Florida short term rentals - the benefits  

by Pool Builders on 05-12-2009 in Articles

When you tire of the standard hotel or motel room on your Florida vacation, have you ever considered the alternative of Florida short term rentals for your family? Why is it that more and more tourists are opting for this way of arranging their holiday accommodation?

Probably the main reason is that Florida offers the highest quality and choice of short term rentals in the USA. This came about firstly because of the demand for accommodation fueled by the hot climate and secondly because of Disney World.

Even before Disney came along, Florida was regarded as a winter getaway for people escaping from the cold winter in Northern states (hence the term "snowbirds"). Cities experienced an annual influx of tourists looking for homes to rent as a better and more economic alternative to hotel or motel living. With the development of the Disney empire and other Central Florida theme parks, Florida tourism enjoyed a vast increase.

The State enjoyed increased tax revenues from this tourism. So when property owners embraced the concept of buying a vacation home and covering some of the costs by renting out their homes to snowbirds and theme park enthusiasts, Florida sanctioned a unique licensing system whereby single family homes and condos could be officially monitored and approved, in return for which the homes could be rented out on a per-night basis, just like a hotel or motel. This created an ideal set of conditions that in turn produced top quality single family homes and condos operated on a hotel/motel style approach, unmatched in the rest of the USA.

Speaking from personal experience, I know that when the entire family is spending a week or two sleeping in the same hotel room, a restful time is difficult to achieve. However well organized you are, inevitably there are times when more than one person insists on being the next one in line for the bathroom. And privacy is at a premium!
I also remember that the first time I rented a vacation home for a Magic Kingdom visit because it changed my perspective forever - it was such an improvement that I decided never to use a hotel or motel for a Disney vacation in future.

That was in 1990 and things have improved enormously even since then. Typically now, Florida short term rental homes range in size from two bedrooms to six or more bedrooms and most have two or more bathrooms. Most have a least one master bedroom and in the bigger homes there may be as many as three master suites. Unlike some holiday homes, especially in the UK, all the bed linens and towels are included so there will be more space in your luggage for your clothes.

Homes have a fully fitted kitchen with a stove, microwave, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, toaster, coffee maker, blender and enough pots, pans and cutlery for the number of guests the house caters for. Some homes have a separate laundry room but most provide a washing machine, tumble dryer, ironing board and iron to cover all your laundry needs.

Home entertainment is another area that has seen much development in short term rental homes in recent years. Owners have added DVD players and VCRs (as well as big screen televisions in a lot of cases) and not just in living areas - look for some homes to have a television in every bedroom!

Single family vacation homes in Florida usually have their own swimming pool and many of them have a hot tub as well. To attract and retain the high proportion of tourists who make repeated visits to Disney's attractions year after year, more and more homes are adding a games room with a pool table, dart board, foosball and ping pong so guests of all ages need never be bored.

If you are staying in a condo the complex will usually have one or two communal swimming pools, some have a children's playground and some have a fitness room available to guests.

In my experience, this high standard of accommodation and breadth of choice is unique to the Disney area so that the reasons for short term rental homes being so popular in Central Florida are many:

* The wide choice of properties close to the theme parks means that you can find a place to rent that enables everyone to have their own space - almost no matter what your party size is. This makes such a difference to family relationships and is so much more relaxing, espcially after long and tiring days at the theme parks.

* The children have their own room - no more sharing with parents.

* Competition in the Disney area has kept prices low, so it can work out cheaper than hotel or motel rooms - especially for larger family groups. Value for money is uniquely high

* You can decide for yourself whether to eat out or eat in - the kitchen gives you the choice if you don't want to use any of the hundreds of restaurants along Highway 192 south of Disney World or at Lake Buena Vista.

* Everything you could possibly want is provided - it's like being at home but with the excellent Florida climate instead.

* If the weather is not so good (doesn't happen often in Central Florida) you can stay in and watch a movie or TV in comfort.

So next time you are booking your dream vacation and planning that perfect trip to explore the delights of Disney, Universal and Sea World, think about making it even more magical by considering the benefits of Central Florida short term rentals.

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