Whenever I plan a trip out of town, the first two things I always consider are travel and accommodations. When it comes to the mode of transportation, it usually comes down to choosing which airline to book or whether I can drive to my destination.
But for accommodations, I (and many other travelers) will notice that there are plenty of options available. Hotels are the most popular choice for short-term stays, but what I’ve always noticed is how generic or similar hotel rooms and suites look no matter where you travel.
Personally, I like accommodations that have character and reflect the area I’m visiting. Which is why I prefer to choose special types of accommodations when I travel. Here are a few of these accommodations you can rent and the advantages (or disadvantages) of renting one.
What Is a Villa?
Villas used to refer to the country house of a wealthy person in the ancient Roman civilization. These houses were used as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Today, villas refer to large detached houses that are slightly larger and more expensive than mansions and are often found in the countryside or the coast as a retreat house or summer house. In terms of vacation rental properties, villas are large houses located away from the noise of the city, often rented by large groups that need bigger accommodation spaces.
While most hotels are merely a place for you to rest at the end of the day, villas offer a private and luxurious experience that can be a part of your vacation. Villas are detached and often built within a massive expanse of land, which means you won’t have to worry about neighbors disturbing you.
Most villas come with amenities like swimming pools and beach-side features. There’s no need to travel to a public beach or resort to enjoy as you’ll have the place all to yourself. Villa rentals will also come with amenities like travel insurance, car hires, airport transfers, and more.
Because of the size of villas, it is impractical to rent one if you’re travelling on your own and with a handful of people. And if you’re a social butterfly that prefers mingling with strangers on the beach during a vacation, a secluded villa can feel isolating. However, some villa rentals are relatively walking distance to other villas, so be sure to check the area you’re renting to see if you’ll be spending your vacation relatively isolated.
What Is a Townhouse?
Townhouses are multi-floor homes adjacent to each other that have their own entrances. The difference between townhouse vs. condos vs. apartments is that while condos and apartments have one main entrance for all residents and guests, townhomes have their own entrances.
Townhomes are a great idea if you want that “home away from home” feel when you travel. Unlike hotel rooms and suites where the amenities are generally limited, townhomes will come with a kitchen, living room, and other features to make you feel at home.
Townhomes are often owned by locals, many of whom go the extra mile to give you a feel of the area. These property owners can also give you tips on traveling and pointing out the local hotspots unfamiliar to tourists or areas you won’t often find advertised in travel guides.
You can rent a townhome in Airbnb, Booking, or many other booking sites for local rental properties. This makes it a pretty convenient and accessible booking options.
Townhomes are attached and adjacent to each other. The best-case scenario is that you end up renting a high-quality townhome with thick adjacent walls and have relatively quiet neighbors, so your stay can be a peaceful one. At worst, your walls are paper-thin and you can’t get any privacy or end up being bombarded with the sounds of noisy neighbors during your vacation.
What is a Chalet?
Found in the mountains and areas with colder climates, chalets are lodgings for those looking to stay in the remote and quiet mountain areas. Unlike a cabin, which is larger and has a more rustic feel, chalets have Alpine origins. They are also made of wood, but are spotted by its sloping roof and overhanging eaves.
If your vacation involves skiing, mountain climbing, snowboarding, or hiking, chalets make the perfect mountain getaway compared to hotels. These also make for perfect holiday homes, especially if you prefer a secluded getaway retreat. Chalets can come in various sizes, so it’s up to you to find a chalet big enough to accommodate your group.
Depending on where you want to go, chalets are a less popular form of lodgings, so you may need to book months in advance to get the accommodations you want. If you have vertigo, a fear of heights, or are uncomfortable with being isolated in a mountainside far away from shops, you may not enjoy this form of accommodation. Also, because chalets are often out of the way, you will either need to have a car or coordinate with a private car driver to bring you to and from your chalet.
Hotels are a popular form of accommodation, but consider your other options. Part of your trip’s experience is the place you get the call home while you travel, and hotels roughly provide the same features. If you want to exit your comfort zone and explore other options, these are just a few examples of the luxurious accommodations that await you.