Great news! For over 25 years vacation homes have been a viable alternative for visitors coming to the Orlando area to visit Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Orlando. Up to now, Disney has always tried to lure guests to stay on their property but finally, after a long long battle, they have finally admitted that vacation homes are here to stay and they must join the vacation rental industry by becoming a travel partner with area vacation home rental companies. It’s fantastic news as it finally gives real credibility to an industry that brings over $4.1 BILLION to the local Orlando economy.
Here’s a picture of the web site announcing the news…
So now you know, vacation homes really are the best deal for families who are traveling to the Orlando / Disney area! Come and stay with us…
I just came across a great article by Jim Wang giving 7 reasons why you should skip staying at hotels and rent a vacation home instead. At the end of the article Jim mentions two things you need to be aware of but we’ll talk about them once you’ve read the article:
Bankrate had an article recently in which they recommended renting a home or condo to trim vacation costs. While I very much value the opinion of the fine folks at Bankrate, that’s good advice that’s about decades overdue.
At the very least, it’s five years overdue, because my friends and I have been doing this for at least that long. In fact, it was the topic of discussion one day at Meals on Wheels and when one of the other volunteers remarked that they had been renting vacation homes for decades.
1.It’s cheaper. It’s exceptionally cheap when you go during the off-season, usually almost 50% off the peak rates. The vacation homes are usually very large so when you finally calculate the cost per person, it’s quite affordable.
2.It’s negotiable. Hotels are not very good at negotiation, unless you’re a savvy customer or use something like Priceline, the price is whatever you can get through a travel search site. Demand for vacation homes, especially in this recession, is down and you can use it to your advantage.
3.You have kitchens and grills to cook yourself. Most hotels, unless it’s suites, won’t have any type of kitchen or even a microwave. You can continue to save money on your vacation if you take advantage of the kitchen and the grills usually made available in vacation homes.
4.A pool of your own! If you’re in a vacation home usually frequented in the summer, chances are it has a pool that you can use all to yourself.
5.Plenty of communal space. If you want to play board games or yard games, it’s pretty much impossible in a hotel. With your own vacation home, you have living rooms and other communal spaces you can take advantage of.
6.Parking aplenty. If you go to a hotel in a resorty area, usually you can park one or two cars a room in the hotel parking lot. With a vacation home, no one is monitoring so you can pack in as many as you want.
7.Free Wi-Fi. The last home we stayed in had free Wi-fi, which was a great perk. While paying $9 a day at a hotel isn’t horrible, I don’t plan on being tethered to a computer so $9 to check my email is a bit much (I know there are lots of hotels with free Wi-Fi, but many still charge!). 8.More likely to be pet friendly. A vacation home is more likely to be pet-friendly, which means you can save on kenneling costs. Hotels? Forget about it, you have no chance.
It is not without negatives though. First, you’ll usually have to rent the vacation home or condo for an entire week, even if you’re only staying for a long weekend. My recommendation is that you split the cost evenly across the number of people, rather than the number of days people are staying.
Second, you’ll need a lot of people to fill the beds in a house to make it worthwhile. When we went to the Outer Banks, there were close to fifteen beds. We had enough people and the cost of the home was ridiculously cheap, but if you don’t know enough people then it may not be worth it.
Despite the two negatives, which are potential deal-breakers, renting a vacation home beats a hotel in my book.
Jim, I’ve got news for you… i) you don’t need to rent for a week with us…we’re very happy to look after you for a day or two and ii) rates for our VIP members can mean you stay for less than $16.00 per person per night! I challenge you to find a better deal anywhere in Orlando than that!
Also, you make a great point in your bonus to the list…vacation homes are very likely to be pet friendly. We have a dozen such homes ourselves and we are trying to bring more online such is the demand.
Forbes Traveler.com has just announced their top 15 vacation destinations and coming out right at number 1 is ORLANDO. Those of us who live and work here aren’t surprised by this news and part of the reason is the enormous diversity of the area.
We have some great attraction parks such as Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal but we’re also only an hour away from either the Atlantic Coast or the Gulf Coast. This makes us perfectly situated and when you consider the range of accommodation available to guests, there really is nowhere that can compete.
