Visit California: Check-In to a California Vacation Rental

rentalBy Shannon Brooks

Vacation rentals are all the buzz right now, with online services like airbnbFlipKey and VRBO making a wide range of residential properties available to the masses through their highly organized, searchable online services. Travelers who would have never ventured into Craig’s List territory to sublet an apartment instead of booking a hotel for a trip are willing to book through these sites, which have established themselves as trusted, go-to brands.

The California vacation rental inventory is massive. The folks at FlipKey—TripAdvisor’s vacation rental arm—curated an enticing collection of California Beach Rentals for summer travelers looking for rooms with an ocean view. The properties span the coast from San Diego to Bodega Bay, and range in price from as low as $99/night upwards to thousands of dollars a night.

On the upscale end of the spectrum, luxury-specialists like Beautiful Places provide amazing concierge services like personal chefs and tailor-made tours. I recently had the pleasure of sampling one of their Sonoma County properties, as recapped in this previous post.

Ultimately, vacation rentals allow you to live like a local, whether you’re booking a super luxurious villa for a month or a budget apartment for a weekend. From getting access to exclusive neighborhoods to accommodating large, boisterous groups under one roof, vacation rentals offer many advantages and conveniences—be it getting local travel tips from the owners or simply having a kitchen for dining in.

I, for one, just came back from a holiday in Italy and stayed a week in a flat rented via airbnb, which was an incredibly positive experience. And in a few weeks time, my childhood girlfriends and I are setting our annual summer reunion trip in Cayucos, staying at a beach house rented through a vacation rental service. It’s allowing us to stretch our vacation dollars to stay longer and spend more on dining out and getting into wine country adventures in San Luis Obispo County.

As much as I love, love, love hotels, there’s something very human about the experience of staying in someone else’s space—whether it’s a full time residence or a house that has a different occupant every week. Yep, consider me sold, I’m totally into this vacation rental trend!

Cross-posted from Visit California. To view the original blog (and other great articles!), please click here.

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