Everyone has a different view of the ideal vacation. For some, it's roughing it at a campground on the beach or in a national park. For others, it's finding the best luxury resort and being pampered for days on end, until it's time to return to reality. Others seek family-friendly hotels that offer amenities suitable for those traveling with kids. Some travelers, however, prefer none of the above.
For many families, couples, and individuals, the best way to enjoy a relaxing time away is with a stay in a vacation rental of their choice at or near their chosen destination. Most vacation locales, the Tampa Bay area included, host a variety of vacation rental options, from condos to modest single homes to villas loaded with every possible amenity.
More and more individuals are discovering the advantages of booking vacation rentals for their yearly excursions, choosing this option over hotels, motels, and resorts. But why? For most, the answers are simple.
First of all, choosing a Tampa area vacation rental instead of a traditional lodging option provides you with a more private vacation. While some travelers thrive on being with others, vacation rentals allow families or individuals to be removed from the crowds if they wish. Furthermore, family members can rent multiple bedroom and bathroom units that provide much more privacy than a hotel room, especially if you're traveling with kids or extended family.
Price is often another factor. Even the nicest vacation rental often costs less per week than a fancy hotel room. That allows more money for other things, like sightseeing and recreation. Vacation rentals also help families save money spent on eating out by providing full kitchens that allow for meal preparation, if so desired.
Locating a vacation rental in the Tampa Bay area isn't difficult, especially in communities on the waterfront where investors have purchased property in hopes of renting it out to those visiting the area. What kind of rental you find will largely depend on what part of the metro area you wish to stay. The beach areas, including St. Pete Beach, Clearwater, Anna Maria Island, Indian Shores, and many of the other popular vacation areas on the barrier island, are strewn with condominiums, many of which are rented out all year long. Condos range in size from studios to 3- or 4-bedroom models. Most include a full or partial kitchen and many are located in developments that provide amenities similar to those in nice hotels, including pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, fitness centers, restaurants, and more.
Also available in these areas are small detached beach bungalows, many located within walking distance of the water. Originally purchased as weekend homes for locals, some of these homes have been in the same family for generations and provide a cozy and comfortable place to stay while at the beach. These Tampa area vacation rentals may not have the amenities of the condo complexes but, nonetheless, provide private accommodations for those desiring an extended stay in the area.
If your idea of the perfect vacation is a stay in a luxury villa, there are plenty of those located in Tampa's more upscale areas, including parts of St. Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, Destin, Sarasota, and other communities where wealth is apparent. These wonderful homes are often waterfront – either on the Bay or the Gulf – and provide multiple bedrooms and baths, formal living rooms and dining rooms, dens, and often others amenities such as a game room, pool, hot tub, baths with Jacuzzi tubs or saunas, tennis courts, and more. If you can't afford to rent one of these on your own, they're often large enough to accommodate multiple families or extended family.
Exactly how much you'll pay for a Tampa vacation rental will depend on the size and location of the rental and the time of year you choose to visit the area. Expect to pay more for rentals during the winter, when snowbirds from other parts of the country are heading to Florida to experience the warm weather. In the summertime, rentals can be very affordable for those who don't mind a little Florida heat and humidity. However, Gulf breezes generally keep the area comfortable, so visiting during the warm weather can be a good deal for families and others who can't travel during the winter.
For those seeking to spend the winter in the Tampa Bay metro area, rentals for the entire season are indeed available and renters will often reap good discounts for booking a few months as opposed to a week or two. However, weekly rentals are available during the winter as well.
In the summer, weekly rentals are more typical, but visitors can also find units or homes that are available from just a few days to a month or more at a time. Again, typically, the longer the rental period, the more money you'll save.
It's easy to browse Tampa area vacation rentals on a variety of different websites, or for those who prefer to deal directly with a person knowledgeable about the region, local realtors often boast a long list of rentals available for various seasons of the year.