Ready to plan your next vacation and trying to figure out your lodging arrangements? Are you an avid traveler and considering investing in a vacation rental instead of wasting your money on hotels? Or are temporary lodging options such as home share rentals like Airbnb more your style? Read below to learn the differences between timeshare vacation investments and home sharing options. Which one is right for you?
Home Share Rentals
Short-term home share vacation rentals are a newer concept that has really increased in popularity over the last five years. Some of the most well known home share options are Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and Housetrip and the industry is expected to continue growing. A recent study suggests that the private accommodation market grew at rates faster than the total US travel market in 2016, and could grow to an estimated $36 billion later this year. That’s a lot of travel dollars spent! Home sharing services work by providing a platform for property owners of to rent out their homes for short or long term use to potential travelers on a website. Owners list all the services, prices and property amenities, and the traveler makes a booking request based on calendar availability. Once you are either confirmed or declined for your booking, your credit card on file is charged to pay for the property. Depending on the property rules, some must be prepaid in full, and others allow you to book by only leaving a partial deposit.
Home Sharing Rental Risks
Home sharing rentals are a good option as they generally offer lower prices and a more authentic travel experience that so many young people are searching for. The age group of 18 to 44 year olds is the biggest user of home sharing rental websites. The downsides of using these services is the risk that the advertised property is not what you expected based on photos and descriptions alone. Some properties are even intentionally misrepresented. You run the risk of being disappointed by the property’s cleanliness, location or other reasons and difficulty may arise when you attempt to resolve the issue.
If the owner is unavailable or unattentive, it may ruin your vacation experience. The upside to the home sharing websites is an online rating system where you review the property after your stay. This is designed to help both travelers and owners know what to expect from a certain property or traveler. Another risk you may encounter using home sharing services is that some reports exist of fake owners that have illegally listed properties to rent, and unsuspecting travelers paid for a service that was not provided. To protect yourself, make sure to only book properties that have good reviews from other travelers so that you can prevent a disaster vacation!
Timeshare Investment Benefits
Does all this sound a little too risky for you? If so, why not consider a timeshare investment? Timeshares eliminate any misconceptions or disappointments that may occur if you book through a home sharing vacation rental service. With genuine timeshare ownership, you know property first hand and are clear what to expect in terms of cleanliness and quality. Another benefit of a timeshare ownership is the access to competent concierge, courteous staff members, and friendly house cleaners to keep your vacation rental in top condition. There are many other services and amenities such as pools and gyms that are usually not available when you book a property through a home sharing site. Timeshare staff is on site and well trained to provide excellent customer service, and ready to resolve any issues or concerns you may have during your vacation. They can also assist you by making reservations, arranging tours, or even scheduling airport transfers. With a home sharing property, you will not have these services at your disposal and will have to make any and all arrangements on your own.
To conclude, both home sharing properties and timeshares are valuable choices for today’s savvy traveler. While home sharing vacation rentals may offer a more authentic, local experience, be aware that they do not come without potential risks. However, timeshares provide excellent access to amenities, quality services and a reliable level of comfort that won’t disappoint. Which vacation rental option do you prefer for you and your family?