Last week we shared with you the first 5 questions you need to ask when deciding whether to rent a vacation home or hotel when visiting San Diego. We left off our last post with 5 questions we think are imperative to helping you decide if you should book a vacation rental home or hotel when traveling to San Diego. In this post we add 5 more additional points worth considering.
(A recap of the first 5 questions can be found at the end of this post)
6. Would you prefer to be by the beach or walk to shops and restaurants?
Location, location, location. Certainly the closer you are to the beach the more you are going to pay regardless if it's a home or a hotel. But you will note that in places like North County, San Diego (Del Mar, La Jolla, Cardiff by the Sea, Encinitas, Solana Beach) there are only a limited number of hotels in these regions. And of the hotels that do exist, many outwardly appear to be 'by the hour' type places. Opting for a home that is a stone's throw to either the beaches or the shops, or both, is a much more sound option. The choices are nearly limitless and you'll be able to combine many of the factors listed in this top 10 list. Of course you could also stay in a downtown hotel and never need a car and walk to places like Little Italy or Gaslamp or East Village.
7. If you're a lively group, do you require privacy so as not to disturb neighbors (either above, below or next to you)
One of the greatest joys of vacationing with friends and family is having as few restrictions as possible on you. Things like noise, 24/7 use of outdoor facilities (pools, hot tubs, fireplaces) may be the deciding factor in choosing a home vs. a hotel. Note that many homeowners follow local noise restriction guidelines in their house rules. That means that after certain hours, they expect 'talking voices' if outside. That may be hard to overcome and in which case a hotel makes more sense. But note that many hotels don't allow use of their public spaces after hours either. The question becomes finding a home that is off the beaten path, does not have immediate neighbors and late night noise is not an issue. Always check with the home's owner first so that your deposit is not at risk.
8. Are you (or anyone in your group) light sleepers such that things like street noise from passer-bys, cars/taxis/busses, honking horns, delivery trucks, etc. are bothersome?
Most homes do not offer double paned glass, reinforced walls (beyond basic installation). If you're considering renting a space in an urban area where all night noises exist, then its imperative before booking that you ask such questions or making such statements as "we are light sleepers, is your home well insulated from street noise?" "How high up is your unit in your building?" "Is there anything we should know about your home to ensure we are a good fit when it comes from noise - whether that's neighbors, a stairwell just outside the unit, a high traffic walking area outside the home, etc." Most folks don't think to ask these questions but they are serious considerations and if you have doubts or the owner isn't being as transparent as you expect, take no chances, and go with a hotel.
9. Is your budget in the $100-$200/night or closer to $250-$500/night?
Let's face it, this very well could and should be consideration number one. Price is everything and if your budget is your first priority than it's safe to say you can find either a hotel or a home in your price range. The critical difference being on the low end. That means for $100/night you should expect a standard hotel room, with all the basic features and amenities. A home at that price might yield you something less reliable. For $120/night you could stay in a 2 bedroom home in South Park (next to the Zoo and Balboa Park) like this one but that's on the very high end for that price point - and in full disclosure a home that we manage. In sum, if you're below $125/night, chances are you'll fare better with a hotel.
10. Do you plan on staying for a night or two or a 3-7 days?
Getting a home for a night or two may not make sense for a host of reasons - the most likely being that most San Diego coastal homeowners dont make their homes available for less than 3 nights during certain parts of the year. If you're thinking about just a weekend getaway, your options may be limited to just hotels that can accommodate 1 and 2 night bookings.
Whatever you decide is the best fit for you and your family and friends, make sure to take all 10 of our points into consideration. There is nothing more important than time, and where you spend it as much as who you spend it with can make all the difference between a great and a not-so-great San Diego vacation.
Want more information on our San Diego properties? Check out some of our favorite listings here:
Downtown San Diego (2 Bedroom)
Cardiff by the Sea (3 Bedroom + hot tub + ocean views)
Encinitas (4 Bedroom + hot tub + ocean views)
Pacific Beach (4 Bedroom + Incredible Bay & Ocean Views)
Bay Park (2 Bedroom)
Mira Mar (4 Bedroom + Pool & Hot Tub)
Imperial Beach (2 bedroom)