When booking a holiday, many people will naturally book their accommodation in a hotel, or book a package holiday where their room is included. The alternative is to book a holiday home or apartment, either privately with the owner, through a rental company or resort, or as part of a package deal. This can often work out cheaper both in terms of the rental cost, and in terms of the amount of money you will spend during your trip.
There are a few ways of booking your apartment and each has its advantages and drawbacks. Firstly, it is possible to book an apartment, villa or holiday home as part of a package deal. As a family, this is often the best, and most cost-effective, way to book. You can book through a well-known, trusted company and a certain standard of accommodation will be guaranteed. For standard holiday destinations this is often the best thing to do. It takes the hassle out of booking and flights often work out cheaper when booked this way, as can the accommodation. The downside comes if you are looking to go somewhere a little more unusual, or when you would prefer not to be on a resort complex. Package holidays are designed to appeal to the masses. If you would prefer to avoid said masses, this method isn’t for you.
The second way of booking your apartment is to go directly through the owner. Unless you know and trust the apartment owner, this can be somewhat risky. You don’t know whether the apartment is kept clean and tidy or whether all amenities are in working order. That said, if you know the owner or you are willing to take a risk, booking your holiday home this way can be a great way to save money. People who use their own holiday homes regularly will usually look after them well; this means that their home is likely to be maintained to an excellent standard. They will often see any rental money they get from it as a bit of a bonus, so they are unlikely to overcharge you for using it.
The other way that you could book your accommodation is to do it through the resort where the holiday home is located. If on a resort, apartments are usually maintained by a management company. This means that a good standard of cleanliness can be expected. Both the apartment and the resort will be kept to a very particular standard in order to satisfy both the owners and any rental users. Renting through a resort is slightly more expensive than renting directly from the owner, but can still work out significantly cheaper than staying in a hotel. Additionally, you will have the option of self-catering. This can save you a fortune in comparison to eating in a restaurant every day.
Despite the risks, I would advise thoroughly researching your options in the location that you want to visit and putting some serious thought into renting a holiday home or apartment rather than staying in a hotel.