Post-Vacation Depression

Is that a thing? I think it’s a thing. Maybe coming home a day earlier to have time to unwind and do laundry isn’t so great after all. Maybe it’s better to get back and hit the ground running so you don’t have time to wonder if it was all a dream or if it really happened. Vacation passes by so fast, and then it’s just over. Back to the same old routine day after day. So I need to talk it out a bit.

I’m from St. Louis, Missouri. Yeah, I lived in various other places (Kansas, Ohio, and Florida) but St. Louis is the place I remember the most. I’ve lived in a south suburban neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, for the past 13.5 years. I have a lot of family and a couple friends in St. Louis still. The trouble with visiting St. Louis is that there are so many people to see, but there is absolutely no way to see everyone due to work schedules and logistics. Thanks to the “great white flight“, a lot of people have moved to new suburbs farther away from the city. Whatever drove them to shinier pastures makes it harder to see them the few times per decade we are able to make the trip.

Of course, my nature is to feel guilty if I’m unable to spend equal time with everyone. On the other hand, it’s unhealthy to shoulder that responsibility because without a doubt, there will be someone feeling hurt that we didn’t spend much (if any) time with them. It’s almost as bad as taking a vacation somewhere else instead of using vacation time to always go “home” and feeling guilty about that. I don’t expect them all to use all their vacation time to come to Colorado every time, though. Guilt over that one resolved! :D

Yes, I miss friends and fam in The Lou, but they all know where we live, too. ;) There’s some nostalgia about visiting St. Louis, but I also like to show off Colorado.

It’s hard knowing how much we’re missed – to the point where they wish so much that we could move back there. That would mean losing our jobs and starting all over, though. It would also mean uprooting kids and pulling them from friendships they’ve formed. No, this is where we live now and will live for quite a while longer. St. Louis may be where I spent my formative years and started my own family, but Colorado is our home now. Family wishing so hard that we could move back there is equal to our wishing so hard that they could move out here by us.

It also doesn’t help that I’m not a great planner and really suck at proactive communication. I’m a friendly person and can carry on a short, polite conversation with just about anyone, but I’m not good at long conversations. I run out of things that seem important enough to talk about. I don’t care for gossip, and I like to keep certain things private. So long talks exhaust me and really showcase my social awkwardness. That sometimes makes me seem like I don’t care or am unappreciative, which couldn’t be further from the truth!

So why the post-vacation depression? Because of all of the above. I didn’t see everyone I wanted to see. I didn’t spend enough time with all of the people I did see. I can’t help but think about other uses for the money we spent on the trip. Finally, I feel like I didn’t express enough how happy I was to spend whatever amount of time I did with each person. I’m an imperfect and flawed human being.

The dread of returning to work and catching up on emails, meeting notes, and any changes that may have taken place doesn’t help things, either!

Here’s the plan: Plop my arse down on the couch and watch some shows I missed last week and then meet tomorrow head first to plow right back into the normal routine.

Closing Up Shop on 2011

As 2011 comes to an end, my mind goes once again to a place of analyzing the symbolism of it all. We use the entrance of a new year as a sort of vehicle to start fresh, even though January 1st is just another day like another. We make resolutions and set new goals. I might actually partake in this ritual for 2012. Stay tuned for details if I choose to share! :D

So we’re in the final four days of 2011 – last chance for a final purge. This is more work than just tossing things in bags or boxes and taking them to Goodwill. Thanks to a friend in the tax biz, I now know that I need to take photos of everything we donate and keep them on a CD with our taxes for that year in case of audit. I guess it’s a small price to pay for a tax deduction. ;)

Once that purge is done, and the Christmas tree and decorations are put away (up late and away early this season), then maybe I can work on some goals for next year. One of those goals is going to be creating quarterly and monthly goals both within and separate from those annual goals. Work must be getting to me with its goal setting craze. :twisted: My personal goals won’t be so difficult, though. I’m not going to require myself to track and measure so meticulously. METRICS – ::scream:: !

Speaking of work, I do know that one of my goals is to strategically plan days off throughout the year as mini-breathers. I get four weeks of vacation. Using one or two weeks as full weeks is enough, especially when we can’t afford to take a trip. Planning long weekends and personal days off is better for me.

