The holidays are over, and now is the time to consider your 2018 family travel plans… where to next? As someone who loves traveling with their family, a new year means new adventures and places to see. I like to start fresh in January and look at the year and places we’d like to go, what’s feasible and best times to book.
Last year we used HomeAway to book a vacation house for the first time. It was so easy and we had a great experience. It also made a huge difference in our comfort as a family of 6 on vacation to be in a house. We liked the house so much, it was hard to not just re-book the same house again for this summer. But we decided we’ll try a new location, but stick with HomeAway for the rental. Now… decisions, decisions… where to go and when to book?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of HomeAway. As always, all opinions are my own. We honestly use HomeAway to travel and highly recommend it.
Let’s start with WHEN to book:
Best times to book a vacation rental for this year’s peak travel dates:
- Spring Break: Planning peaks in January. Choose a place to stay before January for the biggest selection.
- Summer: To get ahead of the demand, book in January. Not ready to plan just yet? April 1 is when the majority of places booked on HomeAway have been chosen.
- 4th of July Weekend: Lock down your stay before May 1 to get ahead of the curve.
- Memorial Day Weekend: Many book in January to kick off the summer. Need more time? Book before March for the biggest range of home sizes, locations and prices available.
Our first real vacation as a family of 6 was to Nantucket. We stayed with friends there. We have visited them a few other times and each visit we love Nantucket more and more. For info on great places to eat while on Nantucket, check out this post. After our last trip, it may actually be my #1 favorite vacation spot for families. You can stay close to town, for ease of walking places and close proximity to the children’s beach. You can also stay near one of the other beautiful beaches, have a little more quiet and just a short drive to town. Our friends are right near Dionis Beach and it’s wonderful! Here’s one cool rental in Sconset. For more Nantucket rentals, here’s a search I did: Nantucket Rentals.
I’ve been going to the Jersey Shore every summer since I was born. There are so many awesome towns to explore from Spring Lake down to Avalon. If you’re new to the Jersey Shore and need help pinpointing a great location to rent a house, feel free to reach out. I have visited quite a few of them over the years. We spend most of our time on Long Beach Island, which is super family friendly. It’s a narrow, barrier island so you get the beautiful ocean to swim in plus tons of fun things to do along the bay too. This photo is from a walk along the bay in Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island.
It was honestly the BEST location and the BEST house setup for kids (fenced in yard, 1 block from town, playroom upstairs and more). Note – there are 6 of us and we had PLENTY of room. If we go back we’d bring my parents. I think you could fit 2 families in the house together. If you want to read more about our trip to Maine, visit this post.
Here’s a link to the house: (Kennebunkport House) we rented and here are some other awesome rentals in that same area. One house I would love to stay in, is this one that’s right on the water in town.
I have seen so many incredible photos taken on the islands off of Georgia. One of those islands that is at the top of my travel bucket list is St. Simon’s Island. It looks quite, relaxing and like a perfect spot for families. A few houses I’d love to rent on St. Simon’s Island:
My sister in law lives in Charleston and we have been wanting to head down to visit. One spot close to Charleston that is supposed to be a beautiful beach spot for families is Seabrook Island. I have a close friend that visits there every year with her two little ones and love it. Her photos are always so beautiful and it’s definitely a spot I want to visit soon. We’d love to visit family in Charleston and then spend a few days on the beach. Here are 2 great family houses on Seabrook Island:
Last but not least: Watercolor, Florida. I have been reading and hearing about this area of Florida non stop lately. It’s definitely one of the new “must see” spots for families. The beaches look amazing and the house rentals are some of the coolest I have seen.
This house is gorgeous inside. If I ever design a beach house, I’d like the inside to look just like this house. It sleeps 8 for under $300 a night:
This would be an awesome house for a Spring Break with another family. It sleeps 11!
And check out this house. There’s a private pool and it sleeps 12!
A little more about HomeAway:
HomeAway is the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace with more than 2 million unique places to stay. There were so many amazing rentals in so many neat places. Luckily HomeAway’s site makes it easy to make “favorites lists” and stay organized. I made a list for each place we were considering, so I could easily go back and view the rentals in that town. I also liked being able to easily use the map along the side of the search results – it helps to see which rentals are close to the beach, town, etc.
Wherever you travel with your family this year: have a fun, safe, memorable adventure! Let us know if you find any great HomeAway rentals. We love to hear where other people stay and visit!
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