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Privately-Owned Vacation Property Offers Outstanding Value to Renters

In November, 2004, my wife Terry and I visited Paris for seven days. We stayed in a postage stamp sized hotel room in the Latin Quarter about two blocks from Notre Dame Cathedral.

We toured the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Versailles, Sainte-Chappelle, the Arc de Triomphe, the Musee d'Orsay, the Louvre (two days), and went to a show at Lido's.

We discovered, or rather stumbled upon another highlight of our trip ? an open air market half a block from our hotel. The market operated only three days a week and featured the freshest meats, poultry, seafood, cheeses, breads, and produce from the outlying farms and countryside. There was a black wild boar, or at least the hide, on display in the meat section. Pheasants and other game birds, feathers in tact, hung from the rafters of the butcher shop

While we had many great meals including a few gourmets dining experiences in Paris, we missed the opportunity to prepare some of our own dinners. Both Terry and I love to cook and we have never seen such quality, fresh ingredients. But, we had no facilities to cook for ourselves. Nor did we have much space in our hotel room.

This is one of those times when you hit yourself on the forehead with the palm of your hand. "Why didn't we rent a fully furnished apartment or condo rather than a hotel room?"

This revelation has prompted me to revisit some of my own writings. And here is some of my advice from years past:

Your vacation property provides value, fun, and excitement not just for you and your family, but for anyone who might rent your property.

Vacationers will find a "home away from home" with all the privacy and convenience they expect.

Consider the vacation options: a resort hotel room, a cramped cabin on a cruise, or a privately-owned vacation house or condo at the destination of your choice.

Count the following among the many advantages a privately-owned vacation property has over a resort hotel room:

1. Savings on Meals ? A furnished kitchen allows vacationers to prepare many of their own meals. During a week's vacation, dining in, rather than going to restaurants for every meal translates into several hundred dollars in savings on food alone.

2. More Room ? A vacation home, condo, or villa usually has more space than a resort hotel room. Often, the condo or villa has a living room, dining room, kitchen, and perhaps a porch, balcony, or deck. When you're on vacation, it's nice to have some space.

3. Beautiful Furnishings ? Many vacation properties reflect the good taste and pride of the owners with fine furnishings and decorator touches.

4. More Privacy ? Often the homes, villas, and condos are more secluded, more private than a room in a hotel. In a resort hotel, you may have revelers roaming the halls at all hours.

5. Fully Equipped ? In addition to a furnished kitchen with microwave and refrigerator, the vacation property may have a washer and dryer. Guests can wash their golf, tennis, ski, or beach wear each day. Hidden benefit: less luggage to haul on the trip.

6. Mini Bar vs. Refrigerator ? Take a single beer from the hotel mini-bar or take a six-pack from the refrigerator at the condo. Guess what? The cost is about the same. Mini-bars provide great profit centers for hotels. Refrigerators, microwaves, VCRs, washers and dryers provide excellent convenience and savings for vacationers.

7. Better Rates ? Despite these many advantages, privately-owned vacation property often costs less per week or per day than a hotel room at the same resort.

We had a wonderful trip to Paris. But, when we return ? and I hope it is soon ? we will take the extra step of finding an apartment or condo to rent.

Copyright? 2005, Christopher Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author -- Chris Cain wrote "Maximize Your Resort Property Investment" (1984), "Road Map to Your Vacation Property Dream" (1998), and dozens of articles on vacation property. He is a nationally-known speaker on the topic and he sells vacation property in Orlando, FL. Chris bases his writings and counseling on his 16 year ownership experience of a seaside villa at Kiawah Island, SC. "Road Map to Your Vacation Property Dream," is available for $9.95 plus $4 S&H when ordered direct by calling toll-free 1-888-822-6657. Contact Chris Cain at vacvalue@aol.com.

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