I have been using VRBO & Home-Away for about 3 years now. I am a huge fan, I have always had fantastic experiences and being able to have a fully furnished house/apartment is worth its weight in gold – ESPECIALLY if you have children. I love having a full size fridge for milk, a stove & oven to cook and heat things up with and actual bedrooms with their own doors for naptimes.
If you’re traveling with children or a large family it is definitely worth your time and energy to search for an apartment rental. We have rented apartments and houses in Italy (Rome & Pizzo), Florida, California and Vancouver to name a few. If you are traveling with more than 2 people it is usually the same price or slightly cheaper than a hotel (as long as you’re not planning on renting a mansion).
I always look for places with good reviews, if there is a new listing in an apartment complex I tend to look for reviews of other apartments in the same unit. That will usually let you know if it’s worth the risk of staying in an unreviewed listing (everyone has to start somewhere!).
It is definitely a lot less stressful having your own space to go back to after a long day of sight-seeing. I do not miss any hotel amenities because the ability to go grocery shopping and have snacks, breakfasts and lunches ready to go instead of having to find a child friendly restaurant is much better than having someone make your bed every day (although with many rentals you can add this in).
Over the years, I’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of rental properties available in any given location – this is great & a bit daunting. You can literally look for days trying to find which one is right for you & your budget. Figure out what is at the top of your list (how many bedrooms, beach view or beach front, closest grocery store or bar?), and then start narrowing down your options.
And that’s my 2 cents on the best places to stay when traveling with children!! (or large groups). Happy Travels!