Welcome to Home Rental Country: The Refuge of the Un-Hotel

Other Options

For people just dipping their toes into the vacation rental market—or for ones who want to leave the hassle of travel arrangement behind, Untours (www.untours.com), arranges flights and transportation along with vacation rentals. "It takes some of the stress away when you arrive," says Kim Paschen, marketing director at Untours. Untours also offers orientation meetings for visitors, and one optional activity during the two-week stay, such as visiting a cheese maker or local winery.

Another alternative is home exchange. If you'd like to exchange your home with another person—in a far-flung spot or in the next state—a home exchange could work for you, especially if you're traveling solo or in a small group. The program at HomeExchange.com works through an annual membership fee. People's first concern, says George Balen, vice-president of HomeExchange.com, is that they don't want a stranger in their home. But through emails, phone calls, and photos of the homes, people often form connections with their exchangers. Most people join the program to save money, he says, but the program offers many of the same benefits that vacation rentals do, including immersion into local culture. "It's not for everybody," he says. "But the people who do it are so passionate about it."

Published: 13 Apr 2007 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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