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Friday, January 5, 2018

Using a Short Term Rental on your Luxury Vacation

There are so many benefits tu using a short term rental and the Hotel Industry is worried about this trend!

LuxurytravelDocs have used short-term rentals on many occasions.  If you are patient, you can find a perfect luxury location for your domestic and international travel.  Recently we planned a vacation to London for one week in order to utilize unused American Airline Executive Platinum systemwide upgrades

LuxuryTravelDocs American Airlines System wide Upgrade Policy Update

Hotels in London are fabulous, but they can be very expensive for a spur of the moment trip also!  We priced everything on American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts and used every potential discount code we had, and the least expensive 4 or 5 star hotel was over $300 per night, most not even including the 20% VAT which would be added.  Looking at we found a great apartment in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood for half the price.

Optional Pros of rental:

1.  usually a washer and dryer is available

This is a great benefit which allows you to travel with a carry on even internationally!  Think of how long it takes you to clear immigration and customs at every airport.  You will save at least an hour each way by traveling with a carry on when you don't have to wait for your bag to go through customs or checking your bags.  This is an additional hour you can spend sleeping, reading or site seeing!

2.  parking is free

You need to search for a location that has free parking if you plan to have a vehicle.  There are many.  This can be a savings of $40 - $75 per night.  That equates to a nice bottle of wine every night or a massage treat for yourself!

3.  you can experience living like a local

Enough said...We truly enjoyed this in Rome where the Joie de vivre is AMAZING!

4.  breakfast and other meals are on your schedule

This can be both healthy and fun.  Make the local coffee or tea.  Get the local fruit, bread and cheese.  Or just bring or buy some protein bars.

Cons of rental:

1.  No daily maid service

This is ok for shorter visits, but if you are staying longer, be prepared to clean.

2.  No interpreter if you are in a foreign country.

We recommend trying a local rental for the first time in the USA or in a country that you know the language before venturing out to a more disorienting location!

This isn't a problem if you have local friends.  Or consider hiring a tour guide.  They can be found on or  You can always walk in a hotel and speak to the concierge who are always friendly.

3.  Television access to local channels is not always available

This was a problem for us once when a hurricane was hitting the Washington DC area and we didn't have good access to the local weather.

4.  Lack of security

You can search for a location that has a doorman if you are worried about this in particular locations.   As always recommended by PLEASE be vigilant and protect your personal items with a security bag and lock up your valuables even when you leave the apartment.  There are many options you can find to help with this:

portable safe

Pacsafe portable bag safe

The best advice is don't bring valuables with you!  Do you really need that Louis Vuitton bag for every trip?

5.  Basics may need to be replenished for longer stays

We had one occasion that we arrived at a rented house and there was no toilet paper in the house.  It was a 30 minute drive to the local store!  Generally this does not happen, but most rentals do not supply more than one set of toilet paper, coffee, soap, shampoo etc.

Luxurytraveldocs recommends bringing a basics bag if you have room or are driving:

- toilet paper
- coffee and filter
- soap, shampoo and conditioner
- washing machine pods and dryer sheets

6.  Taxi's not immediately available

Most units have wifi, so you can request an UBER in most cities, but if you are healthy like us just walk....

7.  No luggage service

This is another reason to bring a carry on bag!  In foreign countries, elevators are not as common as in the US.  You may encounter narrow hallways, and many crooked stairs.


1.  Look at the reviews.  Always book a 5 star review.
2.  Look at the general location.  Make sure it is not many miles away from the sites you plan to visit unless you are prepared to subway, taxi or drive.
3. Get a good look at the bathroom!  Always a good indicator about the quality of the rental in our opinion.
4.  If you need a certain bed size, you can make that a search option when you are on the website.
5.  Ask questions of the host if you are not sure!
6.  Once you find the rental you want, look at competing websites to see if you can find it for less.  Some rental sites charge the listing party more, and therefore your price is higher.  We have found the same rental for 25% less on other sites by doing this.  Just search the key words in the title for the listing. Common options are: or
7.  We prefer if the prices are the same.  They seem to have more short term rentals available than others (fewer than 7 days), and they have been good at settling disputes that we have had with the owners.
8.  Make sure you search for the entire apartment or home.  Personally, we don't find staying in a room in someone's house appealing, but you might.

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