our homeaway vs other homeaway stays around the world

It is so fun to have the chance to stay in so many different homes when we travel. Obviously each and every one is very different and offers different pros and cons, but its all part of the adventure. We have been owners with VRBO and Homeaway for over 3 years now and I absolutely love being part of the memories that our guests make, but along with all of that good {like always with anything customer service oriented} there is also bad.


Each of our condos were bought in a “less than desirable” condition. I’ve had the fun {and not so fun} job of recreating them into places that I would be comfortable in and have fun staying at with my kids {which we take advantage of whenever we can}. If you ask Rick {or even anyone that knows me} knows that I do have a higher expectation for things than most others do. I need to know that the place I’m staying has been cleaned WELL, that the linens are fresh and comfortable and that whatever was listed in the description as being provided has in fact been provided. This is the standard that I believe I set for my listings. Which makes it so hard for me when I get a review or comment that something was not so.

As a guest I do give way to things because no matter what I expect for my condos, it may not be what someone else expects or can even accommodate at their own. Rick is constantly in an uphill battle with helping me relax, “roll with the punches” and “make due”. He is so good at it. I’m not kidding, he can sleep anywhere and can look past things that are truly just appalling to me {and most people}. Staying at all of these fun homes in Europe has helped me realize that I’m doing a pretty good job. If you set your expectations for life so high, you will never be happy with the outcome of anything. To be so wrapped up in the fact that the water pressure is bad or there wasn’t a coffee maker you will miss that your kids are having a fun time jumping on beds or that your husband had built a cozy fire every night.

I’m not saying that any of these homes are wrong or bad for how they manage or charge for their homes, just different. In Europe we have had to pay extra for “linens” and “towels” {on top of a cleaning fee}, “electricity” and “heat” {if we would’ve happened to use it}. That’s not even mentioning the fact that in almost every single stay there has been none or only 1 roll of toilet paper. Which is FINE {with me}! I only bring that up because it is something that my American guests have such a problem with. This is not a hotel with unlimited supply. It is a home, a shell if you will, that im lending to you to make into your own home. I don’t think people really understand that concept. That a vacation rental is not the same as a hotel.

Now obviously there are pros and cons to a vacation rental vs a hotel. Like everything in life you have to make decisions and choices that best suit your own situation. I’m paraphrasing, but I think that Rick Steves says it best when he says “hotel people stay in hotels because they expect specific amenities and service. Vacation rental people stay in vacation rentals to become more familiar with the people and culture of the places that they are visiting.”

I have become very familiar with the use of a dry rack for both our clothes and our dishes. We have stayed in so many amazing homes, but not in 1 did I have the use of a clothes dryer. So what! So I get to be a little more French or a little bit more Italian or Spanish because I hang my clothes out on the line to dry just like they do. Its how my mom was raised and I am certainly not above it.

I hate to say it, but I have come to realize that Americans have unusually high expectations for the amount that they’re actually willing to pay. Its true, the comments that I get about very insignificant things never cease to amaze me {one guest, a handyman from Salt Lake once told me that my curtains were “hideous”… thank you Martha Stewart}. We are so spoiled and expect too much {I’m in there too, I am American as well}. International travel is such a blessing because it has shown me/reminded me that its normal to live with less and certainly made me appreciate what I have at home. Even one step further that that, if you let yourself define a location by the accommodations then your missing the point. Our accommodations and communication with our host in Monaco was a 2-Star experience {at best}, but I wont allow that to reduce my memories of Monaco to 2-Star.

I’m learning to embrace the differences and appreciate the similarities to what I offer in my own rentals. We are building up our list of fun properties that we are staying in and cant wait to share them all with you!





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