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Hawaii House Rentals

Hawaii House RentalsDuring the 10 years we lived in Boca Raton, Florida, Sam went to Hawaii numerous times on business. Each time, he invited me along. We would pay for the airfare with frequent flier miles and I could fill the other half of his hotel room for free. The only real expense would be food.

But each time I declined. We lived in South Florida, for heaven’s sake. Why go to Maui or Oahu when I already lived in the subtropics? I saved my miles for trips to Portugal and Holland (yes, I still call it Holland and always will!) and had wonderful trips with him.

Finally in 2002 — just a few months after moving to Utah — I decided to take up Sam’s offer to meet him in the islands. In fact, we decided to take the entire family. And I learned that I had been dead wrong. Hawaii is nothing like Florida. The weather is more glorious, the scenery sublime, and Polynesian people are probably (collectively) the nicest on the planet earth. I have not been to a more amazing spot.

Just a few years later, our family went again. We’d already done the tourist thing in the city. The second time we opted to rent a house — right on the beach — on the North Shore in Oahu. We used  Vacation Rentals by Owner to find our home. Although we didn’t ultimately use them due to availability issues, we found our first choice beach house through HomeAway. (HomeAway apparently owns VRBO now, but I don’t think they did when we used them.)

Renting a house in an out-of-the-way location has particular advantages, among them:

  • Prices that beat hotels by a mile — especially when you have a big family to house!
  • Kitchen access saves big bucks by allowing cooking and eating at home (although some products, like milk, are still really expensive compared to most of the US)
  • Roomier, more comfortable accommodations
  • Quieter experience with less hustle and bustle
  • Feels more like being a resident than a tourist

There are a few items on the downside to home rental:

  • No maid service
  • No room service
  • Farther from tourist destinations you may want to see
  • Less security

No air conditioning — this obviously isn’t a given, but we didn’t think to ask about this, the house we rented had none and that made some days (and nights) very uncomfortable

People rent out nice homes for all sorts of reasons. In our case, the owner was a 20-something bachelor who couldn’t really afford a Hawaiian beach house. So he rented it out whenever he could (crashing on the couches of (really nice, accommodating) friends) and lived in the home when he couldn’t rent it. The rentals helped pay for the mortgage and, eventually, this young guy will have a very valuable piece of property!

Similarly a few years ago we rented a townhouse in Orlando for a quick amusement park jaunt with the kids. The cost savings were similar, and the place was lovely.

If you want a more affordable family vacation — in paradise or anywhere else — look into home rental. It was a great experience for our family with considerable cost savings. We will certainly do it again.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Johnjohn March 16, 2011, 12:20 pm

    We did rent a vacation house once to go to Disney Land. The price was actually better than cheap hotels and a lot nicer.

  • SueBee March 16, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Is that the picture of the place you stayed? Wow beautiful. I would love to go there.

  • Jordy March 18, 2011, 8:35 am

    I live in Sarasota Florida. It takes me five minutes to get to the Siesta Key beach. I love living here and feel as though I am very blessed. There are two places my mother said I should visit before my traveling days are over, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

    Your post has stirred my heart to set a goal to go to the islands of Hawaii.
    Jordy recently posted…How To Make A Kitchen More FunctionalMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2011, 10:54 am

    Jordy, former Florida neighbor! Thanks for stopping by!

    I’m probably going to take flack for this, but I’d say your momma is half right. 😉 Hawaii, yes. Vegas, no. I have to say that Las Vegas is probably my least favorite place on planet earth. OK, maybe I’m a prude. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t gamble, I don’t like to watch naked women dance (either for me or for my husband), and I don’t like to hire prostitutes. So what would I do there?

    I know they’ve tried to remake themselves, but I don’t buy it. I’ve been there dozens of times, usually on the way to California. But it’s also been our destination a few times.

    We took our kids their a couple of years ago — not by design so much as by default. Sam and I were going to attend Concrete World convention before starting on our custom home building project, and so we packed up the family and took off. Sam and I also went for a few days in January for AHR Expo.

    My general opinion of Vegas is “Blech!” The glamour of casinos is nonexistent IMO. Forget the dashing men in tuxedos and silicone-injected women in sequined gowns. A huge majority of the “players” are fairly unkempt and desperate. You can’t get out of a hotel room or into a restaurant without walking through the entire casino portion. And there are people sitting, hour after hour after hour, feeding the machines with coins. It’s pathetic and depressing. Literally I walk through and just want to grab these people, drag them out into the sunlight and fresh air and say, “Look! There’s a beautiful world out here! You have such potential!”

    OK, I’ll get off the soapbox. Go to Hawaii. Go. Go. Go. 🙂

  • john greer July 6, 2011, 6:44 am

    Vacation Rentals are the most economical way to save on your trip, It may have some disadvantages but you can always work on that!

  • villasandhomes January 5, 2012, 11:45 pm

    Nice place to stay while going for a vacation trip with our family..The price was actually better than cheap hotels and a lot nicer..
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  • colleen January 22, 2012, 7:35 pm

    Opting for house rentals on your vacation is more convenient especially when you are with your family. It is cheaper and you can have your own privacy. Proper maintenance is being provided to ensure that you will have a very comfortable place to stay in.

  • Issac Robert February 14, 2012, 11:22 pm

    Informative & Interesting………

  • MJ February 29, 2012, 2:49 pm

    I lived in Hawai’i twice as a child. Since then I have lived all over. I saw mention of Sarasota Florida on this blog. Having lived in both the Sarasota area (Bradenton) and Hawai’i I figure that I would say ‘Aloha’ and comment. Currently, I am living in Orlando Florida and although I do not love it as much as I did Sarasota or Hawai’i it has it advantages at times. I am really enjoying the Orlando area restaurants and dining the most.

  • MIB April 18, 2012, 5:41 am

    This is such a cozy place to stay and as it’s for free I will love to stay here for my vacation…Truly a wonderful room to stay.

  • OHh September 15, 2012, 2:58 am

    I always end up enjoying at Hawaii islands. And I always book vacation rental home in advance. And they are so cheap and much better in living space, scenic views. I just love it. Btw I got your blog just now when I was searching for some rental home for my vacations(hopefully in the next month)
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  • BRE June 23, 2015, 10:07 am

    Choosing house rentals on your get-away is more helpful particularly when you are with your crew. It is less expensive and you can have your own protection. Legitimate support is being given to guarantee that you will have an extremely agreeable spot to stay in.

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