What Are Vacation Rental Properties?

Vacation rental properties are short term rental properties that many people use for vacationing in when they are at a spot away from home. It is basically renting out an apartment or other space, such as a house, condo or resort area to those that are visiting the area for a short period of time that need the space. They generally come fully-furnished with everything that a visitor would need during their stay. It is a great alternative to a hotel and it is also usually more upscale and private. Starting a vacation rental business is an investment that many consider undertaking, as the vacation rental can provide income year after year.

In the U.S., it is known as a vacation rental but it is also called a villa rental or even a villa holiday by those in Europe. Holiday homes, cottage holidays and gites are also other terms used for these short term rental spaces.

Types of Vacation Rental Properties

There are many different kinds of vacation rental properties out there. With many of them expanding across a wide range of types, there is no set guideline on what ‘type’ of vacation property you can invest in and then rent out.

Here are some of the options available, though they can be just about anything, the sky’s your limit when investing in vacation rental properties:


Vacation Rental Properties - villas

These are detached from the rest of the villas in the area to provide more privacy, are upscale and provide those staying within them with the beauty that you would only get from a home in the Roman time period. They’re usually found on ocean-sides or other beach-like areas.


Houses are regular homes that are built with one or two floors. They can be in towns, off in the fields, in a suburb, middle of a city or even right on the coast. They are usually larger when rented out and might even just have a room for rent inside a home, which is what is common with Bed and Breakfasts.

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Apartments are generally around, on top of, next to, below other people in a building that is shared space. They can range in size and can be comfortable for a number of people. They have lower upfront costs and come maintenance-free.


A cabin as a vacation rental property

Cabins are small homes that are built from logs and typically are found in the woods. They’re great for having a wood-burning fireplace and for privacy. They are usually one story and great for the mountains.


These are charming smaller homes that usually only consist of one floor. Although, if they have a second floor, it is generally made in the attic of the home. They are ideal for older visitors, young families or those that just want a quaint, quiet experience.


Chalets are a lot like cabins, but they’re built to be stronger and more rugged, they’re cuter and provide more upscale amenities that a rugged cabin generally does not provide. They’re known to be around hillsides.


vacation rental properties - Vacation rental cottages

Found mostly in rural locations, these little homes are often just one story and do not have a second floor. They do not hold many people and can be made from a number of items. They are perfect for a getaway at a beach or even just to be out in the woods.


Also known as a condo, this is a style of home that is attached to other homes within a community. There are usually amenities that can be shared, are maintenance-free and are upscale. They range in size but are often found in warmer climates and by oceans.


This is a large, impressive and upscale house that can hold many people all at once. This is a place where everyone would go to enjoy their time away.


Vacation rental properties - studios

Studios are small room-like structures but built without rooms inside them. They have everything a person would need for their stay such as a small kitchenette, bathroom and living quarters, complete with bed.

They are generally small and built only for one or two people. They are also more like apartments and are on top of, next too or below others.


Townhomes are homes that are full size but attached to another one the other side. They are slimmer but provide everything that a person would find in a full-size, detached home. They are also usually in neighborhoods with others that have many amenities for those that come and go to use.

Unusual homes

Vacation homes are not restricted to the normal hotels or motels that you would stay in or the ‘homes’ that others would have to go through a time-share to get. Now, you can also invest in an alternative home. Some of the options out there are completely off-the-wall and provide guests with the most unusual stay but also a delightful one.

Barns, houseboats, RVs and campers, yurts, treehouses, shipping containers, nature lodges and more are all considered places to rent out to those that want something unique, yet comfortable. When you have an investment in a vacation rental property, you can give it as much appeal as you’d like.