Saturday, October 8, 2011

Conclusions from our VRBO trip

We have been toying with the idea of listing our Georgia house on the Vacation Rental By Owner site.  One of the goals of our trip across the country using vrbo rentals for our stays was to assess the program and see how our home stacked up against the homes we rented.  

Some conclusions of our trip.  All of the places we stayed were nice - very clean and a wonderful alternative to hotels.  Some differences:

  1. They were all quiet - off the freeway far enough to allow for quiet nights.
  2. They were all immaculately clean.  While most hotels are cleaned daily, they aren't cleaned with the same care as an owner gives.
  3. Nearly all of the places we stayed had refrigeration.  This was great for us as it allowed us to pack a cooler full of perishables and get it from one point to another still frozen.
  4. Most of the vrbo places we stayed had full kitchens which would allow less lazy people than us to prepare their own food.
  5. It was really nice to have lots of room to spread out in the evenings like we do at home.  
  6. Most of the places we stayed had washer and dryers available.
  7. Three of the five places we stayed had plenty of room for another couple where both would have the privacy of their own room.
  8. We saw some of the country we have never seen in spite of a dozen or more trips across the U.S.A.
  9. The bed expense was about twice what it would be using a hotel for a couple of reasons - many required a minimum 2 night stay; many required a deposit (while we have gotten all of them back, it still was an up front expense.) Many tacked on a cleaning fee of around $100.  For a one night or two night stay, that adds considerably to the total cost.  The vrbo program is more suited to week-long getaways where that fee can be spread over several days.
  10. It was hard to find vrbo rentals for one couple.  Many vrbo rentals sleep 10 or more, so the cost for one couple is high.  
  11. Using vrbo for waypoint stops is a bit expensive, but to us, worth the extra expense.  We traveled for nearly two full weeks and arrived in Georgia rested with our laundry neatly folded and ready to put away.  It forced us to stay with a plan and not start bolting for the barn after two days on the road.