Frugal Living Idea – Renting Vacation Housing Directly Through Owners with

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While reading several of my favorite personal finance blogs recently, I came across several articles that mentioned the idea that you can save a great deal of money through renting vacation housing directly from owners through the website (Vacation Rental by Owner). See the links below to read the articles at Get Rich Slowly, Five Cent Nickel, and My Money Blog. on MyMoneyBlog

While I was reading these articles, I began to wonder just how much money could be saved in buying vacation rentals through this direct channel. This will be the topic of today’s posting. Let’s get started!

How do the prices compare between buying direct on and through normal channels?

To answer this question, let’s compare rates for like properties/lodging at two destinations that I have visited in the past 3 years or so: Snowshoe, WV and Panama City Bean, FL.

To simplify our search and ensure equal comparison, we will use the same range of dates for a week this coming August (August 16-23, 2010). Even though these dates may not be the peak travel times to either of the destinations, it will simplify our analysis.

For Snowshoe, WV, we will assume that we have our hearts set on staying at the Whislepunk Condos (right by the ski/mountain bike trails.

  • Using, I found that the weekly rental rate for this time period at Whistlepunk is $744. See the link below for more details.
  • Using Snowshoe Resort’s website, I found that the weekly rental rate for this time period for the same property is $1600. See the link below for more details.
    • Whistlepunk 2 bdrm Condo – Snowshoe, WV

For Panama City, FL, we will assume that we have our hearts set on staying at the Summit Condominium Resort, a mainstay for college spring breakers across the country. This resort is located right on the Gulf of Mexico, with great views of the waves.

So, by the evidence found in the investigation above, we would have saved $850 and $125 by booking the Snowshoe and Panama City condos at, respectively.

While you may not always see results as dramatic as these, I think this clearly shows that I will seriously consider using next time I am needing to book housing for a trip.

How about you all? Have you had experience renting directly from owners for vacation housing? How did the price compare? Higher? Lower? 

How was the overall experience?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    also try finding vacation rentals at — map based interface makes it easy to use…

  2. Great tip there! Thanks for reading! I just checked out, and it looks like a great resource.

    That is the one complaint I do have about – it is fairly overwhelming to use to narrow down from the hundreds of choices in a destination where to go.

    Have you rented properties through Rentalspot? Is the process pretty easy?

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