When many people think ‘vacation’ they think of hotels where you get access to a concierge, room service, and 24 hour staff.
While hotels are luxurious, another option is to rent a home for a cost-effective stay.
Why rent a home or condo? Costs
Renting a home or condo can be incredibly inexpensive. For starters, staying in a home usually means there’s access to a kitchen, and that can provide the ability to prepare some meals yourself, instead of eating out three meals a day, every day. Even just stashing cereal, yogurt or pastries, or bacon and eggs in the fridge and eating just breakfast at your home or condo, can save you a lot of money.
When it comes to costs, at a private home or condo, there’s no employees to tip, though that, of course means you’ll need to do any work, fetching, cooking, or you’ll need to book your own outings.
How to avoid resort fees? Rent a home or condo in
Renting a home or condo can also save you an annoying fee that’s becoming more common at hotels today; resort fees. This fee is usually added on at the time of check-in and is a source of frustration for many visitors because it’s often a surprise.
The fee is said to cover things like towel service, pool usage and other amenities. These mandatory fees can be $20 to almost $40 per guest, per day, so it’s not inexpensive. Renting somewhere allows you to avoid this kind of extra charge.
Paying to park? not when you rent a home
Parking fees are another cost some hotels are adding on to many stays. (Researching a recent hotel stay in San Francisco, one hotel’s parking rate was $70 per day!) Parking can quickly add up at a hotel over a week, but at a home or condo, my experience has always been that it’s included. And there’s often more than one spot available too, meaning if you have guests drop in, you can accommodate them without extra costs.
Why rent a home or condo? Comfort
There’s nothing like opening up the door to your home away from home for a week and taking in the space; living rooms, full-size bedrooms, and bathrooms that are bigger than closets.
Vacation homes and condos often have plenty of space to get comfy, particularly for families and couples traveling together. Plus, in a home, you also get amenities like a private yard, private pool, private hot tub or other nice features that you just can’t get at a hotel. Yes, you’ll have to get your own cold drinks from the fridge, but you’re also saving on drink markups and tips too. In condos, there’s usually shared play space, and shared pools or spas too, and they’re often much less crowded than a hotel.
Where to find homes for rent in Palm Springs
If you’re looking for a place to find a house or condo to rent, there are a few great options:
Palm Springs AirBnB
AirBnB is a popular service that is easy to use and has lots of properties to choose from, in my experience using it. I’ve stayed at AirBnB homes in Spain, Toronto, Palm Springs, Oregon, and elsewhere, and I’ve had a top-notch experience every single time.
The website has many filtering options to hunt for what you’re looking for, and it organizes the transactions for both parties. No money changes hands until you’ve seen the place to verify it’s real, and completed your stay. Ratings from real and verified guests ensure you’re dealing with reputable folks with good reputations.
Palm Springs VRBO
VRBO has been around for ages. I used it quite a bit many years ago until AirBnB came along, but I know many travelers are still partial to it. While the website used to be tedious and difficult to slog through, and you had to book transactions one-to-one with your host, the site has undergone a rather startling transformation. It could be AirBnB’s cousin in terms of layout and style, and there’s also now an option for a guaranteed booking with VRBO Checkout.
Local Palm Springs rental agencies
If you’d prefer to deal with a smaller entity or even person-to-person, there are numerous local rental agencies that can help find a place to stay in Palm Springs. Companies like Acme House Company, McLean Company or Vacation Palm Springs can all provide specific local knowledge of the neighbourhoods where you might like to stay. The Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism also has a page dedicated to helping you find a place to stay on its website visitpalmsprings.com
What are short term rental rules in Palm Springs?
It’s also worth noting here that several cities in Palm Springs and the surrounding area are re-evaluating the legal rules and the need for possible permits for short-term rentals, and this will no doubt impact visitors, and possibly prices.
Check on the rules of the municipality where you’re looking to stay to be sure you don’t run afoul of any local laws. Some homeowners have been known to ask guests to pretend to be family or close friends. While this may get you the rental you want, be sure your acting skills are up to par. If you’re not comfortable feigning family, or lying for hosts you’ve never met to a bylaw inspector, you might need to look elsewhere. These rules are changing so check local news and city websites for current info.
No matter whether you book using a local agency, on AirBnB, or VRBO, or find a celebrity home for rent on Google, staying at a place outside a hotel can be both cost effective, and extraordinarily comfortable.
This article was originally published for VisitPalmSprings.com