For those of you who follow this blog or who know me, you know that I love to travel. With few exceptions, I love everything about it; staying in hotels, eating different foods, and meeting new people. Call me crazy, but I enjoy the anticipation that comes with packing for vacation, even though packing a family of six is overwhelming. And I even enjoy going through security at the airport. I know. Insanity!
At any rate, because traveling with four kids is so expensive these days, unfortunately most of the travel I do is in my mind. We usually plan and take a few trips a year, as vacation and budget allow. But if I had my way, we would be traveling a lot more. So for inspiration and in trying to make our travel dreams come true , I have joined just about every discount travel, members-only site I can find. Granted, opening up the glut of e-mails announcing the daily deals can sometimes be disheartening. But I like to think of it as window shopping the world. Browsing the high res photos of national and international resorts, spas, and private homes is both inspiring and motivating to me.
One of the challenges we face as a larger family, though, is finding accommodations that can fit all of us which is why we have turned to sites like Home Away and Airbnb. We have stayed in some very nice homes in and around Santa Rosa Beach, Florida using Home Away. And while you can find some great homes with reasonable rates all over the world (if you look and look and look), I’ve never felt like I’m getting a smokin’ hot deal. Therein lies the reason auction and flash sale sites are so popular. We want to feel like we’re getting a deal, right?
So you can imagine my excitement when I opened my e-mail today to learn that Jetsetter just launched Jetsetter Homes, their entry into the vacation home rental market. Here is why I am so excited about this launch:
1.) Generally speaking, renting a vacation home through other sites is dependent upon some type of communication with the owner of the property. I have learned through experience that there is a good chance I will only get a response to my inquiry from one owner, maybe two. As a result, I will narrow my list of homes down to about three or four properties and then send e-mails to each owner at the same time. Jetsetter Homes is one of only a few sites that offers live-booking which means you can book immediately and with confidence.
2.) Most of the photos on other rental sites are taken by the owners themselves. Need I say more? Jetsetter’s high res photos significantly reduce the risk that the property will not live up to your expectations. You know what you’re gonna get. But if the photos aren’t enough, check out the reviews.
3.) In the end, it all comes down to price, right? To even be included in a sale, Jetsetter requires that the property be offered at no less than 20% lower than it is on any other site. To get the real bargains, though, you’ll want to check out the homes included in their flash sales every week which are at rates between 20 and 50% off.
I’ve taken three trips through Jetsetter in the past 18 months, the last one being my recent trip to London. Greg and I snagged a 5-star hotel in central London for over 60% off. Still not convinced? More than half of the homes in Jetsetter’s 24/7 collection will be an extra 10% off through the next month.
Soooo….. Who’s up for a couples’ trip to Tuscany?!
Photos of Casa de las Olas, Senderlea, and Il Frantoio are courtesy of Jetsetter Homes.