Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Study: Smoky Mountain Vacation Rentals a Better Value than Hotels


Can you really stay at a Smoky Mountain vacation rental complete with a private hot tub, pool, game room and at-your-doorstep access to beautiful natural wonders and get a better value than a hotel room? According to a study from Smoky Mountain Cabin Rental LLC, you certainly can.

The study took the price of a luxurious four bedroom vacation rental cabin and compared it to two rooms in four hotels in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The direct price of the hotel rooms exceeded the price of the cabin about 50% of the time. Hotel prices ranged from $801.46 and $940.43. The luxury cabin, with over 2200 square feet and room to sleep 12 adults, came in at $894.54. The vacation rental cabin certainly competes on price. When you factor in the amenities and additional space available with vacation rentals, it's easy to see that you're getting more bang for your buck.

In addition to private movie rooms, multiple big screen TVs, pool tables, decks and plenty of space, vacation rental cabins offer full or gourmet kitchens. This saves money on eating out all the time. And vacation rental cabins offer spectacular views, right outside your door.

You can read about the study here, and learn more about Smoky Mountain Cabin Rental LLC here

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas in Key West


Now that everyone's got their fill of turkey, stuffing, gravy and all the leftovers, it's time to start thinking about Christmas vacations. The beauty of a vacation rental over the Holidays is that you can celebrate in style and enjoy great weather, activities and scenery. 

Today, the spotlight is on Key West vacation rentals and the fun you'll find in this tropical paradise. On Monday, November 28, they'll be lighting the Christmas Tree in Bayview Park (is there anything more delightful for snow birds than to flock to a brightly lit Holiday tree as close to the beach as possible?).

On December 3, there's the Key West Christmas Parade, also known as the Key West Annual Holiday Parade. The spirit of Christmas fills Duval Street and officially kicks off the Holiday season. There are about 50 entries each year, including one with Santa and Mrs. Claus. It's a fun way to spend a Saturday night and will definitely get you in the Holiday mood.

On December 10, you can enjoy the Annual Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade. This is a magical display of lights and creativity made even more beautiful by the pretty lights reflecting off the water.

If you're around for New Years, you can enjoy a variety of fun events, such as the Pirate Wench Drop on Liberty Clipper or the Red High Heel with Drag Queen Drop on Bourbon Street. 

Of course, you'll find plenty of shopping, eating, beaching and other fun activities as you enjoy Christmas on Key West. Check out the Key West Chamber of Commerce website for more things to do.

The Holidays are a great time of year to get a cozy Key West vacation rental and enjoy a Holiday you'll never forget!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Opening Day at Squaw Valley

Today is opening day at Squaw Valley, and Thanksgiving weekend is the unofficial opening of ski season. And according to SkiNet.com, 2011/2012 is going to be a good year to hit the slopes. A La Nina weather pattern indicates a colder, wetter winter for the mountains. Book your vacation rental early, so you can get in on all the great skiing at your favorite resort. 

Here are some of the resorts open Thanksgiving, according to OntheSnow.com (you'll find a complete list on their website). Keep in mind that many ski resorts will be opening in the next few days, so be sure to check specific dates for the ski area you're interested in.

Some of the resorts open as of 11/23/11:
  • Arapahoe Basin (CO), 21-inch base, 4 of 7 lifts open
  • Bear Mountain (CA), 12-inch base, 2 of 12 lifts open
  • Beaver Creek (CO), 18-inch base, 11 of 25 lifts open
  • Boreal (CA), 18-inch base, 3 of 9 lifts open
  • Breckenridge (CO), 22-inch base, 10 of 31 lifts open
  • Bretton Woods (NH), 6-inch base, 2 of 9 lifts open
  • Brian Head (UT), 24-inch base, 1 o f 9 lifts open
  • Brighton (UT), 33-inch base, 4 of 7 lifts open
  • Copper Mountain (CO), 20-inch base, 5 of 22 lifts open
  • Grouse Mountain (BC, Canada) 25-inch base, 3 of 5 lifts open
  • Heavenly (CA), 18-inch base, 4 of 30 lifts open
  • Killington (VT), 20-inch base, 2 of 22 lifts open
  • Keystone (CO), 18-inch base, 5 of 20 lifts open
  • Mammoth Mountain (CA), 18-inch base, 6 of 28 lifts open
  • Mt. Baker (WA), 60-inch base, 7 of 10 lifts open
  • Mt. Hood Meadows (OR), 39-inch base, 6 of 12 lifts open
  • Northstar (CA), 18-inch base, 8 of 19 lifts open
  • Park City (UT), 24-inch base, 3 of 16 lifts open
  • Vail (CO), 18-inch base, 9 of 31 lifts open
  • Whistler/Blackcomb (BC, Canada), 52-inch base, 4 of 37 lifts open
  • Winter Park (CO), 18-inch base, 5 of 26 lifts open



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tips for Booking Vacation Rentals


The Holidays are approaching and people are making travel plans. Whether you're planning on staying in a vacation rental for the Holidays or planning a trip for next year, here are a few things to keep in mind when booking vacation rentals.

