Last Minute Vacations – Dollars & Sense by David Uffington

By on August 5, 2011
If you didn’t plan for a vacation this summer but are determined to get a break, it’s still possible even at this late date. In fact, the approaching end of summer might work in your favor as owners try to fill last-minute vacancies.

   Look for vacation rentals that are within a few hours drive of home. You’ll save precious vacation time by not battling crowds and security at airports and wasting time in the air, not to mention saving money on airfare and transportation. Vacation rentals generally will accommodate your whole family and allow you to save money by cooking your own meals. Many provide laundry facilities.

   While you might think you want a place with activities suited to your interests, consider taking this opportunity to try something new. If you’re into golf, go for a lakeside cabin that comes with fishing poles and a canoe. If you like water skiing, opt for a condo in an historic city for a change of pace.

   Go online to www.vacationhomerentals.com and click on your state. You’ll find rentals categorized by county and town, with lots of photos and descriptions. If a property sounds interesting, check the availability. For verification or to ask if there have been cancellations, contact the owner using the online form. Ask if any end-of-season deals are available. Don’t miss the Last Minute Deals link at the top of the main page.

   Check www.vacationrentals.com, and again click on your state. You’ll be able to narrow your choices by date, reviews and whether the rental has a pool or allows pets. You can select multiple rentals to compare. Check the activities on each listing for local attractions. This site provides the owner’s name and telephone number, as well as an online contact form.

   If you want a lot of amenities, consider a timeshare rental. With timeshares, owners “own” a certain week or weeks each year when they have use of the accommodations. They can’t always use those weeks and will rent out the property. Timeshares generally have a full menu of amenities, and many are luxurious resorts. Search online for timeshares in your state. Call the timeshare office directly, as it’s likely to have a list of rentals.

As always, ask whether any discounts are available.

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