Affordable Travel Guide to Condo Rentals

From Basic to Luxurious, They’re a Good Alternative

Condo Rentals

Renting a condominium, as compared to a hotel room, is a bit like the old adage of comparing apples to oranges. Apples might be cheaper, but oranges have more vitamin C. Still, condo rentals work for many people as the perfect accommodations, especially groups of friends or families traveling together. They offer more of the amenities of home (which some vacationers need and crave) than a hotel, and are perhaps more suitable for longer stays, but you have to do all the work (meals, cleaning, etc.), so is it really a vacation?

There are three common forms of condo rentals for vacation or business travel accommodations:

  1. Timeshare condos. Available for rent when the owners are unable to spend their allocated week in their unit, or in other cases when a timeshare owner has bought with the express intention of using it as a rental and may have several units to that effect.
  2. Housing exchange condos. Managed through housing exchange clubs (you must be a member), but you have to be able to offer a place of your own for rent as well, whether it’s a condo or a house.
  3. Individual condos. These may be owned by individuals or resort corporations, but they are almost always in desirable beach locations or near winter vacation spots like ski hills. For example, Myrtle Beach condo rentals are a great alternative to hotels and many units are right on the beachfront.

A fourth less frequent type of condo rental is a unit in a building purchased by investors and made available for rent, probably very sparsely furnished, for long- or short-term stays, often while it is for sale (so you might be interrupted by a showing).

In many ways, condo rentals are similar to extended stay hotels, but without the amenities of a hotel. Both offer a room or rooms with linens and towels, and an equipped kitchen area, but condo rentals, while they may have a staffed front desk, don’t supply the services and perquisites of a hotel. Neither do they tend to cost quite as much.

Without exception, condo rentals that are aimed at vacationers and travelers are furnished and equipped, but there are varying degrees of that. The more extravagant ones — fully equipped, beautifully decorated and with all the bells and whistles of luxury — are duly priced much higher than a modest condo with minimal comforts. They range in size from studio units, ideal for one or two guests, to three-bedrooms (sometimes more) with private balconies and full kitchens. The options and prices run the gamut.

Where Can You Find a Condo Rental?

You can start right here at Affordable Travel, but condo rentals are also advertised widely in newspapers (print and on-line), travel publications, and dedicated condo rentals websites. Understand and abide by the terms of your rental agreement and when you leave, leave it clean and in good order; owners of these condo rental units will be at liberty to ding your credit card for damages if you don’t leave it just the way you found it. And if you arrive and find a problem, report it immediately so it doesn’t get blamed on you.

Condo rentals can be a cost-effective accommodations alternative, if you don’t mind handling your own cooking (you can, of course, eat out, but the purpose here is to save money) and your own housekeeping (although some offer that as an added-cost option). If you’re flexible and need more space than a standard hotel room allows, condo rentals might be just the place for you to rest your sleepy head!

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