When planning a vacation, you can automatically consider taking your family (or just yourself) and going to a big hotel. With so much plane + hotel + car rental packages, it is easy to get sucked into that frame. And in the long run you can often get the best vacation deals by going that way. Yet there are other accommodation options that you might want to explore.
For example, holiday homes offer many amenities that most hotels do not have. Usually in the possession of ordinary people (renting a holiday home means helping a "mum and pop" company instead of a large hotel owned by a company), holiday homes tend to give you full kitchens and multiple bedrooms . They are available wherever you would like to stay. You can find condominiums or houses (with detached houses you get the ultimate privacy for your holiday) in every part of the world.
If you prefer to be surrounded by the noise, you can find holiday homes in the middle of the action (sometimes an apartment on the Las Vegas strip or a cabin with ski-in-ski convenience will gladly take you), but you can also rent find that meet peace and quiet. Many of these homes are far from the busy streets and roads where hotels dominate (instead of an apartment next to Vegas casino's, maybe you prefer a house a few blocks away with an enclosed garden and a private pool).
What about families who travel with pets? Is it more likely that a hotel or holiday home accommodates them? Well, I do not know anything about you, but I have not seen too many hotels that appreciate even well-behaved dogs rolling through their lobby (even on a leash). On the other hand, holiday accommodations are often the way to go for pet owners, because many will accept dogs and cats (with an additional down payment). Make sure you check the pet policy of the place in advance, as each owner determines his or her own rules.
The last thing I want to mention is the overall atmosphere of holiday homes versus hotels. At hotels (especially large chains) you get … almost the same, no matter which part of the world you visit. This may be good for people who do not like change, but if you want to stay somewhere that cultivates the culture of the environment, you will find it more often in a holiday home. Many owners stay in their homes for a few weeks a year, so the houses often feel like, well, houses. They are cozier and friendlier than the fury of most hotel rooms.
So that you think I have an agenda for promoting rentals over hotels (unfortunately, I do not own either), I have to admit that there are a number of disadvantages to holiday rentals. First of all, finding exactly the right place can involve more internet research than simply booking through a website that offers travel packages. Secondly, because holiday rentals are mostly private businesses, they can be contacted with service. Not all landlords have their own websites and it may take some time for the owners to contact you if they do not use a management company. Third, most holiday homes do not include cleaning. The promises will be clean when you arrive (in fact, cleaning costs will often be charged), but do not expect someone to come in and change your sheets every day. Finally, holiday homes are often more expensive than hotels. You usually get more square meters for your money (multiple bedrooms, full kitchen, separate living and dining rooms, etc.), but you pay for it. That is why rental is popular with families and friends who can share the costs.
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for both hotels and holiday rentals. I am also a big fan of rentals (among the other reasons I mentioned here, I like to support mother and pop companies rather than anonymous hotel chains), but each has its advantages depending on your preferences. Make sure you look around before you decide where to spend your vacation.