How Booking the Cheapest Vacation Rental Might Actually Be Costing You Money, According to a TV Travel Host

published Jun 27, 2021
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When looking for a vacation rental, you can come across a gem of a listing that has everything you ever dreamed of — high-end design and tech, an infinity pool, a balcony overlooking scenic views, etc. But once you see the price tag, that fantasy quickly fades to move on to something that you feel is more realistic. But according to Megan Batoon, a DIY designer and host of Netflix’s “The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals,” booking that seemingly expensive rental could actually save you money.

Booking your stay is just one piece of the travel puzzle: you have to figure out what you’ll do for meals, what activities to book, and how the heck you’re going to get everywhere. That’s why Batoon says that if you pick the right luxury vacation rental, it could actually end up cheaper than if you were to do a rental that’s more affordable up front but doesn’t offer the extra amenities that you’ll end up paying for.

“A lot of people equate budget with not breaking the bank, but I think people forget to add into the equation the value. So when you’re thinking about a luxury property, it can become a budget situation based off of the amount you’re getting,” Batoon told Apartment Therapy.

So instead of seeing the dollar signs and immediately writing off the property, look at the amenities: what does the vacation rental offer that you would need to usually pay for outside of the booking fee? Often, luxury rentals come with snacks or meals, pools and hot tubs, and sports equipment that lets you take engage in activities involving the surrounding environment, whatever that might look like.

Another way to make a luxury rental more worth it: bring along the maximum amount of people. It might seem like an obvious tip, but it can be easy to forget that the couch pulls out into a sleeper, and you can negotiate who sleeps where later for an all-around cheaper price.

One more monetary benefit: if you stay at a luxury vacation rental that is all inclusive and has everything you need — from food to activities and onsite amenities — that also means you don’t need to pay for transportation to and from places. Another win for the bank account.