What are Short Term Vacation Rentals?

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  • Written By: Jessica Hobby
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2019
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Short term vacation rentals refer to a variety of properties where people who wish to relax may reside. They are named for the time vacationers stay in them and the type of properties they include. Travelers can find short term vacation rentals almost anywhere in the world.

Almost any property a traveler stays in, which is not a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast, can be considered a short term vacation rental. Some examples are private villas, condominiums, private residential houses, townhomes and cabins. The main characteristic that separates short term vacation rentals from hotels, motels and others are amenities. Although there are some exceptions, especially in reference to luxury vacation rentals, short term rentals typically do not include the use of restaurants, maid service, laundry service and some of the other features found at other rental properties that offer nightly rates.

Short term rentals are meant to replicate the comforts of home and usually come completely furnished. They typically come equipped with partial or full kitchens so vacationers may prepare their own meals. Similarly, many have a washing machine and dryer or have nearby laundry facilities. Although it is rare, some budget short term vacation rentals may require guests to bring their own linens, which would include towels for bathing and bed sheets. Guests must also furnish their own toiletries such as shampoo, soap and lotion.


The length of stay is the other component of short term vacation rentals that differentiates it from a hotel and other nightly properties. Vacationers seeking a short term rental will almost always be required to stay for one week. In some cases, the owner or property management company may require a two-week commitment. Regardless of the required commitment, vacations will almost never be able to rent a short term vacation rental by the night and can possibly rent a property for up to six months.

Short term vacation rentals can be found in popular vacation areas and sometimes in obscure locations the average public doesn’t visit. Owners trying to rent their vacation properties advertise in newspapers, magazines and online, but asking friends or family for a referral may sometimes be the easiest way to find the perfect vacation property. Prices will vary based on the type of property and how long guests stay. In some cases, owners will offer discounted prices for extra weeks.


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Post 3

@Laotionne - Your friend is right about some people willing to let you stay in their homes while you are on vacation. A lot of these agreements are exchanges. In other words, people allow you to stay in their places and you return the favor by allowing them to stay in your place when they visit your area.

You can also find some situations where people need house sitters. You take care of their homes and maybe their pets while they are away, and you get to stay in their places for free. It can be a win-win situation.

Post 2

@Laotionne - My sister and her family and I stay at the beach each year. During the summer and the the spring the rates for places to stay are very high, especially for ocean rentals. There is this guy who rents a small house there, and we rent it from him at a good price during the off season. It's better for him to rent the place to us and make a little money rather than have it empty and making no money at all.

You should find a place like this that is owned by an individual in Europe, and then work out a deal where you can stay there when the place would otherwise be empty. I'm sure you can get a good price this way.

Post 1

I am hoping to go on vacation in Europe this year. The airfare alone is about as much as I usually spend on a vacation. I don't have a lot of money, and once I pay for a plane ticket, I will be on a very tight budget. A friend of mine told me that travelers can sometimes find deals where they stay in other people's homes for a short time while the owners of the home are away. Does anyone know about these types of agreements?

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