A short-term rental, sometimes called a vacation rental, is a home that is leased out, furnished, for a short-term basis. These properties are rented by the night or week depending on the owner, location, and any number of other factors.

Short-term rentals have become popular alternatives to hotels in recent years, especially with the advent of Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and other sharing websites. Here are seven reasons why you might want to consider a short-term rental over a hotel for your next holiday or business trip.

1. Save Money

House and apartment rentals will often offer much better rates for extended stays for singles, families, couples, and business travellers, and groups for people looking for clean, affordable accommodations. Short-term rentals are typically cheaper than hotels and a lot nicer than hostels.

2. More Options

When you choose a hotel, you often get a touristy neighbourhood downtown, somewhere without a lot of character. With an apartment rental, you have a lot more options: you can choose from different neighbourhoods and stay where the locals live. This means you will get a richer experience.

3. Self-Cater

You can grocery shop and cook for yourself since your rental will be equipped with a kitchen, unlike with most hotel rooms. This allows you to have a great dining experience without spending too much money on restaurant meals. You will be able to shop at local markets and enjoy fresh produce without breaking the bank. You also get to choose exactly what you want to eat, when you want to eat it: if you want an egg sandwich at 2 am, go for it!

4. Insider Perspective

One of the biggest benefits of short-term apartment rentals is the advice you will get from people who rent out their home, or from neighbours. Not all hosts will offer this, but some will provide you with a list of their favourite cafes and restaurants, tips for local parks and scenic outings, bus/train schedules, nightlife calendars, tourist must-dos, and more. You never know what your host will tell you about!

5. Inspiration

Travel is another way to change your habits and perspective; this is one reason you come home refreshed and inspired. When you rent out someone else’s apartment, you get a look into how other people live; compare this to a soulless hotel and see how different it is! Anything you see at a short-term rental can become inspiration for your own home, like a little curio on the bookshelf to an amazing view out the bedroom window. You might get ideas for home decor or design, too.

6. Flexibility

The most basic benefit to short-term rentals is flexibility. When you sign a lease for a short-term rental, you have the ability to lay out the number of days, weeks, or months you wish to stay, and you can leave after a short period without paying any fees or penalties. This is a great option for checking out different neighbourhoods before you commit to a long-term lease, which often locks you in to at least one year of tenancy.

7. Condition

Property managers and home owners perform regular upgrades and maintenance on short-term rentals a lot more often than on long-term rentals, typically because the space is cleaned and any necessary repairs are made after each tenant leaves. This could mean the space is cleaned dozens of times a year, so the floors, walls, and appliances will be much better maintained than what could be available in a traditional apartment.

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Mo is a seasoned traveller and an adventurous spirit who dreams of visiting every country around the world. When he's not travelling, you might find him writing and cataloguing about his recent trips.