There’s no question that renting a vacation home is a great value. You get tons of privacy, lots of amenities, and you generally pay considerably less than you’d pay to stay in a resort. However, if you really want your vacation to sing, consider these five ways to make the most of your vacation rental home.

1.         Splurge on heat for the pool

Most vacation homes will offer an optional pool heating service. Generally you’ll have to let the owners know at least a few days in advance so the pool will be heated when you arrive. The fee is usually minimal and having a warm, comforting pool to come home to every night can make your vacation that much more relaxing.

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2.         Bring outdoor games

If you’re driving and have extra room, bring your favorite outdoor games like baseball mitts and a ball, a football, or a Frisbee. Even if you’re flying, you can stop by a local sporting goods store to get these items inexpensively. As you enjoy the lovely weather at your vacation home, your family can get together for a little old fashioned family fun.

3.         Bring indoor games

Of course if you’re spending all day touring theme parks or taking part in other outdoor activities you may not want to spend free time running around outside. That’s why board games, video games, and other indoor games are a great way to unwind after a long day.

4.         Cook a delicious dinner with local ingredients

One of the many advantages to renting a vacation home versus a resort is the fact that you have access to a full kitchen. Find out when the local farmer’s market is in your destination city and pick up in-season, fresh, local ingredients. Then cook up a family favorite, or try a local recipe. Either way, you’ll love having a delicious inexpensive meal in your home.

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5.         Rent enough rooms that everyone gets plenty of space

You might be surprised by how many families simply rent the most affordable vacation home without really doing the math. If you have two adults and two kids, you certainly could get by on a two-bedroom home, but if the price difference to upgrade to a three-bedroom home is less than $100 for your entire week’s stay, it may be well worth it. Think of how much your kids will enjoy and appreciate having their own rooms in their fantastic vacation home.

Really all it takes to enjoy your vacation home is to show up and soak in the rays! But these tips are great options to help ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck and are creating memories that will last for a lifetime.