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Home Is Where the Heart Is: 5 Reasons to Escape to a Vacation Home

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0129homespunweb.jpgRISMEDIA, Jan. 29, 2008-Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so you know what that means-it’s time to plan a romantic getaway just for two. Hadn’t even considered it? Perhaps you’d like to jet off to a ski resort for a quiet, snowy weekend…or hit the beach for some playful fun in the sun…or just spend several days exploring a nearby city. No matter where you hope to be the weekend of February 14th, don’t reserve that hotel room just yet. Christine Karpinski says a vacation rental home can transform an otherwise generic getaway into a cozy retreat that can help you reconnect as a couple.

“A vacation home is the best choice for any couple seeking a romantic weekend together,” asserts Karpinski, director of OwnerCommunity for HomeAway.com, an online vacation home rental marketplace and author of How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment. “It truly is a home away from home.

“While many people have never thought of choosing a rental over a hotel-especially if they’re traveling to a city like New York or Chicago-there are many benefits,” she adds. “For starters, it’s usually less expensive. But the biggest selling point of renting a vacation home is the fact that it is a home. You just can’t beat the privacy, comfort, and character of a woodsy cabin, sunny beach condo, or luxury loft apartment.”

Karpinski points out that there’s a vacation home within a two-hour drive of most metropolitan areas in the U.S.-not to mention plenty throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. And luckily for those planning impromptu trips (like a long Valentine’s Day weekend), renters don’t always have to commit to the whole week. Most owners will rent in 3-4 day increments, particularly during the off-season.

Here are a few other great reasons to plan a Vacation Home Valentine Weekend:

- Vacation homes are packed with luxurious amenities. Everyone knows romance is all about atmosphere, and vacation homes have hotel rooms beat hands-down in that department. They’re often fully loaded with exciting extras that you may not find even in your own home. (The owners want them to be rented after all.) You and your honey-bunny can snuggle beside the fireplace, or gaze at the stars together in the outdoor hot tub, or spend all weekend snuggling under luxurious bed linens. Who knows? You may even find a steaming sauna to zen out in together.
- Take privacy to a blissful new level. If you are seeking plenty of romance and “alone time” this Valentine’s Day-and who isn’t?-look no further than a vacation rental. Generally, they offer a sense of privacy and quiet that crowded hotels simply can’t compete with. “A vacation home is the perfect setting to light some candles, open a bottle of wine, take a luxurious bubble bath in a nice tub, and enjoy your sweetheart’s company in complete privacy and comfort,” notes Karpinski.
- Enjoy a romantic, (vacation)-home-cooked meal. Why not kick off your V-Day getaway with a delicious made-with-love meal? If you’ve ever tried to cook and eat in a hotel room, even one with a decent kitchen, you understand the hassle and improvisation that the whole ordeal “boils down” to. Not so with a vacation home. “One of the big perks of staying in a vacation home is the ability to prepare your own meals and savor them in comfort,” notes Karpinski. “Obviously it’s a big money saver, but it’s also fun. Most vacation rentals have all of the tools you could possibly need, like blenders, cookware, even spices. Just bring a picnic basket full of goodies and the kitchen will do the rest. Oh, and you can also fix your bacon & eggs after sleeping in-no more rushing around to try to make it to a lackluster hotel breakfast!”
- Or head to a hot spot restaurant. If you have your heart set on a romantic dinner at an in-demand restaurant, you could be sorely disappointed when V-Day crowds and noise spoil your dining experience. That’s less likely to happen when you book a vacation home for, say, Feb. 14th through 17th and plan your fancy dinner for the 15th. “Diners often find that food quality and service suffer during extremely crowded rushes,” notes Karpinski. “If you are dying to try out that vogue Italian bistro, make dinner reservations for the day before or the day after Valentine’s Day. You’re more likely to have a quiet, perfect dining experience. You can use your other three nights to explore attractions in the area or just hang out in your comfy vacation home!”

You can get away and still feel close to home. Valentine’s Day lends itself to quick, spontaneous, low-maintenance trips, which may mean you don’t want to stray too far afield. That’s okay. You can use a vacation home to get away even if “away” is less than a hundred miles from your own home. You will feel like you’ve escaped to another world-while still keeping a close proximity to your children and the sitter!

“Even if you don’t live in a prime vacation spot, you can find a nice home nearby,” promises Karpinski. “Even if you already live off the beaten path, you don’t have to search far and wide to find a cozy retreat. HomeAway.com can help you find a romantic spot nearby that you may have never even considered before.”

Christine Karpinski is the author of How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment (Kinney Pollack Press, 2007, ISBN: 0-9748249-9-2, $26.00) and Profit from Your Vacation Home Dream: The Complete Guide to a Savvy Financial and Emotional Investment (Kaplan, 2005, ISBN: 1-4195069-1-9, $19.95).

For more information, visit www.HomeAway.com.

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