Unconventional Travel: Vacation Rentals

Unconventional Travel: Vacation Rentals

Before purchasing the RV, our original idea for traveling was to spend one month at a time in a different US city, renting vacation rentals, for the span of one year.  We had read about another family who did something similar, using sites such as HomeAway and TripAdvisor to book accommodations.

We did not go this route originally, because our top priority was to ease the kids into a nomadic lifestyle, and still feel the comforts of the same bed each night.  As they have grown and embraced this life, they are completely on board with leaving behind the RV, and trying something new.   This time we are trying this strategy just for a few months in the US, but will expand the idea to worldwide travel down the road.

th-9Typically, as in RVing, a one month rate could usually be booked at a discounted rate as opposed to daily or weekly rates.  One month has been our sweet spot, so we try to shoot for a month as often as possible.  It’s about the right amount of time for us to explore an area and truly get a feel for our surroundings, combined with the opportunity to do a day trip over a weekend or two.

So, how do we carry our daily necessities, and still have the comforts of home, confined in the trunk of our car?  Well, this is how we are attempting to do it:

Upgraded our car.

When we bought the RV, we also bought an old Jeep that was set up for towing behind the motorhome.  It was a little bit small for our taste, and since we’ve sold the RV, we’ve also sold the car. We stored some of our excess items in a small storage unit and bought a different car, with a third row seat and more elbow room.

Organized our necessities.

With the new car, comes more space, which we measured, and then purchased and labeled 4 plastic bins that fit nicely…2 small and 2 large, in addition to our suitcases and duffel bags for clothing.  One small bin carries all the toys that the boys cannot live without.  After all, their happiness is a huge priority.  The other small bin carries everyday household items, like medicines, paper products, laundry supplies, and toiletries.  One large bin holds a combination of office supplies, school books, paperwork, and some cooking utensils.  The other large bin carries dried food products, because who can afford to restock an entire kitchen every time they move locations?

We even brought a favorite grill pan, my best cooking knives and some tupperware.  We also brought an air mattress, pillows, and an extra set of sheets and blankets, stored in vacuum seal bags.  Of course we paired down our wardrobes even further, and separated out winter clothes just in case we run into cold weather (which we try to avoid!).  We also have a collapsible cooler to bring a small selection of refrigerated items with us from place to place.  If the trunk gets too full, we can just shred some things we aren’t using.

Booked ahead on rental accommodations WITH full kitchens.

This is where I ran into some trouble.  Booking out your spot further ahead increases your choices and improves prices.  For the life of me, I could not find anything to rent in Moab, UT or Coeur d’Alene ID, and had to change my route entirely.  Conversely, if you can live on the edge, and book very last minute, you might run into a deal.

This mode of travel is a bit pricier than our monthly stays at campgrounds with an RV, however, we do not have the expense of up keep and driving a home on wheels either.  Vacation rentals do come fully furnished, along with towels, bedding, cookware, and often cable, wifi, and other extra perks, and utilities are included.

Stay tuned to see how it all turns out…