A few weekends ago, I went to Kentucky to be part of a friend’s wedding. She’d rented out an entire B&B for the bridal party, and our group stayed up late into the night chatting and laughing in front of the huge outdoor fireplace.
As I drove back home at the end of the weekend, I wondered why I didn’t travel with friends like that more often. It was incredibly fun — and as Caroline Costello points out in The Seven Cheapest Ways to Travel, it could actually save me money:
“Vacation rentals may not be your best bet if you’re a solo traveler or you like to eat out. But if you’re traveling with a family or another couple, a vacation rental could save you big bucks over a hotel. Staying in a vacation rental with a number of people is less expensive because each person you add to your party cuts costs significantly.
“For example, on HomeAway.com, we found a two-bedroom, two-bathroom ocean-view villa in Maui that sleeps four for just $195 per night — that’s less than $50 per person per night if you can find three travel buddies to bring along. Plus, buying larger quantities of food at the grocery store and cooking in instead of eating at restaurants can help you save even more (who doesn’t love a good barbecue?).”
Vacation rentals tend to be most popular in kid-friendly beach destinations, where families pile into shore houses with colorful towels hanging from the balcony. But you can find them just about anywhere. Imagine waking up in an apartment on a quiet residential street in Rome and getting your morning cappuccino at the little cafe on the corner … or booking your own private little Maine cabin in the woods just for you and your three best friends.
A word to the wise: Vacation rentals tend to be best for travelers planning to stick around at least a few days, as some have minimum-stay requirements — particularly in the most popular beach destinations.