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5 ways to get the service and comforts of a hotel—in a vacation rental

These days, many travelers are choosing vacation rentals over traditional hotels. Vacation rentals typically offer more space and amenities

Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

These days, many travelers are choosing vacation rentals over traditional hotels. Vacation rentals typically offer more space and amenities, plus kitchens, washers and dryers, dishwashers and yards that are pet friendly. Here are some extras to consider that can raise the bar on your vacation rental to make it more like a hotel experience.

Don’t schlep the baby gear, rent it

At a hotel, cribs are usually available as a special request. But who knows if a vacation rental will have a crib when you check-in, or even worse, who knows what its condition will be? If you have a baby, consider using a service like to deliver baby gear to your vacation rental. This neat concept connects traveling parents with local parents who have the baby gear and can rent it to you. It’s a win-win for parents. Travel lighter and better without having to schlep so much gear cross country.

Use meal services

Ah, the glory of hotel room service. A knock on your door and—voila!—a hot meal arrives. For those wanting that same instant gratification at their vacation rental, ordering a prepared meal delivery service like Freshly is a good alternative. Meals are delivered fresh (not frozen), so all you need to do is heat them up in the microwave for 3 minutes. You can easily manage your deliveries via the app or website (and switch back to your home address when the vacation is over). Pick from a menu of 30-plus meals that are ready to eat when you’re hungry, and they’re single-serve for easy portion control. They offer healthier twists on takeout favorites, plus classic comfort foods like chicken parm, chicken tikka masala, steak peppercorn, and more. Meals start at $8.49 each.

Rent a place with a pool

Part of the fun of a great hotel is the pool, especially for families. When selecting a vacation rental, look for one with a pool. You can easily do a pool search on trypguide by using the amenities filter. While you’re at it, you can also search for other hotel-like perks, including ocean views, a hot tub, free WiFi, etc. It’s also important to discuss safety rules with kids before arriving and make sure to book a rental that offers a safety fence with a lock. Pool days are great fun for families and unlike at a hotel, if you book a vacation rental with a private pool, you won’t have to share it with anybody else!

Ask your host if they can provide bicycles

Many hotels now offer bicycles that can be rented or are included for guests as part of the property’s resort fee. Depending on where the vacation rental is located, having bicycles available is a healthy and fun way to see the town and beyond. This also saves money on ride-sharing services and keeps children off their phones. When in contact with your host, or when making arrangements about your rental, inquire if bicycles are available. If they aren’t, perhaps they can refer you to a local bike rental shop.

Hire a housekeeping service

After a day of sightseeing or running around a theme park, who doesn’t love to come back to a freshly made bed, and clean bathroom courtesy of the hotel’s cleaning team? If you plan on staying a while, there are cleaning services that you can contract for your vacation rental. Ask your host who they use in-between cleanings; this way the service is vetted. This may seem a bit extravagant, but freeing up time to pay for a housekeeping service can allow more time for relaxation.


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Written by Shivam H


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