FAMILY VACATION PLANNING 101 – Updated Summer ’18 – When your Family Outgrows a Hotel Room – Rent a WHOLE HOUSE Cheaper!

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B”H many of us are blessed with large families, k”eh.

While some places to stay have adjoining rooms and suites, most hotels are limited in their ability to accommodate families larger than five, and many in fact can not even legally do so in one room due to fire regulations.

Even if you are lucky enough to find a place that can, you likely will be paying for 2 rooms – which quickly adds up to be very expensive!

So what’s a frum family to do?


Rent a house!

(The house above is an actual vacation home listing that you can rent in the Poconos, has wide open availability for July and most of August as of this posting!)

Rent a house?

How do you do that?

Yes, the unknown can be stressful, but take it from us, who have rented vacation homes multiple times, it is really a great option – even if just to liven things up in a completely different setting without the need for the additional space.

And the memories we’ve made were terrific!

(You can rent the above home this summer in New Hampshire!)

The coolest part? There is every kind of home available, from simple apartments, to nature-lover cabins, to giant chalets with indoor pools that can sleep up to 18 or more!

No, the kitchens aren’t kosher at sites like Homeaway, so if you don’t want to start with self-cleaning the ovens and kashering burners (really pretty straight forward when you cover the counters and the sink bottoms but ask your LOR), bring along a grill, a plug-in burner or two and a few pots and you’re good.

Of course, your best option may be FloridaKosherVillas or LakewoodHosts, offering beautifully furnished, fully kosher accommodations in prime areas (many with pools, jaccuzis and hot-tubs!) if that’s a concern for you.

For more exotic areas, you can try Homeaway with confidence – Just read reviews and contact the owner first to feel them out.

We’ve rented a log cabin on a lone mountainside in New Hampshire, a beautiful 17th century restored farmhouse on a working farm in the Shenandoah Valley Virginia, and a Huge Ski Chalet home near Mount Snow, Vermont.

(Yes, YOU can rent that awesome house with an indoor pool and 20 people capacity yourself!)

The bottom line was that in each case the cost was far less than hotels, and the ease of of a home and large property far outweighed the one downside of there being no daily room-service.

Ok, you say, but how do I find houses to rent?

There are a number of great resources for this; today we’ll focus on

Simply put in a city name, state, zipcode or popular location and your dates, and it will bring everything up for you.

You can even search by scrolling along a map!

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So whether you are looking for a great spot in the Pocono Mountains, Lancaster, New Hampshire, Vermont, Upstate New York, Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, or Niagara Falls, find your perfect vacation home and get looking!

Many homes will have great amenities, like pools, decks, game-rooms, and hot-tubs! Homeaway has tools for you to sort through those options as well.


A few Great Frum TIPS from the pros:

  1. Sort by the amount of people you need to sleep for faster searching.

  2. Read reviews. People are mostly nice but you got the odd character and you want your vacation to stand out for good reasons, not bad experiences.

  3. Double check your dates! I know, it sounds obvious, but the last thing you want to do is show up somewhere to find it occupied

  4. Watch out for cleaning fees. Many vacation home renters will have a small fee, or have reasonable expectations how clean you need to leave the place. Read the renters terms carefully, and perhaps confirm in an email to the owner

  5. Linens and towels are generally included, but it pays to double check.

  6. Ask your Rav about the kitchen – using the stovetop and oven is usually quite a simple kashering process

  7. Make a Kiddush Hashem! Represent the rest of us, and keep a great thing going by following the rules while having a great time!


Find a great place, save money, have fun, and enjoy!



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New Jersey residents, the Rowner family of nine loves to find great appropriate places to explore.

Among their other escapades, they’ve spent 28 days with an RV camper attached to their car through nine states with no plans (!), and acquired varying degrees of insanity and two turtles to show for it.

Recently featured in Mishpacha Magazine, they enjoy their noisy household, making great adventures and sharing their takeaways and stories with thousands of readers and followers on their website,, and the world’s largest online Jewish travelers resources.



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