Holidays are something people always look forward to like a breath of fresh air. But if the option of how to spend them includes travelling, there are a lot of issues to consider: destination, date, transport, food and, to round it off, accommodation.

Hotels have always been the most helpful and reliable option. In recent years, however, holiday homes have become very popular. But what’s the difference between both?

Because of their location, we can find hotels everywhere: in the heart of the city, in tourist areas, by the sea… Which makes them accessible. Holiday homes can also be found where hotels are located, but on the other hand they are also available in destinations outside the tourist areas, providing an added value of privacy and exclusivity.

Size also matters, which is why a hotel is not the same as a holiday home. The size of a standard hotel room is designed to accommodate between 2 and 4 people, while a holiday home offers much more space than a single room, even if it is a suite; depending on the size of the house, it can accommodate from 2 people to, say, a large group of friends with about 10 people.

The issue of privacy and timetables also needs to be taken into account. In a hotel you have to stick to cleaning, breakfast and meal times, and share common areas such as the pool, garden and other possible resting areas with hordes of people and other tourists.

Holiday homes offer much more freedom as, despite having to comply with certain rules for housekeeping and follow arrival and departure times, guests can enter and leave at will and, in most cases, have their own private courtyards, gardens and swimming pool.

The price is not the same either. A hotel room includes accommodation and common areas, but will vary depending on extra services such as meals. The price of a holiday home will be relatively cheaper, since you don’t have to pay for the meal service; if you go in a group, the expenses will be shared out; it usually includes a final cleaning service and… you have more privacy!

The question of food is vital. Compared to the holiday home, the travel budget is affected differently by paying extra per meal or having three meals “away from home” when staying in a hotel. The holiday homes have their own kitchen, which on the one hand allows you to save on meals in restaurants and on the other offers the possibility of enjoying great banquets and meals at home, or, perhaps, cocktails and a barbecue with family and friends.

If pets are part of the family, holiday homes are the ideal place to take them as most pets are welcome. This is not the case with hotels; unless they are “pet-friendly”, many do not admit them or charge extra for them.

When it comes to travel, washing clothes is another element to consider. Holiday homes are usually equipped with a washer/dryer, which avoids unnecessary dry-cleaning or laundry costs. The hotels, on the other hand, have laundry services for an extra cost depending on each hotel.

Hotels can also charge for other services, such as car parking or watching movies or international channels. In a holiday home this does not happen; the houses have parking spaces and often the owners of the house have games, movies, DVDs, satellite TV and much more so that the guests do not lack anything.

If you are thinking about travelling and looking for accommodation, compare and seriously evaluate both options. When it comes to traveling, a hotel offers many amenities, but choosing a holiday home will make you feel like you’re in your own home away from home. It also gives you the opportunity to get to know first-hand the culture and the hidden corners of your destination, as well as interact with the locals as if you were one of them.

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