If you’re looking for a way to take an affordable summer vacation, you might want to consider finding yourself a nice rental home. Sure, a hotel room sounds like it should be cheaper, but depending on the size of your group, you may be able to take a longer vacation and spend less if you just think a little bit bigger. Renting a summer house, after all, is travel’s equivalent of buying in bulk. Renting an entire house lets you bring in more people over a longer period of time, which lowers the vacation’s price per person and leads to a ton of family fun.      

You can find affordable summer rentals near you by using popular travel engines, such as HomeAway.com, Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO.com), VacationRentals.com and, yes, even Craig’s List, but, in the interest of proving our point, MainStreet found a few affordable rental homes worth considering for your family vacation.  


Nothing is more suited to a family vacation than a trip to Disney World, but Disney Resorts often aren’t inexpensive. You can bypass their nightly rates by renting out a local villa. Our favorite option is this five-bedroom, 12-person occupancy Private Pool Home currently listed on VRBO. In addition to having three bathrooms and its own private pool, the house is right next to Disney World. You can rent the property for $229 a night, which comes to $19 per person per day if you fill the house to its occupancy (so don’t forget to bring Grandma along).

Those interested in a less family-oriented vacation can check out this VRBO deal on a rentable condominium in the hip South Beach section of Miami. The studio, which sleeps two to four people comfortably, comes with a full kitchen, one bathroom and access to the Gansevoort Hotel Pool, Jacuzzi and sushi bar, all for $1,500 a month ($375 per person; $12.50 per day per guest.)   
The Catskills, New York

The Captain’s House, located in Roxbury, N.Y., (about 3 hours north of Manhattan in the Catskills) is a 42-acre property that has a three-story carriage barn, a well-stocked library, two bathrooms and sprawling grounds that include gardens and hiking trails. It also has four bedrooms, which can occupy eight people, which means that the weekly asking price of $2,200 ($2,500 on holiday weekends) translates to $275 per person per trip, or $45 per person per day. Each additional night costs $400.

If you are looking for something a little cheaper (and a lot spookier), you can check out the Renovated Historic Church in Worchester, N.Y. The two-bedroom, six-person occupancy home costs prospective renters $2,500 for a month-long vacation ($417 per person per trip; $14 per person per day.)        

You can find additional deals on Catskills Rentals at A House Around The Bend.  


If you’d like to check out Northern California and you’ve got a particularly large family (or wide circle of friends), you can consider renting out this 5,000 square-foot, custom-built home located in Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village. The house costs $3,500 for the week plus a $200 cleaning fee, which seems steep until you calculate that its six bedrooms can sleep up to 25 people. That’s $148 per person for the whole trip. The house also features four bathrooms, a five-car garage, two outside decks, an outdoor spa and a Jacuzzi bathtub.

Those looking to visit Wine Country can significantly cut costs by staying at this Russian River vacation rental. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom rental costs $350 a night, plus a $150 cleaning fee so the eight people who stay there can each expect to pay $282 for a week-long vacation. They can also enjoy the home’s landscaped gardens, indoor hot tub and direct view of the Russian River vineyards.  
If you’re more interested in Southern California, HomeAway also has a Balboa Island vacation home listed for $3,600 a week. The 1,850 square-foot home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It sleeps 10 people so, once you factor in the $200 cleaning fee, you can expect to pay $370 per person for the trip. Not bad for a vacation home in Orange County.

The Carolinas

VacationRentals.com has plenty of deals on summer homes in Mrytle Beach, S.C. One of the best ones for big families is this two-story beach house, which has five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, an oceanfront balcony and a pool table. The house costs $4,500 a week, plus a $200 linen fee, but if you book in the month of June you can get a 30% discount. The discounted price comes to $3,430 a night. You still have to pay the linen fee, so each person will pay $242 to rent the place.

If it’s North Carolina’s Outer Banks you’re interested in, you can get a good deal over at Sun Realty. Case in point: The Sea Sounds loft, located in Duck, N.C., which has five bedrooms, three baths, a rec room with a foosball table and a hot tub. Rates vary, but there are still weeks available in May and June at a steal (range is $1,520 to $2,220 a week, which works out to around $152 to $222 per person).  


Waikoloa Resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii rents out two-bedroom villas that sleep six people for $150 a night (a week-long vacation basically means that each renter pays for a little more than a night). The villas have two bathrooms and offer residents access to the resort’s pool, spa and golf course. It’s also a five-minute walk from the beach.  

Kalapana Shores, also on the Big Island, offers a similar deal. The private home has  five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private hot tub to accommodate 10 people. The home costs $295 a night so a week-long vacation will also cost renters $150 per person for accommodations.

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