The Traveler’s Guide to Home Sharing

Whether you’re new to short-term rentals or an old hand, you can improve your experience by following these tips.

Asian woman welcomes black couple into her house home accommodation for their holiday vacation trip
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For a twist on your next vacation, swap an ordinary hotel room for a rustic cottage along the banks of a secluded river, a tree house nestled at the summit of a volcano or an open-air villa on a private beach. Websites offering short-term rentals put homes all over the world up for grabs, meaning you can access creature comforts while in unfamiliar territory, experience life as a local or spend a few nights enjoying luxurious amenities—such as an infinity pool overlooking the ocean—that would normally appear out of reach. Because home rentals are scattered throughout residential areas, the sites can also be your only source of accommodations if you want to stay in the suburbs, sleep in a quiet neighborhood away from tourist zones or test-drive a retirement location.

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Miriam Cross
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Miriam lived in Toronto, Canada, before joining Kiplinger's Personal Finance in November 2012. Prior to that, she freelanced as a fact-checker for several Canadian publications, including Reader's Digest Canada, Style at Home and Air Canada's enRoute. She received a BA from the University of Toronto with a major in English literature and completed a certificate in Magazine and Web Publishing at Ryerson University.