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

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Contents -

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.

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