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Vacation Rentals vs Hotels: Pros and Cons to Consider

Not sure which vacation spot is right for you? Let's weigh out options together.

Sydney Danson
SydneyGuest Experience
Vacation Rentals vs Hotels: Pros and Cons to Consider

There was a time when hotels were the best option for accommodation. But with the boom of short-term vacation rentals in the recent years, travelers now have a wider variety of options to choose from.

In this guide, we’ll be analyzing the pros and cons of both hotels and holiday rentals so you can decide which one to go for in your next vacation.

Vacation Rental Pros

Wander Vacation Rentals Arizona

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Large Groups

Whether you're planning a family vacation or just traveling with a large group of friends, vacation homes are your best option and can save you a significant amount of money.

Hotel rooms are limited when it comes to space and freedom of movement. This can prove difficult, especially if you're traveling with children because they need space to play.

Luxury holiday rentals like Wander, allow you to bring as many guests as you like (within reason) as well as your pets for a minimal cost.

No Hidden Fees (More often than not)

Room service is great... until you get the bill at the end. Staying at a hotel often results in purchasing items and services that you didn’t budget for like tipping hotel staff, paying for laundry services, etc.

Vacation rentals often include amenities that allow guests to be self-sufficient, allowing them to save money. 

Reliable Reviews

Sometimes you don’t always get what you pay for and it's difficult to be assured of the quality of a rental beforehand. However, sites like Airbnb, Wander, and Booking.com make it easy for guests to review the property so they can have realistic expectations. 

Privacy and Space 

If you're someone who values your privacy, make sure that you can get a room to yourself when sharing a holiday home. Having a good relationship with your housemates is necessary.

As long as everyone in the home is respectful and considerate of each other's needs, it can be a truly great experience!

Home Cooked Meals 

Maintaining a healthy diet on vacation when there's no way to make your own meals can be a challenge. If we’re being honest, eating out isn’t always what it's cracked up to be.

Vacation rentals like Wander homes come with a fully equipped kitchen, allowing you to recreate your favorite homemade meals. The best decision you can make both for your body and your wallet!

Vacation Rental Cons

Luxury Vacation Rentals

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Self-service 

The point of a vacation is to relax. Unfortunately, a holiday home can sometimes feel like a home away from home, especially if you tend to clean up after everyone's mess.

The good news is Wander offers a 24/7 concierge service to help meet your needs. But if you have rented a home that does not come with any sort of assistance, it’s a good idea to split responsibilities accordingly and lay down some house rules.

Car Rental

Unless the home you have booked is located centrally, it may be necessary to rent a car. Ubers can be pricey, so make sure to do your research on the options available to you.

False Advertising 

A big downer when it comes to property rental sites is the number of hosts and agents that omit key information regarding their homes from the guests. It's common to feel disappointed when you first arrive at the property because pictures can be heavily edited.

However, reading reviews can assist in managing expectations as well as making notes of what items you may need to bring with you.

Limited Availability

Unlike hotels that offer many of the same types of rooms, vacation homes have limited availability. The best rentals tend to be booked months in advance so make sure you plan your vacation ahead of time.

Hotel Pros

Luxury Hotels

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Reliability

Another invaluable benefit of staying in a hotel is the flexibility they provide. Whether you're looking for a late check-out or need somewhere to store your luggage while you wait for your late flight, they'll do their best to accommodate you.

Concierge

The best hotels in the world place a considerable amount of emphasis on customer service and will go out of their way to ensure that guests are provided with everything they need. This allows visitors to relax and make the most of their vacation time.

Having a concierge on call can be extremely helpful if you're looking for recommendations on the best places to eat and visit. Thankfully, you can also do that with some vacation rentals with a dedicated concierge desk.

Location

Most hotels are centrally located, giving visitors better access to local attractions and amenities. If your hotel is located in a place ideal for walking, this will allow you to discover places you might not have noticed otherwise.

Loyalty Programs

Joining a rewards program of a brand you trust is the best decision you can make for your future self. Brands love loyal customers and the longer you’re enrolled, the better the rewards. 

Hotel Cons

Luxury Hotels

Photo from Unsplash

No Kitchen

Not having a kitchen means you’re likely going to eat out every day. This is great for people who really want to pig out on their holiday.

If you’re a picky eater, you may struggle with this so you'll need to plan ahead. To avoid wasting food, you can call ahead to ensure that your room has a mini-fridge where you can preserve your food.

Limited Space

Hotel walls can be thin, particularly in the evenings when you want to get some rest but your neighbor is having a party in their room. If you have little ones with you, make note of their amenities.

Not all hotels will provide a garden or activities for children, this can also be stressful because they tend to get claustrophobic. 

Cleanliness

Not every place is properly maintained and cleaned out. Reading reviews is necessary because sleeping in a place you’re uncomfortable in can ruin your vacation.

If you're traveling on a budget and don’t trust the hygiene standards of your hotel, it's wise to bring your own bedding and remember to sanitize!


There is a lot to consider when traveling, but nothing is as important as finding accommodation. Choosing the right place can save you time and money. Take time to consider what you and your travel mates need and be deliberate about your selection.

What worked well for someone else might not necessarily work for you. If you're unsure about the services and amenities, give the information desk a call or send an email. Don’t be afraid to make requests ahead of time, just to be sure you’ve made the right choice.

Wherever your destination, we wish you a safe and memorable trip! Remember Wander Concierge Desk is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about your upcoming trips to our Wander homes.

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