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People who travel extensively for business or leisure will often tell you that every hotel room starts to look the same after a few trips. Small and cramped with uninspired decor, hotel rooms are impersonal and uninteresting. When staying in a hotel room, you will often be lucky to have some sort of balcony, let alone a view. Meals must be eaten out at restaurants, adding to the cost of your vacation. For larger families, multiple hotel rooms are necessary for everyone to have even a modicum of personal space and privacy. Walls are paper thin, guaranteeing you will be able to hear the TV blaring at 1:00 a.m. in the adjacent room. You better be up and packed on your last day, because check-out time is at 11:00 a.m., with few exceptions. With all of these drawbacks, it's a wonder hotel chains are able to stay in business. Instead of staying in a cookie cutter, boring hotel room on your next vacation, why not explore the possibilities of renting a vacation home near your favorite vacation destination?

Vacation rentals offer unique and memorable accommodations, sure to be remembered fondly by your family for years to come. Vacation homes are frequently owned by individuals or small companies, who take the time to make sure the decor is unique, attractive and comfortable. Staying in a vacation rental will often remind you of a visit to a dear friend or family member; welcoming, roomy and relaxing. Larger vacation homes can accommodate bigger families, or even multiple families traveling together. With the ability to tailor the size of your vacation rental to accommodate everyone in your traveling party, you can ensure that every member of your group has all the privacy and space they need. Families will be able to enjoy their time together without sacrificing the ability to retreat into their separate rooms at the end of the day. Because vacation rentals are usually owned by small businesses or families, the owners will likely be more flexible in regard to details such as check-in and check-out times. Some owners even allow their guests to bring along pets, if you are interested in traveling with the family dog or cat. Many vacation homes feature fully equipped kitchens and outside grills, so that you can prepare your meals in your home away from home, instead of dining out at pricey restaurants. Instead of spending a small fortune to entertain your family in an effort to escape a dreary, cramped hotel room, vacation home renters can kick back and enjoy their surroundings from the comfort of a living room or deck, truly enjoying the rare opportunity to relax and reconnect with their friends and family.

Sure, you say, renting a vacation home sounds better, but what about the price? At minimum, even the most basic hotel room will probably cost you $100 a night. For anything decent, especially in pricier vacation areas, it may be $200, or more. With larger families or multiple families travelling together, multiple hotel rooms are often needed, perhaps doubling, tripling or even quadrupling this price. Staying in a hotel room will require you to dine out for most of your meals. Plus, you may be so anxious to escape a tiny, uninteresting motel room that you spend a great deal more on evening entertainment expenses than you otherwise would. When you really take the time and figure out how much you will spend on a hotel room, plus the costs associated with eating out, plus additional entertainment expenses, renting a vacation home often makes the most economic sense. Bottom line: vacation rentals may save you money, especially when multiple friends or families are willing to go in together to share the price.

No matter what area of the United States, Canada or Mexico you are planning to travel to, vacation home rentals are sure to be available in the vicinity. The northeastern United States features beautiful terrain, with easy accessibility to the culture and entertainment of world-class, metropolitan cities such as New York, Washington D.C., and Boston. Rent a log cabin along the shores of Maine, enjoy a lobster dinner along your own section of private beach and look forward to a day trip into Boston. When traveling to the southeastern United States, consider renting a beach house along the Atlantic or the Gulf Coasts of Florida. Relax in a spacious, comfortable retreat as you absorb the beauty of the rhythmic waves, majestic sunsets and peaceful beaches. A cramped hotel room just cannot compete with the spacious roominess and breath-taking views featured by many Florida vacation rentals. Vacation homes sprinkled along the bayous and inlets of the Gulf Coast beckon visitors with their southern charm and hospitality in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Just to the north, the coastlines of North and South Carolina are ideal spots for vacation rental homes. Beautiful, rambling properties exist all along the shorelines of the Carolinas, just waiting the arrival of you and your traveling party. From the salt marshes and golf courses of Hilton Head, South Carolina to the lighthouses of the Outerbanks, North Carolina, you are sure to find the perfect beachfront property in the southeastern United States.

