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With the summer vacation season right around the corner, today I wanted to share a handy website that I’ve used a couple of times in planning our trips. Especially when we’re on vacation, I always try to be a good steward of our resources and this service helps me do that!  Have you heard of Vacation Rentals By Owner? It’s a site where you can search privately owned properties when looking for a great place to stay.

With some of the listings, you deal directly with the owner, but the majority are run by management companies. Sometimes you may be staying in a personal residence that is being rented out, or it may be a company-owned property.

We have used VRBO twice in the last few years, and always check it out when we’re headed somewhere new that we’re not familiar with. The first time we booked with VRBO was on our 15th Anniversary trip to New York City. We decided the general area of town we wanted to stay in, and then searched for nearby listings.




We were able to stay in a flat in a neighborhood near Times Square. It was a 1 bedroom with bath and full kitchen and living area. The rate was much less than we would have had for a tiny hotel room elsewhere. The kitchen was a major benefit (although we ate out more than we planned to!), and we really felt like locals when walking through the neighborhood up to the flat, rather than tourists heading towards the hotels.




Our place was not lavishlike a fancy hotel, but comfortable, and I guess spacious in NYC terms!

We also used VRBO for our beach vacation last summer. Once again, we were able to get a 2 bed, 2 bath condo with a full kitchen, washer & dryer in the room, and balcony overlooking the ocean, right on the beach, for less than we could have rented a standard hotel room for. We made 1 trip to the store for quick fix, easy meals and saved money by only eating out one time. I also really appreciate the washer and dryer-I love coming home from a trip with all of the laundry already done!




Nothing super fancy, but perfect for our needs and budget.



Best of all, this was our balcony.  Right on the sand!



My only caution is to always make sure you know what’s included and not included…parking? towels? paper goods? etc.  Usually the listing is very upfront but the owner or contact person is very helpful if you have any questions and need to contact them.

Once again, by doing a bit of research and being willing to cook and eat most vacation meals in, our family is able to be good stewards even while on vacation.  VRBO is the first site we check when planning a trip. Have you ever used it?

“In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful.”

1 Corinthians 4:2 (HCSB)