The hidden gem is the vacation home. Once guests discover vacation homes very rarely do they go back to staying at hotels. The attraction of a private swimming pool at the end of an enjoyable day out at the theme parks is one attraction but so is the ability to save money by housing all the family in one place rather than in multiple rooms. There’s also the fact you can save a small fortune by utilizing the fully equipped kitchen rather than going to expensive restaurants each mealtime.
Orlando also has some other hidden gems; if you fancy some great shopping then Mall of Millenia or Florida Mall will delight you, Orlando Science Center is a great find and promises a gentler pace for the all the family and if you really fancy something special, why not take a flight in a hot air balloon and oversee the whole Central Florida area?
Of course, we also have some fabulous restaurants if you enjoy fine dining or if you are a golfer, you’ll enjoy teeing it off at some of the best courses the US has to offer. Orlando is the place things happen..the rich and the famous live here…people like Tiger Woods, so you’ll never know who you’ll bump into!
So now it’s official…isn’t it time for you to visit us and have a great time?
One of the nice things about providing magical memories for our guestsis that we occasionally get to experience things ourselves. Over the last month some of our staff has been fortunate enough to visit both Busch Gardens and Sea World to see what’s going on and find out what’s new.
Busch Gardens in Tampa has long been a favorite park of mine simply because it blends wild rides and wildlife so perfectly together so I made sure I did that trip along with Annette, Kim and Rebecca!
There are over 2,500 exotic and endangered animals for you to visit as well as more record breaking roller coasters than any destination in Florida! There’s absolutely something fun and something educational to see and do for every member of the family no matter their age.
In addition there are some great VIP tours such as the Elite Adventure Tour that includes a private tour guide, front-of-the-line access to all the major roller coasters and water rides, including Gwazi, Montu, Kumba, SheiKra, Congo River Rapids and Tanganyika Tidal Wave (front row is included), reserved seating at the KaTonga show, lunch at the Crown Colony Restaurant, and a one-of-a-kind experience hand-feeding giraffes on the Serengeti Safari tour.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to do the whole Elite Adventure Tour but we did manage the Serengeti Safari Tour where we all discovered first-hand just how long a giraffe’s tongue is while giving them a leafy snack! As you can see from the picture above, I got to enjoy some lettuce with one of the giraffe’s!
I have to say that the tour was simply fabulous and it’s something I would recommend that you and your family do when you visit us next time. Busch Gardens is just over an hour away from most of our vacation homes and its well worth the trip as you will become immersed in the Serengeti experience as your tour guide shares a lot of intriguing information and some interesting personal stories about the amazing wildlife.
On this trip you can unlock the mystery to the eland antelope’s mysterious clicking, discover the naturalistic beauty of the Serengeti Plain, and experience the thrill of feeding antelopes and giraffes. This Adventure creates memories that will last a lifetime and you’ll also enjoy some amazing photo opportunities such as the one I created up above.
Busch Gardens has a whole host of things going on for wild life buffs; Jungala features Bengal tigers, the Rhino Rally sees you hop aboard a wild jeep tour (see Rebecca, our concierge navigating the jeep in the above video…it’s a hoot!), see majestic Clydesdale horses, Edge of Africa features hippos, lions, meerkats, lemurs, crocodiles and hyenas and Myombe Reserve gets you up close and personal with gorillas and chimpanzees.
Of course, everyone loves a good thrill ride and Busch simply has some of the best around; from SheiKra and it’s 200 foot drop to Gwazi (one of the fastest wooden double roller coasters on the planet, Montu (7 insane inversions), Kumba (voted one of the world’s top coasters) and the Scorpion (3 G’s of force). But there’s even more and if you love getting wet then Congo River Rapids, Stanley Falls and Tanganyika Tidal Wave will be sure to keep you cool on a hot Florida day.
Busch Gardens has a lot of other stuff going on as well but you’ll just have to explore that for yourself but you can take a look here for more pictures.
It’s been really interesting over the last three months to see how many people are bringing their dogs with them on vacation. Demand is extremely high for vacation rental homes that will allow vacationers to bring their beloved pet with them.
Of course, a vacation home is just such a good choice because it’s really like being at home. All our Disney area vacation homes are in neighborhoods where it is really easy to take the dog for a walk. No more wondering about the area you are staying in like when you stay in a hotel. Also, providing food and water is easy too.
