While renting a villa for your family vacation can be much cheaper than a hotel stay, especially for a larger family, the total price can still be eye-watering. There are ways however to get a luxury family holiday for less using these strategies to save money on your villa rental.
Go in the off-season
Most vacation areas have a high-season and a low-season with rates that vary accordingly. If your group has the flexibility to go during a non-peak time even the rack-rate for the rental can be as much as 50% less than peak times. Shifting your vacation just a few days can save you thousands of dollars.
Rent directly from the owner
The vast majority of villa rentals are owned by an individual, not a company or hotel chain. This gives you the opportunity to negotiate the price in a way you can’t with a resort hotel room. However, in order to do this, most likely you need to be dealing directly with the owner. Many villas are listed with multiple villa agents but can also be rented directly from the owner. Luxury villas frequently have their own dedicated websites which is the ideal way to contact the owner of the property directly. While villa rental agencies can provide peace of mind and assist with planning, they often take up to 30% of the rental fee. If you go directly to the owner to book, you may be able to negotiate a discount as they will be able to keep more of the rental fee.
Maximize your occupancy
Ensuring that your party size matches the maximum occupancy of the villa will make your vacation budget go further. While some villas will rent out a portion of the villa if you don’t need the entire house, you will likely be getting a better value if you are occupying all of the bedrooms and beds. You are also more likely to be able to negotiate a discount from the listed rate if you are renting the entire villa.
Rent only the rooms you need
While you are usually better off renting the size of house you need, some owners will rent out a portion of their home for a lower rate. If your heart is set on a certain villa but don’t need all of the bedrooms it has, ask if you can rent what you need for a lower rate. Particularly for staffed villas, it may be possible to do a partial rental for less. Homes that have guest houses or wings that can be sealed off often have this option, especially for off-season rentals.
Consider alternate locations
If you are looking for a certain type of experience, say a Caribbean escape or a Florida beach vacation, being flexible on location can save you a substantial amount of money. Jamaica is a much cheaper island to rent a villa on than Barbados or St. Lucia. Croatian villas are less than those in the Greek Isles. A vacation rental in Marco Island, Florida is likely to be cheaper than a similar property in Naples, Florida. In addition, some islands and locations have additional taxes on hotels or villa rentals and some locations do not. These taxes can significantly impact the final cost of your vacation so make sure you factor them in and compare across locations.
Negotiate a better rate
Getting a 10%, 20%, or even 30% discount off the listed prices is definitely possible when renting a privately owned villa. There is no reason you can not try to negotiate a discount off the listed price for almost any property. If you are going in the off season you are more likely to be able to get a discount. I have gotten up to 30% off the listed rate by negotiating directly with a villa owner. You can also make offers through an agent, but you may find that some agents are not willing to engage in negotiations.
Hopefully by employing one or more of these strategies you can save money on your villa rental and get a fabulous luxury family vacation for much less!