Home Away from Home: The New Way To Travel

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Over the last few years, renting a home for your travel stays (as opposed to a hotel) has been on the upswing. There is something about feeling at home while you're not at home and getting to fully immerse yourself in another neighborhood that turns traveling into a different experience.

Not only do you get an insider's look at what it would really be like to live in the town or city you're visiting, but you also usually get the personal treatment from your host. You are often surprised with unexpected goodies, maps and lists of local places to hit, and the excitement of staying in a truly unique place full of personality.

To take a look on the other side, it can be quite lucrative for the host. I know about a half dozen people who rent out a room, an extra space, or vacated home/apartment and make a full-on second income. That doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. Once you get the housekeeping and up-keep part under control, the rest seems to flow easily. This is definitely one of my goals to pursue in the future (ya know, when I suddenly acquire an extra home out of thin air).

My husband took me on a surprise weekend getaway recently and rented a home overlooking Discovery Bay in Washington. The first sight as we woke and very, very leisurely got out of bed was the water, and we made our meals while enjoying the same view through giant picture windows in the rest of the house. It was simply magical, and it would have cost an arm and a leg to get that view at a hotel. The weekend couldn't have been more perfect.

So what do you think — do you like to stay in a home while away, or do you prefer a full service hotel? Does one make you feel more like you're on vacation? Let us know below.

(Image: Eleanor Büsing/Jacqueline's Historied Home on the Thames)

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.