Any day is a good day to start fresh, but I think I’ll jump on the New Year bus this time and wave fare well to 2011 and welcome 2012 while begging her to be much kinder than 2011 was. :P

Vacation Determination

Rain, rain, go away! What is UP with the weather in Colorado this summer? Watch … Next week will be fabulous when I’m back at work for probably a full 50 hours. Earlier this week, the forecast didn’t show rain for Thursday and Friday. It crept in anyway. I was sick of sitting at home, though, and was determined to get out of this house without having to spend a lot of money to do something indoors. I found Putter’s Pride in Lakewood on the internet. After getting a little lost, thanks ever so much to the inaccuracy of Google Maps, we made it and had fun despite it being uncharacteristically humid in our neck of the woods. We chose to play all three courses, but skipped several holes as we passed a large daycare or summer camp group of kids. Had I known that so many of the holes were so similar (and soggy), we probably would have stopped at one course. Some holes were also skipped because the cups were filled to the top with water! Still fun!

After this, we were hot, hungry, and thirsty. I knew Colorado Mills wasn’t too far away and thanks to GPS navigation on my phone, we found it. A little food, a little browsing, a little listening to the torrential downpour hitting the roof of the mall, and a couple games of air hockey (super fun and made me wish we had space and money for our own table!), then I was ready to go. Miranda wanted to walk the final third of the mall we had skipped, but I know rush hour starts early in Denver and wanted to try to make the front end of that.

P.S. Leaving at 3:30 did not put us at the front of rush hour – at least not by much. I kept thinking how thankful I am to work from home and not have to sit through that traffic every day.

Summer Vacation or Just Time Off?

In the states, we call it “vacation”. In the UK, they call it “holiday”. Why does it feel like neither when you just stay home? It’s merely time off. The silly term “staycation” doesn’t even seem to fit. How about a “relaxcation”? Now that I could go for! An entire week (or at least half of it) to loaf around and be lazy. I’m not sure how much of that I’ll be doing, either. I need to use this time to catch up on things that I haven’t been able to do around the house. Take time off of work to work. Hmmm. :|

My official time off this week started with rain. Yesterday morning I did a little map searching for possible photo locations. There are so many parks tucked away that you couldn’t possibly spot them by simply driving around. I picked out two parks to check out, and we only managed to see one of them: Cherry Creek Ecological Park. Of course, as soon as we parked and got out of the car, it started raining. :( So we sat in the car and waited a few minutes for it to stop. Then we made it as far as a gazebo about 100 yards away before it started raining again … harder. Since I was in no hurry for anything, I thought it was nice to just sit there listening to the rain hit the roof and enjoy the breeze. Miranda, on the other hand, thought it was boring. Kids. :roll:

Once the rain stopped again, we strolled around some of the trail in this park. Part of the trail was a boardwalk, which could make for some interesting photos. There’s also a bridge over Cherry Creek, but I’m not that thrilled with it as a photo op. Being an ecological park, we’re supposed to stay on the path. So photo options are pretty limited here, except for this boardwalk.

Why are we not traveling?

Simple … money. I’m not airing dirty laundry here. I’m just telling it like it is. We are trying to do something now that we should have put into strict practice years ago. We’re not using credit cards for anything and are working towards being credit card debt free by (if not before) November 2015. To expand on this would take an entire post itself. It started when this major life change negatively impacted our income. I immediately started doing things like this to stop unnecessary spending. More opportunities to work overtime opened up along the way, and we got a little stupid again. That has to change. We have to stick to the budget!

We had tentative plans to drive to St. Louis and visit family during this time off (aka: vacation), but a semi-unexpected car expense (followed by this) happened that cost about double what our fuel expense would have been for a road trip to and from St. Louis. Not only that, but we decided that some home improvements should take a higher priority once and for all. When I sit back and look at the bigger picture, it’s easy to see that this situation is quite common. When someone moves out of state, it’s usually the one who moved who is expected to travel back for visits. Interesting. The highway runs both ways, and we would love for more people to come visit us. ;)

What are we doing instead of traveling?

