Family, Friends or Romantic Escape? Match Your Must-Have Features with a Perfect Vacation HomeBy Amy Brecount White
Whether you’re planning an adventurous family trip or a romantic interlude for two, your vacation rental should have a perfect balance of amenities to please all the (occasionally picky) travelers’ palates.
Thinking about — even listing — the desired features of your rental before you search can help match you and your partner or group with a range of properties and make your stay even more enjoyable.
Do you want a cozy, secluded cottage or the abundant entertainment options — pool, gym and tennis or pickleball courts — in a bustling complex? Which of your travelers might fare best with their own bedroom or bathroom? Do you need a spacious, stocked kitchen, or do you prefer a bevy of dining-out options?
In addition, booking a cheery, well-decorated apartment, condo or home (check out those alluring online photos) will lift your spirits each day and make your getaway that much brighter.
As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.
How about pooling your resources to splurge on a dreamy international destination or a domestic hot spot? You’ll want that large kitchen with the counter space to show off your culinary skills for the gang or appreciate those of a friend, but you can also choose a spot near trendy restaurants and clubs so you can check out the local nightlife and live music.
Ample bathrooms are a must, and a roof deck, fire pit area or terrace will give your group ample space to eat and reconnect alfresco. Such options — like this spacious spot in Nashville, Tennessee, or this gem on the Amalfi Coast in Italy — may also be perfect for bachelorette or bachelor parties.
Ideally, your lodging will be within an easy stroll or drive of kid-pleasing entertainment, such as the latest roller coasters at an amusement park or a wide sandy beach that stretches for miles where your kids can burn off their energy.
Easy access to a gym, tennis courts or a golf course will give parents a chance to dive into their own relaxing hobbies. Also look for high-speed Wi-Fi in case of rainy days or a work emergency.
Many sites offer nearby bike or hiking trails to explore beautiful natural areas, along with access to a pool or a game room where the kids might also escape. Check out these family-friendly properties in buzzing Orlando, Florida, and laid-back Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
When you’re craving a rejuvenating breakaway as a couple, a quiet, more private spot may be ideal. You might want to look for an extra-comfy couch to snuggle on, a romantic fireplace or fire pit, or a hammock on the beach or in the woods.
Who can resist a private hot tub or a café table for two on a terrace with an eye-catching view? Kayaks or bikes for two are bonuses for exploring the local delights with your partner.
This gorgeous, ocean-view cottage in the Cayman Islands also offers a fun walk-out snorkeling option if you both crave immersion in nature.
Long-Term Travel or Workcation
If you can work from anywhere, consider choosing an unknown-to-you spot to explore after hours or opt to dive more deeply into a destination you adore. Look for a site with reliable high-speed Wi-Fi, a full kitchen and a separate office space or desk so you can close the door, if needed.
A roof deck or terrace with inspiring views will give you space for a midday breather, or you might even work outside when the weather allows. This Seattle apartment has easy access to a gym and pool to make your work/play transition more seamless.
To immerse yourself in a city experience, find a spot near the central areas with a strong urban vibe. Look for a colorful view of the bustling streets from your terrace or window.
Choose a neighborhood near funky museums and galleries for stimulating daytime explorations, along with bars and dance clubs nearby for your evening amusements. Check out this modern flat to hear London calling, or be lured to lively Lisbon, Portugal, by this airy apartment.