On the other side of the country, opulent beachfront properties are often available for rent along the Pacific Ocean. If you are interested in experiencing the lifestyle of the rich and famous, there is perhaps no better way to do so than to rent one of the spectacular beach houses available in and around the Los Angeles area. For those that love sun, sand, surfing, fabulous shopping, celebrity sightings and fantastic entertainment, southern California is the place for you. From luxurious mansions to cozy, seaside rental cottages on the cliffs of the Pacific, southern California is sure to offer the perfect getaway destination for you and your family. For a slightly more laidback, but no less spectacular, trip, consider renting a vacation home along the Oregon or Washington coastline. The Pacific Northwest offers spectacular scenery without all of the craziness of southern California and its accompanying lifestyle. Plus, with the easily accessible Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, the Pacific Ocean, a relatively temperate climate and thriving metropolitan cities such as Portland and Seattle, there is perhaps no more diverse place on earth to enjoy some rest and relaxation than the Pacific Northwest.

If you are looking for a mountain retreat, be sure to check out the countless options for vacation homes and rental cabins in the mountains of the United States. From the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Great Smokey Mountains in the east, mountain cabins and chalets are a divine way to escape from the busyness of everyday life. Imagine sitting on the deck of a mountain cabin rental near the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, sipping your coffee leisurely and watching the sun break through the early morning fog as it rises over the majestic mountains and hills. Absorb the laidback culture of the surrounding mountain towns and take the time to explore the hilly wilderness. If skiing and winter sports are of interest, be sure to consider renting a mountain chalet in the Rocky Mountain area. With countless options including skiing, snow-boarding, snow-mobiles, ice skating and sledding, the Rockies are an ideal destination for cold weather aficionados. Plus, after a wonderful day of playing in the snow, you and your family can retreat back into your warm, cozy vacation rental, curl up in front of a roaring fire, enjoy some hot cocoa and relive the memories of your day together.

Even the Midwest is home to a variety of fabulous vacation rental properties. From the Great Lakes to the thousands of lakes in the Northwoods of Minnesota and Wisconsin, your family will delight in the countless recreational opportunities available along these bodies of water. Consider renting a vacation home near one of the many state parks or national forests in the Midwestern region. Renting a vacation home in the Midwest will allow you an opportunity to truly escape from the outside world. Pack your schedule full of outside events such as water skiing, hiking, boating, biking, picnicking, fishing and hunting in the untouched lakes and forests of the Midwest. In the summer, be sure to take the time to experience one of the many Midwestern festivals or art fairs, celebrating one of the many aspects of Midwestern life. While the Midwest is a beautiful and quaint area, it has not been overrun by millions of tourists, making it an ideal spot to commune with nature away from crowded tourist traps. Experience the small town charm and boundless hospitality of this region from the comfort of a luxurious and cozy vacation rental home. Depending on where you choose to stay, metropolitan cities such as Indianapolis, Chicago, Columbus, Minneapolis/St.Paul and Milwaukee are accessible for shopping, entertainment, museums and cultural events.

No matter which area of the country you are looking to visit, there is sure to be plenty of delightful vacation rentals waiting for you and your family there. Hotel rooms are undistinguishable and forgettable; merely a place to sleep. Although a lot of family time on vacations is spent in hotel rooms, many people can hardly remember the various rooms they have stayed in over the years. With the limited space and privacy of most hotel rooms, stress levels rise and families will often be grateful to go home at the end of their vacation. So why not make your next vacation truly memorable and much less stressful by renting a comfortable, spacious vacation home? Vacation rentals feature increased flexibility, freedom and privacy without adding extra expenses to your vacation budget. On your next vacation, relax and kick back with your family and friends in a "home away from home."