It’s also important to note here that Greg was not able to take time off since he hasn’t been at his job for a full year yet. So he wouldn’t have been able to go with us anyway. We used quite a chunk of “vacation change” to go to the Colorado Renaissance Festival on Saturday. Only the girls went along because Jason had to work and Josh didn’t want to go. Even with saving $3 per ticket buying them at King Soopers, the total for four tickets was nearly $70. Add to that the expenses for food, drink, and trinkets while at the festival. Suffice it to say that this ate a considerable amount of money. I will say that the $4 spent to ride an elephant for all of about 4 minutes (including time sitting still waiting for the other riders to pay and get on the elephant) was definitely worth it! This could, and quite possibly will be, another post entirely.

Ali had to work Sunday and Monday at the pool, but they closed early both days due to the weather. Today still holds a threat of rain, which is only a slightly higher threat than tomorrow holds. So our plan is to see how much we can do for very little cost (while staying dry). I took out a certain amount of cash for the remainder of the week so we can easily see how much we have to play with. I’m tossing around the idea of a zoo day, complete with picnic lunch, but I’d be just as happy taking that picnic lunch to a reservoir (Colorado’s idea of a lake with a purpose) where I can relax with a book. :)

In other words, I have no plan at this point. That is actually worse, to me, than having a plan. That usually results in doing much of nothing, which results in disappointment over wasting an entire vacation. On the other hand, planning too much ends up overwhelming me and makes the week pass by way too fast. How do I find a happy medium?

Bust for the Win in “St. Louis or Bust”

The idea of a summer trip to St. Louis came to me back in March, but I kept it hush-hush because I had no idea (due to the financial upsets over the previous months) if it would be possible. Then overtime opened up at work, which helped us loosen our belts in normal daily life at least. It wasn’t until we found out that Uncle Sam owed us money this year that I thought it really might happen. I even started a little light planning in my head for a day at the St. Louis Zoo (a MUST), a day at the local water park, and a gathering of friends and family on my dad’s birthday. What better way to get to see everyone without spreading ourselves so thin that we run out of time to see the sites?!

Reality started to hit. Once upon a time, I would have whipped out credit cards for gas, food, and entertainment to make such a trip happen. We don’t play that game anymore! Fifty points to the Karner house! :D Also in the past, we would put off home improvements to afford trips “home” instead. This time, we decided it was finally time to get rid of the nasty carpet (instead of the nasty dogs) and put new flooring down with part of that tax return. There would still be enough for a road trip. Or so we thought. We got a little sloppy with the budget, too. Strict meal planning and bargain grocery shopping went by the wayside. Too much dining out happened. Then the biggest whammy … the other knock sensor began to fail in my car creating roughly an $800 dent in the bank account (twice the round-trip cost for gas alone, not counting in-town driving).

There was still enough to make the trip happen, especially if we pushed through and made the trip there and back without stopping overnight and paying about another $100 each way for a hotel, and if we mooched off of friends and family as much as possible, foregoing a few favorite restaurants while there. So I continued to put off a final decision while going back and forth in my mind … we can do it … we shouldn’t do it … we might be able to … we really shouldn’t …

The “shouldn’t” turned into “can’t” when the responsible side of me finally stepped up and said, “Look, dumbass! You can’t do this!” My willy-nilly side was trying to put some pretty big wants in front of needs. We have a dog in need of dental work – and I don’t mean just a cleaning; I mean extractions to avoid infection and end some pain. Do you know how horrible I’d feel if I used money that could have been used for that to go on an unnecessary trip and the dog ended up with a bad infection? And I say “unnecessary” because everyone in St. Louis knows where we live and are ALWAYS welcome to come see us! No guilt or pressure … just sayin’ … That highway runs both ways. ;) Plus, when people come to see us, they get to spend more time with us. No waiting to see when we can fit you in!

There were a few more reasons, but I’ll end on that note. Our doors are always open to friends and family. We may have a full house with no fancy-schmancy guest room to spare, but we have two spacious rooms (living room and family room) where air mattresses can be set up. I think we even have a couple small tents should anyone want a little extra privacy while sleeping! I’m not kidding! :)

So it’s yet another staycation for us. We can’t complain about that, though. We live in COLORADO!!!

