Like many military families, we like to travel, especially when we’re stationed overseas. But with six people in our family, traveling is expensive! We are always searching out ways to enjoy our trips without spending any more money than necessary. The two places that are generally easiest for us to save money are on lodging and food, and we solve both those problems when we’re able to rent an apartment or house through VRBO or Airbnb.
Not only can we find a place with three bedrooms, which is really helpful when you have light sleepers and also people who snore, but having a kitchen means that we can eat many of our meals at the apartment, saving a ton of money. Even if we eat just one meal a day at home, we’re easily saving $60 per day, and it can go up a lot more than that. (Have I ever told you about our $200 lunch in Venice? Probably not, I’m trying to forget.) And honestly, we’re often a lot happier to just put together some simple pasta after busy days of traveling.
As we all know, the internet is full of stories about weird things that happen in Airbnbs, and we have teenage girls, so we do take precautions for our safety. We only rent from folks with a long, positive history, and we rent the entire property, not just a couple of bedrooms. So far, we haven’t had any bad experiences, and some places have been utterly amazing, like the historic two story apartment we rented in Edinburgh or the tiny flat in Paris, with one double bed stacked on top of the other one like oversized bunk beds.
If you’ve never tried renting an apartment or house for your vacation, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s helped our family save the expense of renting multiple hotel rooms and eating every meal in a restaurant, which means more money for other purposes (or even just more traveling!)
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