You can get pet food locally and then bring it back to the home and not have to worry about storage space like you might do in the average size hotel room. Further, it’s fun to lounge pool side with “Fido” by your side and while your reading a book, he or she can simply wander around as if they were at home. Now try doing that at a resort or hotel swimming pool!
If you’d like to see the vacation homes we have that are pet friendly, just go to FloridaLeisure.com
Is it bait-and-switch? Not exactly. The quoted room rate is what the traveler will pay. But many travelers will be surprised and probably angered when they see the final bill.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, some hotels, feeling pressured to lower their advertised room rates in order to compete effectively, are trying to make up the difference by charging extra for things that used to be included in the nightly rate. Needless to say, many guests check out mumbling “Fool me once…” and “I’ll never stay here again.”
All of which adds up to a golden opportunity for owners to present their no-hidden-fees VR properties as a welcome alternative. Please click here for more details:
And as Joyce Copeland of Beach Vacation Rental Blog says, the hotels only have themselves to blame. Here are 5 things you are unlikely to pay for when you rent a vacation home (at least in my experience):
3. Local telephone calls
4. Laundry(most rentalshave a washer a dryer)
5. Gobs ofGratuities (for the valet, the bellman, the maid, the guy who brings you room service)
Here at Florida Leisure Vacation Homesall of that list is FREE. Every home has a washer and a dryer, you can pull right up on the driveway outside your home (no dragging bags down endless hotel corridors) and most homes do have free internet hook up. All local calls are free of charge and gratuities are not expected because we pay our staff extremely well!
Also, we don’t have “resort fees” as your own private heated swimming pool is right outside your back door and is included in your rental fee!
In celebration of Bring Your Dog to Work Day this Friday we wanted to let you what we can provide for you and your pets!
The problem with travelling or going on vacation is that very often one or two members of the family can’t come. Yes, I’m talking about pets.
It’s a dilemma that a lot of people face and the fear of guilt and the fear of leaving a beloved member of the family behind often overwhelms people so much that they choose not to go anywhere. It’s a distressing time for everyone. Family members become distressed leaving their pet behind and the pet also becomes distressed when going to unfamiliar territory. And then there’s the cost… it’s not cheap these days to boardyour cat or dog.
Some owners do solve this by taking their pets to one of the few hotels that allow them in their rooms but even this has disadvantages. Many pets become distressed at all the noises in other hotel rooms and in the corridors that are common in hotels. Most hotels have very limited space to walk a dog and very little space to feed your pets not to mention storing their food. Further, there’s also the chance that the house keeping staff will either let your pet get loose or stress them out with vacuum cleaners and the nasty chemicals they use for cleaning.
Here at Florida Leisure Vacation Homes we are helping to solve this problem and we are pleased to highlight some of the homes we currently have available to pet owners wishing to visit. You and your pet can enjoy an entire home with plenty of room to relax in. In a vacation home your pet will not become distressed as there are no other guests other than the people you invite. Your pet also has the luxury of a private back yard to walk and play. All our homes are located in vacation rental communities that have walking areas and little car traffic. This makes it safe for both you and your pet to get some leisurely exercise. The best part is our pet friendly vacation homes all have screened in private swimming pools for the family and pets to enjoy together. Some of our pet friendly vacation homes even have safety fences around the pools to protect kids and pets when they are unsupervised.
If you have a pet and you wish to vacation in Orlando this year, you no longer need to worry about where to house Fido while you are away. Simply bring your pet with you and enjoy your vacation. Please do note that there aren’t many of these types of homes in our inventory so early booking is a must.�
We want to give you something! If you email Kim@floridaleisure.com with your name and address and we will send you our “Friends Don’t Let Friends Stay In Hotels” bandana for free and you can get up to $200off your next stay! All we need is a picture of you, your family and/or pets holding up the bandana! Don’t forget to tell us how much you like our homes!
Today is national UFO DAY! Enjoy!
You can get $250 off your next visit if you dress up like aliens in the picture with your “Friends Don’t Let Friends” bandana! Remember don’t forget to tell us how much you like our homes!
*This offer is only valid for future reservations of 7 nights or more and cannot be used for existing reservations.
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For every 5,000 followers we get, we will draw one lucky winner and they’ll get to stay in one of our 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom homes with a private swimming pool where they’ll feel like a King or Queen on vacation.