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For Travelers Only….

by on February 5, 2008 · 17 comments

This doesn’t have to do with cookies, but I thought I’d post it anyway because it’s super cool — especially for people who like to spread out and perhaps bake a batch of cookies or two while traveling.

Did you know there’s a huge database of vacation homes you can rent? The link is VRBO and the database includes properties all over the world.

Need a 3 bedroom condo in downtown Chicago for less than $350 a night?

How about an apartment in London?

Or Manhattan

Or come visit us in Austin and stay by the lake.

I found out about this site from my doctor, which is a pretty good reference as far as I’m concerned. If you’ve heard of this and used it, let me know. I will probably be clicking around on it all night looking at properties.

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Published on February 5, 2008

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy D. February 5, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Hi Anna,
We used VRBO when we went to Florida for a couple weeks last summer. We rented a house smack dab ON the beach…my kids could go in and out of the house to and from the beach on their own–that’s how close we were. The people who own the house use a rental agency to rent it out. Everything was just as it was shown in the ad and we would definitely rent this way again. I’m sure it varies from rental agency to agency and owner to owner, but we had a really good experience.

Adare February 5, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Hi Anna,
I’ve used this site twice to find properties, and we’ve been very pleased. I still scan it every once in a while when I’m checking out a location that we want to visit.

It’s so nice to have all the info in one place (photos, rates, amenities, will they take pets, will they take younger kids, etc.) And we do like to spread out when we’re traveling, instead of being cooped up in a small-ish hotel room! And we sometimes like to take our dogs along.

I wish that folks who’ve stayed in the different homes/apts would leave feedback (like on Trip Advisor), but I found that most properties didn’t have comments.

Christina February 5, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Hi Anna,

We used it on our Labor Day weekend in San Diego b/c we wanted to stay near the beach. There were tons of listings, and the transaction was seamless. We’ll definitely check it out for future trips. It’s a nice alternative to hotels, but you have to be more self-reliant about navigating your way around town, etc.

Jill - GlossyVeneer February 5, 2008 at 11:31 pm

My MIL used this site to rent a GINORMOUS cabin in the Utah mountains for a family reunion last summer. It was seriously huge, every couple had their own bedroom and there was a big play room where the kids all bunked. Combined with a gourmet kitchen, game room, big family room with flat-panel TV… there was so much space that nobody had to interact with other family members at the “reunion”! ;-)

K February 6, 2008 at 6:37 am

Thanks for sharing the link.

Randi February 6, 2008 at 7:18 am

I made those cookies too yesterday( I didnt have any reeces pieces though) and I wasnt that impressed. I listented to a few reviews comments and subbed half shortening for half of the butter. Maybe that was my mistake. I should try it again with all butter. I’m going to blog about it today.

mary February 6, 2008 at 7:48 am

Hi Anna! I have been reading your blog for the last several months and have absolutely love it! So, thank you for the baking and blogging inspiration.

My husband and I have used VRBO a couple of times for our vacations to Florida. I cannot say enough great things about the site. We have had absolutely no problems with our rentals and all properties were as advertised.

Thank you again for your blog!

Anna February 6, 2008 at 7:53 am

Thanks so much for all the feedback. I can’t tell you how excited about this….now I just need to figure out where to go.

One question. Does the cleaning situation vary? I noticed some people have housekeepers, but not all. Do you just try to be as neat as possible in most cases or is there usually a cleaning team that comes in at the end?

RecipeGirl February 6, 2008 at 8:30 am

We’ve used VRBO many times… Breckenridge, Lake Tahoe, condo in Whistler, and an East coast beach house. It has worked out smoothly every time. All of ours had housekeeping built in with the cost. We’re headed out of town for a month this summer and are thinking of listing our San Diego home to see if we can find a match! Great site.

Cindy February 6, 2008 at 9:09 am

Thanks for this great resource. We live in Austin and recently stayed in a beautiful house near Lake Travis. We’re blessed to live in a great city with so many wonderful places to see and stay.

Dee February 6, 2008 at 9:32 am

I have used VRBO and it was great for a condo in Breckenridge. Condo was even better in person than it looked in the photos.

Julie O'Hara February 6, 2008 at 9:37 am

Anna, I’m so glad you posted that link and so many of your readers left feedback. I’ve never seen the site before but now I want to use it! Just another excuse for me to lust after traveling…

Jennifer February 6, 2008 at 11:44 am

I love the VRBO site too! I have found a lot of great properties through it and actually have my condo listed on it as well. The neat things is that most of them have virtual tours as well, take a look at mine.
http://www.vrbo.com/25044

Karen February 6, 2008 at 12:02 pm

This site is good if you want to rent from an individual homeowner, but renting from a professional property manager for vacations can be safer because they take credit cards and ensure the place will be well maintained and that someone will be available 24 hours a day to take care of the rental home if there’s an issue. As another option, a site with lots of professionally managed properties is PickPackGo.com

Sue February 6, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for this suggestion! Our oldest is graduating from college this spring and we’re trying to figure out how to accomodate family members since we’ll all be travelling a long way to attend. This is a great resource!

Anna February 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Recipe Girl, that’s good to know about housekeeping. Sounds like it’s standard. I’m really happy that so many people had good experiences.

Cindy, I like the idea of vacationing in ones own city! I’d probably just stay downtown, though.

Dee, I will have to look into Colorado. Never been. My girlfriend goes almost every summer and stays at the same place. I need to tell her about this.

Julie, I can see you renting a villa in Italy.

Jennifer, that’s a gorgeous place! I like that it’s fairly close to Orlando. I’ll have to map out Smyrna.

Karen, thanks for yet another resource. Good advice, too.

Sue, I hope this helps you too.

I have most of my trips booked for the summer, but I might try setting something up for December. We usually go to CT and NYC.

Maureen February 6, 2008 at 1:53 pm

We rented a 6 million dollar home in St John for our honeymoon. It was absolutely spectacular. I’m all for renting out homes now when I go on vacation. You have so much more space and amenities.

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