Top Ten Reasons to Rent a Vacation House for Thanksgiving

by Lee Foster

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving sneaks up on me before I even have the Halloween decorations put away. Suddenly everyone is talking about food, the cost of airline reservations and who is going where for dinner.  Since I live in the city, work full time and am not a good cook, I have found the perfect solution for Thanksgiving...

Rent a house in some great vacation place that is driving distance from home.  In my case, the Outer Banks is a perfect.  There are hundreds of great houses for rent and North Carolina has been known to have a seventy-degree warm spell over the Thanksgiving holiday.

For the more adventurous, find a place to reach by ferry: Bald Head Island, Nantucket, Oxford or Sausalito are great choices.  Having a vacation rental house in a magical place makes even the shorter holiday seem long and the memories more lasting. When we travel for Thanksgiving, we take along our traditional Thanksgiving accoutrements - special serving dishes, placemats and napkins, holiday sweaters, family recipes and, of course, a football.

In David Letterman style, I offer you my Top Ten reasons to rent a vacation house for the Thanksgiving holiday. Counting down, reason number:

10.  There is Room for the Extended Family

There are lots of large houses available for rent and splitting the cost between the guests makes them a better deal than a hotel – plus, a hotel doesn’t offer common space for charades or pillow fights – not to mention everyone cooking their favorite food and dining as a family.

9.  Houses with Fireplaces & Mountain, Lake or Ocean Views

I live in the city, and my view is lovely, but not exactly expansive - my neighbor’s roof is eight feet away.  So I love having a broad expanse of nature outside my window. I find it very relaxing - a prime goal for my holiday.  I do have a fireplace at home, but it involves carrying in the wood, getting kindling started and leaving the front door open to create the right draft for the flue.  Turning on a gas fireplace and watching the ocean sounds better to me.

8.  Great Outside Activities at your Door

For some of us, Thanksgiving is the last gasp of outdoor activity before clothes involving down are required.  Hiking, kayaking, walking on the beach and the traditional family football game all lure me outside. Shopping in small villages at the beginning of the Christmas season is also a treat.

7. A real Bed for Everyone- No Air Mattresses

Notwithstanding the improvement in air mattresses, they do not compare with sleeping on a real bed. This perk also prevents a post holiday trip to the chiropractor.

6.  Multiple Televisions for Football Games & the Macy’s Parade.

Our family starts Thanksgiving Day with the Macy’s parade no matter how many times we have seen the giant Snoopy and the Texas marching bands. Having it on multiple screens is great.  When the football games start there will be no arguments over which ones to watch. They can all be on, usually with large screen viewing.  (This is time for non-fans to participate in #8.)

5. Personal Chefs Available

OK, its not traditional, but it is possible. The property manager of your house can let you know how to contact someone to do the cooking for you.  For those of you who find cooking to be the fun part of Thanksgiving, some houses have huge kitchens that let everyone cook, talk and drink in the same space. I have seen some kitchens on the Outer Banks that could be their own vacation.

4. No one has to clean his or her house for company

No one knows that the towels are not clean and the beds are not perfectly made at your house, because – no one is coming to your house! Think of the hours saved and the “clean up your room” arguments avoided.

3.  Off-Peak Pricing

If you have only rented a house “in season,” then you will be astonished at how reasonable off-season rates can be at Thanksgiving.  The savings can be as much as 50% for the off-peak pricing. Some houses even have additional discounts for Thanksgiving week.

2.  Everyone is a Guest

Being the host can be an exhausting honor. Even when everyone shares the cooking they don’t share cleaning the house and preparing for a group sleep over.  When you rent a house, everyone is a guest and no one person will be in charge of making beds, putting out towels, setting the table or cleaning up.

1. Maid Service when You Leave

How great is not cleaning up! You just drive off at the end of the holiday.  I don’t even need the other nine reasons!

Lee Foster is an architect and interior designer who has a website with vacation rental houses that have been selected by designers. She also writes a blog for vacation house home owners called www.rentyourvacationhouse.com.

4 COMMENTS

  1. "Everyone is a guest"...how perfect! "With enough TVs so each can watch what they want".... It's almost as if Ms. foster has been to our family's Thanksgiving gathering. These are excellent reasons to think about choosing a rental vacation home. I would add--"and there are no tourists at Thanksgiving."

  2. I especially liked the "real bed for everyone" idea and the "maid service when you leave" idea which is always such a hassle for the host, the CLEAN UP! You're exhausted enough with family and friends, but to have someone else clean up is so wonderful. And how wonderful to have a taste of the ocean when the beach is not crawling with tourists. Great ideas.

  3. Our family spent last Thanksgiving at the beach in a rental and created memories we will always share - it was so special! The escape and rest is so needed by November ...and sometimes it is just fun to go someplace at a different time of year (beach in November versus summer time!!) I love your TEN reasons!

  4. This is all so true! I was just starting to think about Thanksgiving and just starting to feel overwhelmed. Taking everyone to the beach with plenty of room, outdoor activities at your doorstep, and no cleaning up afterwards, sounds like a marvelous idea! Thanks for this piece and bringing these ideas all together!

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