Shoestring Dream Trip- Accomodations

There’s no place like home or at least someone else’s home. What’s your pleasure and what are you looking for out of your trip? That’s what this part of your trip really boils down to in the end. If you’re looking for the all-inclusive, meals at your request, drinks flowing from every angle, then you may have to pay for that luxury, but having all of your needs for the belly is pretty sweet! Or maybe you’re simply looking for a cheap hotel to stay in that is close to all of the action. That’s not a bad option either and the range of prices makes it easier to choose when you’re basing it on your wallet. But there’s another option out there to be considered. Your own private rental. You’d be surprised at how cheap some of these places can be and when you’re saving money on your trip plans, it could give you the extra cushion to make the rest of it quite enjoyable. There’s one other thing that private rentals bring to the table, freedom. When you invest in all-inclusive options, it’s easy to get sucked into the resort. What that means is it’s the goal of an all-inclusive to basically have all of the activities, food and amenities within reach. That part of it is great. Downside you ask? Everything is within reach. People tend to avoid leaving the resort and explore the location they’re in. Part of the fun of staying in a new place or out of the ordinary location is getting out and embedding yourself in the local area. Get out, sample the food, speak to the residents, immerse yourself in the culture and live like the locals live. You’d be surprised how close to luxury you can get at a fraction of the cost. Many rentals even offer private pools, hot tubs and, in many instances, fully stocked kitchens or at least all of the little stuff you may need on your trip. The owners sometimes live close enough to the place you’re renting to give you great trip ideas, and some will even take you out on the town, or in our case, take you out in their sailboat for an island hopping tour. A few of the sites out there are VRBO and Home Away , but there are many options depending on your destination. A quick google search can yield many results for just about any location across the globe. Most of the website companies also offer insurance so you’re not completely at the mercy of the owners.

Our effort to keep the trip to St. Thomas as low budget as possible included an island rental. Perched high on the mountainside in St. Thomas, we found our rental to have a down-island view of St. John and the British Virgin Islands, a view that any resort would kill to have. Plus, a private pool, full size balcony, stocked kitchen and all of the beach and snorkel gear we could ask for. One thing that swayed us to use the rental option is the review. To read what others say about a place is truly the best feedback when it comes to making your decision. Don’t avoid this step as I feel it will make or break your trip. Relying on the standard description on the accomodation site itself “can” lead to a bad experience. Trust the people who have stayed there before and if you’re renting a home, call and talk to the owner. Just feeling someone out can make you feel a bit more secure and can help you out with the other questions about a location you may need to know. Again, it all depends on what you’re looking for out of your trip. Your budget will dictate everything. So, what did the private villa end up costing us over the course of the week in the isalnds? How about $750 for the entire week. Not bad and definitely fit our budget when compared to all of the amenities we were being offered. If there’s a drawback, it would be that you must rent a car, but with dozens of beaches and the whole other island of St. John to explore, it absolutely made the most sense. And with a view like below, could I ask for much more?

Current Total for 7 day vacation to St. Thomas:
4 Airline Tickets at $260 per = $1040
1 Villa rental w/ down island view= $750
Current Total= $1790

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