HomeAway is one of the country’s preeminent vacation rental home companies. Besides vacation rental homes, there are extended stay apartments, swanky villas, cabins, and even ski chalets on the HomeAway rentals list. A HomeAway executive told me that the vacation rentals on HomeAway.com range from “condos to castles,” which is a pretty great way to sum up their vast inventory. I have a lot of respect for what HomeAway does; renting a home helps us fit traveling into our budget, and it’s a lot more comfortable having the room to stretch out in a house. Vacation home rentals make a lot of sense for family travel. They are more affordable than hotel rooms and suites, and the full working kitchens help save a bundle on meals. For those of us whose children just want a bowl of cereal for breakfast, having a box of Cheerios and a gallon of milk in the kitchen is a morning “crisis averter.”
I’ve been enjoying a weekend in Seattle, staying at the Shirley Marvin. This is a lovely HomeAway small extended stay apartment building — only four vacation rental apartments here — in Columbia City. I’m staying here with the HomeAway Truckster gang, who have been road tripping across the United States all summer in the glorious, wood-paneled, avocado-green station wagon from National Lampoon’s Vacation. Fans of the Chevy Chase movie have been flipping out when they see us drive by. It’s really been an interesting weekend (at least when I see people pointing and laughing at me, I know why, for once). This Truckster road trip is part of HomeAway’s big summer promotion; anyone who takes a photo of themselves with the Truckster (or on vacation), and adds it to HomeAway’s Facebook page, is entered to win one of three $5,000 HomeAway vacations.
Seattle is a great city. I’m feeling very lucky this weekend, because several travel bloggers who live in Seattle have come to dinner, show me around (I got embarrassingly nerdy when I saw the Space Needle, and the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market), and be the generally cool raconteurs I know them to be.
Thank you, HomeAway, for the opportunity to explore a really fun city with you, and stay in one of your rentals. With over 180,000 HomeAway vacation rental homes in 120 countries, there are plenty more vacations I could take with stays in comfortable homes. I’m certain I’ll be seeing you again.