Vacation rentals give travelers the chance to live like a local, and often a lot more. Why bunk down in a generic hotel room when you could take up residence in a midcentury modern home in Palm Springs or try Metabolist living, an organic-inspired architectural style from the 1960s and 70s, in Tokyo? Vacation rentals at their best combine truly unique accommodations and a lower price tag than most hotels. But with great reward comes some risk as well. Travel + Leisure evaluates rental properties (and the companies that facilitate those rentals) based on ease of use, renters’ protections, and safety, as well as aesthetic appeal, location, and value.
Today, vacation rentals can be found anywhere travelers would like to go. Explore Ibiza from a candy-colored apartment, or London from a set of converted stables. Take killer pictures from an eco-friendly cabin on Easter Island or a 14th-century Italian home that sits on top of a network of caves. Sleep inside a geodesic dome, or go retro with an Airstream.
Apartment rentals work especially well for travelers planning to stay in one place for more than a few days. These homes away from home often provide a kitchen to cook in, which cuts down on the cost of eating out, and sometimes even a washing machine. And, rather than getting stuck in a tourist district, travelers who arrange for apartment rentals often find themselves in residential neighborhoods, giving them an alternative, and often more immersive, look at the city they are staying in.
Whether you’re seeking the perfect pad for a weekend in Edinburgh, a beach house on Fire Island to split with your friends, or a quirky backdrop for your social media updates, T+L is on the pulse of this rapidly changing field. Check back for the most recent news and recommendations.