Book Now

If you're headed to a popular destination, you might want to book now. January and February are busy booking times for vacation rentals, and the best, most desirable properties get snapped up quickly

Know When High Season Is

Wherever you're going, it's going to have a high season. Try to book your rental on the fringes of the high season. For example, October in the Panhandle of Florida is a great time to visit. The humidity has cleared off, the crowds are gone, and you can sometimes have an entire beach all to yourself.

Check Out the Amenities

Before you book, make sure you get the amenities you want in your vacation rental. While all will have everything you need for daily living, you might want a game room for teenagers, a den for your spouse, and a hot tub for you! There's enough variety in vacation rentals that you can satisfy even your pickiest traveler.

Contact the Owner

The vast majority owners or property managers will be excited to share information about the rental and the community you'll be visiting. They are often advocates for their local attractions, and they'll certainly be able to give you tips on what to see and do during your stay. In addition, this will give you a chance to find out what you should and shouldn't bring. For example, many vacation rentals provide shampoo and soap, while some don't. Contacting the owner may save you a late night trip to the store for extras, or save you some weight in your luggage.

Read the Contract

Vacation rentals will have different cancellation policies when compared to hotels. In fact, they sometimes vary by whether or not it's high or low season. If you pay by credit card (recommended so you have recourse if there's a problem), you'll likely pay a deposit and then the remainder will be charged on a certain day prior to your stay. This is to protect the renters, but also helps guarantee that your spot will be there when you arrive.

Get the Insurance

If your vacation rental offers insurance for inadvertent damage to the rental, get it as long as it's reasonably priced. It can help protect you from paying too much for minor damages you might cause during your stay. The last thing you want to be doing on your vacation is looking for a glass company to replace a window that was accidentally broken.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Road Trip Tips



Whether you're heading for your vacation rental on the beach or to grandma's house by car for Thanksgiving, check out these tips for getting there on time, saving on gas and traveling safe.

Be ready for any kind of weather. Watch the weather forecasts before leaving, but no matter what the forecast says, plan for bad weather so you're not surprised. Thanksgiving weekend gets it share of inclement weather, and winter conditions can arise when they're not expected.

Try to leave on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. The busiest travel day of the year is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and that includes the roads too, not just airports. If you plan it right, you can include a fun stop along the way if you have the time. Leaving a little early will also give you plenty of time if you run into bad weather. 

If you're traveling in warmer parts of the country, keep the windows rolled up while driving on the highway. Open windows and sun roofs create drag and wastes more gas than running the AC.

Take it easy on the gas. Driving at the posted speed limits can save you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying about 21 cents per gallon more for gas.

Check your tire inflation. Properly inflated tires give you maximum fuel efficiency.

Turkey overload. If you're driving a long distance after a big meal, remember that big meals make you sleepy and lethargic. Be sure you're awake and aware before you get behind the wheel.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sneak Peek at Great Vacation Rentals Bargains


We're going to feature some great deals on vacation rentals in our next Perfect Places email, but here's a sneak peek at some of the savings you'll be getting:
Get away to sunny Mexico with Oceano Properties: 3 nights for the price of 2 and 4 nights for the price of 3. Offer valid from Dec. 1, 2011 through February 28, 2012, with no holiday restrictions! Excludes Alegria Villa with private pool and Deseo Villa with private pool.
Mead Brown Costa Rica: Book by Dec. 15, 2011, and save 30% on beachfront condos at Vista Las Palmas on Jaco Beach. Stays must be completed by December 15, 2012; December 16, 2011 through January 6, 2012 are excluded. The Yin and Yang units are excluded from this offer. Rentals include daily housekeeping (except Sundays), wifi, VOIP for free calls to North America, gym, beachfront swimming pool and spa, 24/7 security, covered parking and on-site concierge services. Use Promo code:  PP2011.
Holiday Isle properties has great vacation rentals in Destin, Florida. Save 15% at any Holiday Isle property with a stay of 4 nights or longer through Dec. 31, 2012.
Elks Springs Resorts features properties in beautiful Tennessee. Register to win a Free 2 night stay at Elk Resort.
Check out these and other great deals on PerfectPlaces.com now!
And be sure to get Perfect Places "Deals of the Month" by signing up for our Travel Newsletter.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ski Season's Here - Book a Ski Vacation Rental and Enjoy More Skiing Sooner


It's that time of year again. You can now head to one of the ski areas listed at OnTheSnow.com for some early season skiing. While you're planning your trip, be sure to check out all the ski vacation rentals available at PerfectPlaces.com and MountainSkiRentals.com.

Wolf Creek in Colorado is reporting a base of 43 inches, while Mt. Washington in British Columbia has a base of 39 inches. Most others are in the 10 to 26-inch range.

