often a fully furnished condominium—that is jointly shared by multiple owners. While different types of timeshare ownerships exist, in general, each owner bears a portion of the responsibility, along with the right to a segment of time in which he or she is granted sole use of the property. Timeshare resorts allow financially qualified guests to rent and tour their unowned properties and then make those properties available to the guest for purchase. Timeshare owners can also choose to bank their week with and exchange company such as RCI, or rent the unit.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Last Update : Sat 26 July 2014
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