Category Archives: VRBO

A Vacation Style For Everyone

As most of my readers realize, I am an American. I come from a culture that, for whatever reason, does not seem to value vacations as the rest of the world does. We are stuck in a rut where we feel we cannot leave our jobs for fear of losing them or falling too far behind. Fewer women than men take vacations, but I am not one of those women.

Most people in America are lucky if they force themselves away from their job for a single vacation each year. I on the other hand take at least three vacations, with mini getaways in between. Most years I take four. I go for ten days at a time, sometimes more, sometimes a little less, but I go and I leave my worries behind. If more people took vacations more frequently, perhaps we would have less mid-life crises and fewer nervous breakdowns from being at max mental capacity. It’s just a thought; I’m not here to cure the American worker, just to encourage using what you are entitled to. Everyone deserves a little fun.

To plan your trip you can go about it several ways. You have your all-inclusive packages, and you have your ala carte packages that you build as you go. You can fly, drive, boat, or take a train. Everything comes down to your personal desires. One of my buddies loves to take the train to Oregon, and then fly back home at the end of the week; I think that sounds like a blast, though I have never done it before.

If you are booking an all-inclusive package for March, you probably want to start looking for it in October or November. There is a certain timeline for Mexico especially, in which you can get the best prices and have the most options to choose from before things start filling up. We tend to take an all-inclusive trip every few years and it’s always been a blast. I definitely recommend scoping the hotel prices for a few days to see how they fluctuate. All-inclusive prices can go up and down, as can plan tickets, depending on the day of the week you look. You always run the risk of losing out on “the best price,” if you wait too long, but sometimes waiting is beneficial and can win you an even lower price.

If you are planning a road trip, your best bets for pricing are to look to VRBO.com, Groupon, or a timeshare. Timeshares frequently run specials where you can stay for under $300 for an entire week. If you don’t own a timeshare, you can find people on Craigslist who are looking for others to buy a week from them. You always need to proceed with caution when dealing with Craigslist though; I have seen people get ripped off this way in the past. VRBO.com gives you the option of choosing your location and amenities and being able to negotiate on pricing a little more. This route is, in my opinion, safer than Craigslist. We have acquired accommodations from people on VRBO at least ten different times and we have never had a bad experience. Groupon is a great way to find hotel deals as well, but keep in mind they often come with resort fees on top of the price you are paying for the deal, so they aren’t always the cheapest route.

When booking flights you can score some great deals last minute, if you are open to possibilities. Spirit can get you some pretty low price fares if you are able to travel bare, which means you only bring a small carry-on. Spirit is one of the cheapest airlines we have found so far. Flights often drop in price on certain days of the week, be sure to watch the flight and see ahead of time how the prices change from day to day, before you book.

This September my husband and I are taking a trip to Colorado. We are driving and we are staying via timeshare in Winter Park. We will probably plan a few other stops on either end of our timeshare stay. I like traveling this way because it gives my husband and me the freedom to come and go as we please and to see more than one destination during a trip. No matter how you choose to vacation, you always have plenty of options for saving money and gaining that extra cash to spend on fun things like zip lining and white water rafting.

For information on some of the sites we utilize for our trip planning, please check out the following:

https://www.vrbo.com/

https://www.groupon.com/

https://www.spirit.com/Default.aspx

https://www.expedia.com/

https://www.airbnb.com/

https://www.livingsocial.com/

https://www.rci.com/

 

Vacationing The Summer Away In Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Summer is in full bloom and vacations are upon us. Living in the Midwest you never know what the weather is going to be. It could be hotter than Hades, or it could be cold and rainy. You might have humidity that makes you want to cry, or you could end up with a day that feels like fall is moving in. Take heart in knowing that you can escape the madness by adventuring to either coast, or leaving the country completely.

If you are looking for a great summer destination with beautiful weather and great scenery, in the month of July, allow me to recommend Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat is a great location for your summer vacay, because this city has a little bit of everything. You will be surrounded by great hiking territory and a quaint downtown area that has lots of great food options as well as shops.

There are tons of lodging options in Steamboat. You can choose a hotel, a condo, or look to VRBO, which is what my family did on our vacation. We managed to rent a five bedroom home overlooking the mountains, on the outskirts of town. This particular location was beautiful and felt like home away from home. We had a hot tub, a horseshoe pit, a grill, and large open living spaces. Check out VRBO.com, sometimes they give last minute deals to fill their rentals.

If you plan a trip to Steamboat, and you like rodeos, you should check out their Pro Rodeo Series. They host a special rodeo event on the 4th of July. My family had a blast, and it was a fairly inexpensive and entertaining way to spend an evening.

Other fun things to do while in Steamboat are as follows: The alpine slide, gondola rides, bike trails, fishing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing, climbing, zip lining, the water park, and the hot springs. If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do in and around this town; there are many more options than what I named above.

While we were out hiking in July we did see quite a few wild flowers. There are nearby hikes that include waterfall destinations. If you don’t feel like hiking, there are also some scenic drives that will provide you with some great views and photographs.

While I have only visited Steamboat once, just thinking back to our last trip there makes me want to return. The feel of the town is small, but also clean and crisp. You can breathe in that mountain air and enjoy the river running along the edge of town. The feeling is serene.

For more information on Steamboat Springs, please visit: http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat

http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat/western/rodeo

 

Utilizing VRBO for Your Next Vacation

Sometimes when my husband and I go on vacation we want something more than just a hotel. We want privacy and space. We want to get away from the commercial feel that comes with being in a busy tourist location.

Two years ago, in June, we put together a pretty amazing honeymoon in Sevierville, Tennessee. We wanted to check out the Smoky Mountains, but we did not want to stay in any tourist areas. We decided to do a search on VRBO.com, (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

If you want an amazing getaway, VRBO is the way to find something unique. We wanted a luxury cabin, which can be a bit pricey, but well worth it for your honeymoon. Our stipulations were as follows: space, privacy from neighbors, a kitchen, a game room, a hot tub and/or whirlpool, as well as a fireplace. We wanted something that was located just outside of the tourist areas, and yet, it needed to be near the hiking and outdoor attractions we were craving.

We were happy to find that VRBO had tons of luxury cabins to choose from, at a range of different price levels. We went with something that was at the higher end, because we felt this event was worth it. The cabin we chose was called, Turtle Dove, and it had both, a whirlpool and a hot tub, as well as all of the other amenities we desired, including two fireplaces.

The only thing we were concerned about upon arrival was that we could see other cabins nearby. While you could see other cabins, we were never disturbed during our stay. The location was perfect for maneuvering to all of the activities we had planned.

VRBO is a website that can help you find lodging in any state. We have utilized VRBO to find large town homes and condos for our family to vacation in Colorado. We have used it to find a house with a pool, off the strip, in Las Vegas. Whatever your need, you can find it on VRBO.

One great thing about VRBO is that you can negotiate with owners on prices. If you know it is the off season in Colorado, for instance, an owner is more likely to work with you on pricing. We have run into some amazing deals for travel during off season in Colorado. If you do choose to go somewhere during off-season, be sure you check to make sure the activities you are interested in are still available. There is nothing worse than arriving somewhere during the off-season, only to find that everything is shut down for the next month.

To view the actual cabin we stayed in, please find it at: https://www.vrbo.com/441961

To check out your own possibilities on VRBO, please visit: https://www.vrbo.com/