More and more ski areas will be opening in the coming weeks. The legendary Squaw Valley plans a November 23 opening, as do many other areas hoping to catch some Thanksgiving skiers. A vacation rental, whether it's a home, cabin or condo, is a great alternative to hotels, motels and resorts. You get a lot more room, private amenities, and you'll save a bundle too--money you can use for an extra day or two of skiing, or for that early season ski trip you've always wanted to take.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Save Money on Airfare this Holiday Season

If you're flying to your vacation rental and haven't booked your Holiday flight yet, don't despair. You can save by taking advantage of last minute bargains.

According to the Associated Press, you'll get the cheapest flights for Christmas by booking during the first week of December. But don't wait don't too long, as prices will start rising again in the second week of December.

Be sure to shop airports if you live near a major city or an area where you have a choice. Chances are you'll make up the cost of gas, and sometimes even an overnight stay in a motel to catch an early flight.

A few other money-saving tricks to keep in mind: Tuesday's are considered the best days to book, and Wednesdays are the cheapest day do fly except for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Try to fly either the Tuesday before or, if you really want to save, fly out early on Thanksgiving morning. Early morning flights are on time more often, so you'll likely be there in time for your turkey dinner.

Check out the fare-tracking chart on Kayak.com, and be sure to shop around when looking for your flight.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ironman® Vacation Rentals: Your Home on the Road to Kona


PerfectPlaces.com is excited to announce a new page exclusively for triathletes training to compete in a an Ironman® triathlon. It has links to Ironman vacation rentals in many of the cities where the triathlons will be held. It also has links to each race, so you can check out how to register, race rules, past results, etc.

We're providing this page as a service to athletes in training and the families and friends who'll be traveling with them. Not only will you be able to find information about your race, you'll be able to book your stay at an affordable and spacious vacation rental.

More Pages Like This to Come

Plus, we plan more pages like this in the near future. So much travel revolves around our passions, whether they're sports or hobbies, and PerfectPlaces.com wants to provide you with the vacation rentals you need to have the best experience possible.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bali: A Vacation Destination Perfect for Families

bali vacation rentals

As with any vacation destination, visitors with children ask about the top places to see and things to do. In Bali, the best answer is to simply absorb the culture which is wholly unique to the island. Bali vacation rentals give you a chance to immerse yourself in everything Bali has to offer.

The Balinese are refreshingly hospitable. You'll be greeted with smiles and treated as friends from the moment you arrive.

Bali children enjoy a special status, pampered and esteemed from the time they're born. Because of this, Bali is a wonderful place to travel with children. Bali is a natural wonderland filled with opportunities for kids to learn about the world around them in a safe, fun and excitingly different way. Bali is simply one of the friendliest destinations for families. You'll always feel relaxed, yet there's always something to keep everyone entertained.

Getting around the island is easy for families as well. There are plenty of inexpensive buses and mini-buses that can take you anywhere. Taxis are also plentiful, and you can always rent a car and drive yourself.

Since Bali is predominantly Hindu, you'll find many highly dramatized performances filled with music, dance and brightly colored processions. Theater, dance and songs are a major part of Bali culture.

You can bicycle around Ubud and see fascinating macaques, learn to surf at Kuta (for older kids or more daring younger ones), snorkel at Menjangan Island, go to a Water Buffalo race in Negara, river raft through the heart of Bali, take a road trip to the otherworldly beauty of Lake Bratan and so much more.

Of course, Bali's beautiful beaches and abundant water activities mean you could spend your whole trip near the water. But with all it's tropical beauty and truly unique local entertainment, you'll discover that it's easy to find many new and exciting experiences in Bali.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Experience a Whole Other World in a Bali Vacation Rental

vacation rentals bali

Bali -- it's delicious, gorgeous and remains an undeveloped tropical paradise in so many ways. You'll find incredible landscapes, premier beaches, and an endless stream of traditional arts, crafts and entertainment that will immerse you in a world so different from your own that it will feel like the most wonderful dream you've ever had. Best of all, Bali vacation rentals are more abundant, and more affordable, than ever before.

While modern society has found its way to Bali, traffic, shopping malls and the like, its served to make Bali vacation rentals more convenient. To avoid the frenzied pace of some of the more dense population centers, you simply have to look past what might be your comfort zone. Let the romance of Bali sweep you away, as it has travelers for centuries, by escaping to some of the more serene areas.

While, you'll find a host of eclectic restaurants, boutiques, antiques, and lifestyle stores in Seminyak, go a little bit further to Canggu, Kerobokan and Umalas to find vacation rentals. Seseh, Candidasa, and Tabanan are also great choices for Bali vacation rentals. Nusa Dua, Jimbaran and Unawatu offer modern cliff-top villas on the rugged and beautiful Bukit Peninsula.

When you stay in a Bali vacation rental, you'll be immersing yourself in Bali culture The architectural style of most villas represents local artisans and builders with traditional design, though some include futuristic styles that mesh with the island's storied past.