I’ve booked vacation rentals on sites like HomeAway and FlipKey a number of times. Over the summer, we stayed in this Montreal townhouse. I’ve also reserved places to stay in Prague, Vienna and Kissimmee (FL). If you click through any of these links, you’ll see that the rentals are pretty standard. But, if you hunt around a bit, you’ll find some really, really fun places to stay. Take a look at 15 unique vacation rentals that your kids will love:
1. Ever dreamt about staying in a castle? Well, now you can. For $1,500 per night, you can stay in a lovely French chateau (yes, in France) that boasts 11 bedrooms and sleeps up to 22 people. Kids will love the heated pool, as well as the game room and huge grassy yard.
2. Yes, you can stay in a teepee and your kids will love it. In fact, in Texas Hill Country, you’ll find teepees with kitchenettes, flat screen televisions (with DirecTV), air conditioning and heat. Teepees overlook Geronimo Creek and are adjacent to a fishing pond. Stay for as low as $95 per night.
3. Stay in an authentic railway car complete with two bedrooms, one bathroom and a full kitchen. The train car even boasts cable television. Located in Montana, Yellowstone National Park is less than 50 miles away. All this for just $195 per night.
4. For those who like to get out into the woods, try a night or two in a treehouse. In Canadys, South Carolina, you’ll find treehouses tucked in the woods that sleep up to eight people. Each treehouse is located at river’s edge and can only be accessed by canoe (note: these are off the grid, for sure).
5. For those who want to stay in a castle, but can’t make the trip overseas, look no further than North Carolina where you can stay in a medieval castle that boasts a drawbridge, as well as a hot tub and a flat screen TV. The castle has two bedrooms and sleeps four people. Rates start at $155 per night.
6. Want to stay in a barn? I assure you, there are no cows, goats or chickens running around. You will, however, find a huge living area, a dining table that seats up to 10 people and even a children’s art corner. This converted barn in Wisconsin is available as a 2-5 bedroom rental and starts at $250 per night.
7. Stay on your own private island in the Florida Keys. WOW. Just one-quarter mile offshore, this vacation rental has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a swimming pool and a huge veranda. Perfect for watching both sunrises and sunsets. As a bonus, a helicopter is available.
8. Head to Costa Rica to stay in a bungalow in the jungle. Bungalows have one bedroom (with two queen beds) and a sofa bed, so they can easily sleep a family of six. Families will love the wildlife in the jungle, as well as easy access to a private beach. Rates start at $225 per night.
9. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out the yurt concept, but it seems you can rent yurts all over the world, like this yurt in Upstate New York. It looks kind of like a tent, only nicer, so many refer to staying in a yurt as glamping. They’re ideal for those who want to get close with nature, but not too close.
10. Windmill lovers, why not stay in a converted windmill in Germany that boasts two bedrooms and sleeps six people. This windmill rental has a sauna and a fireplace, as well as a water bed. It’s also located close to a nature preserve and not far from the state capital of Schwerin. Rates start at $160 per night.
11. Stay in a private lighthouse in Maine. Perfect for multigenerational vacations, the lighthouse sleeps up to 10 people and is close to top attractions, such as Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. It’s also a great spot to watch the lobster boats as they come in for the day. Rates start at $2,600 per week.
12. If you’ve ever dreamt of staying in a fairytale cottage a la Hansel & Gretel, now you can. In fact, a self-described “gingerbread house” in Geyserville, California can be yours for just $120 per night. The cottage sleeps just three, so it may be perfect for a quick mother-daughters getaway.
13. Sleep in a wagon? Yes, you can. While this wagon in Cornwall, England sleeps just two people, it’s completely adorable inside and out. Inside you’ll find a bed, a stove, a refrigerator and even a table and chairs for meals. You’ll need to decide, however, whether you want to use a composting toilet.
14. No need to travel to the Maldives when you can bunk up in a room on stilts in Panama. Head to the Urraca Private Islands for ecotourism at its best. You’ll love staying in these adorable red bungalows on stilts. Powered by solar panels, you’ll shower with rain water and love every moment.
15. I really don’t know how best to describe this vacation rental in Costa Rica. It’s called the 727 Fuselage Home and that’s just what it looks like. It’s as if a 727 has gone through a treehouse in the jungle. I can’t even imagine how awesome it would be to stay here. I think your kids would agree.
Have you stayed in a really cool vacation rental? Let me know in the comments section below.