The top holiday rental companies
The advent of home exchange and rental platforms has dramatically changed the landscape of family holidays and the TOM Kids team shows you why holiday rentals are the way to go
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE ONLY OPTIONS FOR
FAMILY accommodation were hotels, resorts, family’s or friends’ homes, and service apartments. Travelling with one kid is easy when it comes to somewhere to stay and all you need is either a baby cot or an extra bed. Add another kid (or two) into the mix, and you’re looking at either getting two rooms or squeezing everyone into one, which can get rather uncomfortable if your kids are above the age of five, and not to mention it’ll cost more as well.
The concept of holiday rentals is simple – search for rentals at your destination and choose from a vast selection with everything you need for your stay. For families, this is a better choice than a traditional hotel stay. Example: If you’re a family of four with a toddler and a six-year-old and you want to go to Bali, what would be your requirements? High chairs, a fenced pool, toys, an outdoor play area, and to be located near a beach – yes, all these can be found in a resort; but you may also want access to a kitchen so you can prepare the kids’ meals. Plus, with kids, access to laundry is a must. As holiday rentals are usually someone’s home or second residence, or a place that has been set up to rent, you can be assured of privacy, convenience and a location conducive to your holiday. The best part is, you can share the home with family and friends to cut costs and spend time together.
How it all started
The concept of holiday rentals isn’t new and actually was quite popular in ’50s when holiday home owners in the USA realised that they should capitalise on their property when they weren’t using it. Through the decades we’ve had time shares and home exchanges, but it was the World Wide Web that really kick-started the industry.
Here was a limitless marketplace reaching millions of people planning holidays with a click of a mouse. It wasn’t just holiday rentals, but couch surfing and comparing flights and accommodation prices across several sites to get the best deal. We became our own travel agent, leading to greater choice, more competition and better prices. By 2005, holiday rental figures were gaining momentum and now in 2017, the figures say it all – the industry is now worth an eyewatering USD100 billion and shows no sign of slowing down.