Vacation rentals offer a homey and affordable place to stay while traveling, and you have options to save money when booking one. If you’re looking for a vacation rental in Winter Park, these tips could help you travel for less.

Make a Last-Minute Booking

Searching for last-minute bookings can help you score deals on your actual lodging costs. If a property would otherwise be unoccupied for one or more nights, the owner may be willing to offer a lower nightly rate or other perks in order to entice you to stay. They’d rather earn something off their property than have it sit empty.

You won’t want to use this strategy if you absolutely must stay somewhere on a specific date since waiting to snag a late reservation comes with no guarantee that a rental will be available. If you’re flexible, however, waiting for an open night can net substantial savings.

Thankfully, lots of vacation rentals are available in Winter Park. The large number of properties means you can more easily snag a last-minute deal, so you don’t have to wait too long if you’re using this tip.

Travel During Slower Times

Regardless of how far out you reserve your vacation rental, traveling during a slower period will help you secure a lower average nightly rate. As the number of people looking for accommodations in Winter Park decreases, the prices for vacation rentals usually goes down as well. You can travel during a slow time in a couple of ways.

First, you can reserve your vacation rental during the week rather than on the weekend. If you’re able to stay Monday through Thursday when most people are at work or school, you’ll generally find more availability among low-priced accommodations.

Second, you can travel during the shoulder- or off-season. These are times of year when a place is less popular, and most property owners will offer discounted lodging rates as a result. You’ll also benefit from smaller crowds while you’re visiting.

In Winter Park, spring and fall are the shoulder seasons. Skiing is either drawing to a close or just beginning, and summer activities are open but not yet in full swing.

Find a Vacation Rental With a Full Kitchen

Staying in a vacation rental that has a full kitchen will ultimately save you money. Even if the average nightly rate for a kitchen-equipped property is higher than what a property that doesn’t have a kitchen would cost, you’ll make up the difference in food expenses.

An in-property kitchen lets you prepare meals yourself, and every meal you prepare will result in significant savings. The average cost of a meal out is $12.75 per person, and ordering takeout tends to be about five times more expensive than cooking at home. You can design a meal plan to feed people at home for less than $2.00 per meal.

If you traveled alone and prepared only dinner in a vacation rental’s kitchen, you could save $10.75 per day based on these figures. Should you travel with a family of four and make all three meals in the kitchen, the savings would be $129 per day.

Of course, many people don’t find the concept of cooking for hours while on vacation too appealing. You don’t have to spend your entire time preparing food, though. Many dishes can be assembled quickly in a well-equipped kitchen, and frozen meals require little hands-on work. These meals might cost more than cooking from scratch, but they’re still less than eating out.

To see the last-minute vacation property bookings available in Winter Park, check out the selection at Access Winter Park.