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BBB Travel Tips: Vacation Rentals for the Budget-Traveler

BBB Travel Tips: Vacation Rentals for the Budget-Traveler - The Beacon


By: Beth

BBB Travel Tips: Vacation Rentals for the Budget-Traveler

Vacation rentals can be a great way to save money when traveling on a tight budget and many travelers are foregoing the mint on the pillow experience for more reasonable and less cushy accommodations. Better Business Bureau advises vacationers to do their research before booking rentals because sometimes the properties are not as advertised.

In a tough economy, a vacation rental is one way to save if you’re willing to forgo some of the luxuries. According to a summer 2009 survey by, 43 percent of respondents said that they were planning to stay at a vacation rental in the coming 12 months. On average, the price per square foot for a U.S. hotel is more than twice the price per square foot of a vacation rental according to a report by HomeAway, an online vacation rental company. 

Many travelers have shaved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars off of their vacation costs by renting a house or condo instead of paying for a hotel or resort, said Alison Southwick, BBB spokesperson. A vacation rental can seem riskier than booking a hotel, but if you do your research and pay attention to the fine print, it can be a safe way to save money.

There are many different Web sites that travelers can turn to for finding a vacation rental. Some companies specialize in connecting renters and vacationers”and take a cut for their efforts”while other sites cut out the middleman and potentially some consumer protections like money-back guarantees.

BBB offers the following advice to travelers looking to save money with a vacation rental:

More tips for the budget-savvy traveler can be found at

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Beth was Director of BBB Services and wrote for the consumer education blog from 2008 to 2011. Beth also managed projects of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau Foundation, including the Student of Integrity Scholarship and senior citizen education programs, and she worked with local charities as a part of our charity reporting service.