Vacation homes usually appear in privately owned vacation properties (vacation real estate), so the range of accommodation is wide and inconsistent. The property is a fully equipped property, such as a vacation condo, apartment, cottage, vacation housing or single-family-style home. Farm stay can include participation on a working farm, or a more standard rental that happens to be co-located on a farm. The client/traveler organizes to rent the vacation rental property for a specified period of time. Some rent on nightly basis similar to hotel rooms, although the more common vacation rental industry practice is typically weekly rentals.
Vacation properties for sale can range from low-cost vacation condos to luxurious, expensive private vacation real estate in the world's most appealing locations, some with price tags of many thousands per night and all the facilities you would find in any luxury accommodation (fully staffed, private beaches, boats, chefs, cooking lessons, etc.) to cater to the guests. Some vacation homes for sale, especially apartments, offer many of the same services hotels provide to their guests, e.g., front desk check-in, 24-hour maintenance, in-house housekeeping, and assistant service. Vacation Condos for sale also provide most of these features.
Consumers unknown to the concept of a vacation rental may mistake it with the seemingly similar, but noticeably different, timeshare. A timeshare can still be leased as a vacation rental should an owner decide to put his owned week(s) on a vacation rental program. Numerous timeshare resorts offer quarter ownership, which provides 13 weeks of use or rental.
A timeshare is a piece of real estate—often a completely furnished vacation condo—that is jointly shared by several owners. While different types of timeshare ownerships occur, in general, each owner holds a portion of the responsibility, along with the right to a section of time in which he or she is allowed sole use of the property. Timeshare resorts allow economically qualified guests to rent and tour their unowned properties and then make those properties obtainable to the guest for purchase. Timeshare owners can also choose to bank their week with and exchange company such as RCI, or rent the unit.
Traditional Hotels commonly do not incorporate vacation properties. However, some modern resort developments include shared ownership elements such as vacation homes and vacation condos that can be either rented through the hotel or rented out by their owners either directly or through companies.
Vacation real estate for sale is arranged either direct with the owner or via an agency, usually via the internet. Many owners posses their own websites, but most also use listing services, which display property insight and photos provided by the homeowner. Considering each property owner has his or her own deposit and payment requirements, termination policies, key-pick-up procedures, etc., a guest contacts the property owner exclusively in order to book.
In contrast vacation rental agencies manage reservations and charging on the home owner's behalf, and there is no direct communications between the guest and the owner. The fee or commission charged to an owner by an agency is higher than that charged by a listing.