June 5, 2012 -- intro: You might already know that vacation rentals often offer more space for significantly less money per person in your party. Plus, if you have access to a kitchen, you can save money by preparing some meals at home instead of eating out all the time. (And really, if your kids only want to eat mac and cheese from a powdered mix, you might as well make it yourself instead of paying restaurant prices.)
But what might be news even to seasoned renters is that vacation rentals are not just for beach towns. We combed through listings on TripAdvisor.com to find 10 great vacation rentals in destinations that might surprise you. Click through the next few pages for rental homes in unexpected destinations.
quicklist: 1 category: title: Las Vegas url: text: If you want a luxurious trip to Vegas but don't want to deal with the craziness and traffic of the Strip, consider a rental home slightly away from the center of the action. This property has three master suites (so, as one reviewer who traveled with friends put it, "we didn't have the traditional debate about who got the 'best' room"), a huge kitchen with high-end appliances, and a private pool.
Three bedrooms; sleeps 10. Pricing: $295/night; $1,700/week; $4,500/month.
quicklist: 2 category: title: Miami url: text: This 31st-floor condo has a balcony that draws raves from many reviewers—e.g., "My girlfriend's eyes teared up at the unbelievable view… Looking down at the bay we saw manatees, stingrays and even a sandshark."
Two bedrooms; sleeps six. Pricing: $315/night; $1,800-$2,750/week.
quicklist: 3 category: title: London url: text: You'll have to reassure your cabbie that yes, you really do mean Kennington, not Kensington, because this three-bedroom flat isn't in a typical tourist neighborhood. But travelers love living like a real Londoner, and according to one reviewer, the flat is "totally equipped with every single tool that you might imagine."
Three bedrooms; sleeps six. Pricing: $332-$379/night.
quicklist: 4 category: title: Paris url: text: This little pied-a-terre in Montmartre will let you pretend you're a real Parisian. "The master bedroom is huge even by American standards," wrote one TripAdvisor traveler, who noted that upon their arrival, the owner "took the time to walk us around Montmartre to show us the patisseries, grocery stores, pharmacists, restaurants and location of the train station."
Two bedrooms; sleeps four. Pricing: $217-$255/night; $1,403/week; $5,100/month.
quicklist: 5 category: title:Vancouver, B.C. url: text: This rental is a suite with a private entrance on the first floor of the owner's home. Families with small kids are welcome. "Our two-year-old was… delighted to find a fantastic selection of toys and books," one reviewer wrote. And another TripAdvisor traveler observed, "The neighbourhood is a gem—walkable, good public transportation, easy access to downtown, good shopping."
Two bedrooms; sleeps six. Pricing: $172-$295/night.
quicklist: 6 category: title: Cannes, France url: text: The beach is "literally out the back door" of this apartment, and it's also just a short walk to the center of Cannes. A sunny balcony is perfect for al fresco meals, there's A/C for hot summer days, and many reviewers say the owners are exceptionally helpful. And according to one traveler, "in an exclusive part of the world, it represents brilliant value."
Two bedrooms; sleeps four. Pricing: $1,084-$1,594/week.
quicklist: 7 category: title: Barcelona, Spain url: text: This smaller but spotless apartment is a great deal, providing you don't mind climbing steep steps (one reviewer counted—there are 72 of them). One TripAdvisor traveler wrote, "the real star is the terrace, with its sun loungers and table where you can have a romantic dinner, sunbathe, or stargaze, all while catching a nice breeze."
One bedroom; sleeps two. Pricing: $96-$147/night; $669-$1,026/week.
quicklist: 8 category: title: Budapest, Hungary url: text: Larger groups can get a great deal at this spacious three-bedroom, centrally located apartment (it's right next to the Great Synagogue). TripAdvisor reviewers give the management high marks for service, too. As one traveler wrote, the owner's mother "was waiting for me with all kinds of tips, maps and a welcoming bottle of Hungarian wine."
Three bedrooms, sleeps 14. Pricing: $26-$102/night; $153-612/week; $663-$2,652/month.
quicklist: 9 category: title: West Hollywood url: text: "It was three times the size of the hotel room we initially booked but $70 cheaper a night," wrote one TripAdvisor traveler who stayed at this highly-rated West Hollywood rental. Reviewers love the location ("Chateau Marmont is basically across the street"), the pool, and the included on-site parking.
Two bedrooms; sleeps five. Pricing: $289/night; $1,895/week; $6,000/month.
quicklist: 10 category: title: Rome url: text:Try a stay at an apartment in one of Rome's less-touristy neighborhoods for a taste of what it's really like to live in the Eternal City. This quiet two-bedroom flat is a 10-15 minute walk to the Colosseum or Termini Station. And the owners have been known to go above and beyond the call of duty to help their guests—one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote that they helped "fetch my son to a tourist hospital at about 11 pm without hesitation."
Two bedrooms; sleeps five. Pricing: $63-$176/night.