Chained to the Computer | Day 4 of Vacation

At least I got to stay in comfy frumpies all day while chained to the computer. After taking the new mixer for a spin making Granola Blondies, I caught up on two weeks worth of money tracking on my ultimate Excel workbook then made sure I had everything I needed in my file of tax information. After a little more hesitation, I grabbed a sandwich and a tall glass of water and dove into TurboTax. Two hours later, I resurfaced to catch my breath and let out a sigh of relief that we didn’t owe again! Last year’s mistake not repeated, plus having one in college to give a nice tax credit as well as our changing our W4 forms last year all helped. Lingering medical bills can now be obliterated at last!

By the time I finished, it was nearly 3:00. It’s hard to find something interesting to do at that time of day and not ruin dinner, so I thought I’d be bored the rest of the afternoon. Then Jason reminded me that I needed to renew our FAFSA info for 2011/2012 school year, which he just officially entered today. UGH! More computer work, but at least I had the taxes completed necessary to renew this thing. Before working on that, though, I e-filed Jason’s taxes as well so he would get his return faster than if he mailed them (he already had them completed).

Now two major things have been scratched off that to-do list. These are major accomplishments. So why do I feel like I got absolutely nothing done today to validate my exhaustion?  It can almost make a person resentful that vacation time needs to be used to get things like these accomplished (take a day off work to, well, work), but I’m glad I was able to get it completed in one day so I don’t have to feel trapped at home for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow: Red Riding Hood and lunch at The Movie Tavern, a little shopping, and The Golden Spoon for froyo!

Thrift Store Bust – Prom Dress Win! | Day 3 of Vacation

We left the house an hour later than I had planned, but that’s fine. Schedules are more flexible when you’re on vacation! No good costume jewelry finds at the thrift store. Some smelly people in the store expedited our exit, though. One was either extremely gassy or needed a Depends change, and another quite possibly hadn’t showered or bathed in quite some time. This is not meant in judgment by any means, mind you. Just using my imagination to describe the smells we encountered. I tried looking for some interesting props for displaying jewelry for photographing it, but the one piece I had in my hand I decided wasn’t worth waiting in the long lines to buy. It happens to be 25% off everything customer appreciation day (every Monday). I set it on the nearest shelf, and we left. Besides, I don’t need more crap in the house.

Next stop, lunch! Taco Bell/Pizza Hut.

Then onward to surprise Greg at work and take a mini tour of Matheson. {Click on photos to see larger images.}

I didn’t know they made automatic transmission big rigs!

From there, we went to Towne Centre (most still call it Aurora Mall). First stop was Macy’s. After some fun pics wearing hats, we looked at their puny selection of dresses. I loved one of them, but I think Ali was set on the one she had tried on at Penney’s a couple weeks ago. Then we had to have an Auntie Anne’s pretzel! Towne Center isn’t super close to us, and this is the closest place I know of that has Auntie Anne’s. It puts Wetzel’s to shame! After breezing through another boutique that had gowns and finding nothing interesting, we ended up at Penney’s. One orange dress in the wrong size. She tried on four others, but there was no light in her eyes over any of them. Time to go…

Southlands, here we come… One orange Grecian style dress left in her size! Someone had apparently tried to squeeze into a small when they clearly should have been trying on a larger size because the sides need to be mended, but that’s an easy fix. Then, of course, natured called again. What do you supposed was next to the restrooms in Penney’s? Kitchen gadgets! Having heard and seen myself how much of a diehard Sunbeam has been over the years, I decided to replace Mr. KitchenAid with Ms. Sunbeam mixer. She was on sale at a much better price, I might add!

After a little chocolate fix, we left Southlands to return home and slip back into our comfy frumpies – home for the night. Now I’m off to prepare fish for dinner and watch Tangled with the girlies. Cute movie!

Tomorrow: Taxes. :(

Bored at a Mall

You might think that sounds absurd, and once upon a time it wasn’t the case, but I think malls are boring. Dining at the food court and walking around in air conditioning on a hot day are the only advantages to me. Most stores in malls are full of over-priced merchandise that I can’t bring myself to hand over the money for anymore. Does that make me an old penny-wise geezer? Maybe! I’ve been down this road in days gone by, which is why I can’t do it anymore. If I don’t have enough money in the bank to cover it using my debit card, then I don’t buy it! These days, there just isn’t enough to spend frivolously like that because it’s earmarked for other things (hard to explain to a 12-year-old by the way).

So I’ve found other ways to entertain myself on rarely occurring mall excursions. A stop at the pet store is always on the list because those puppies are so darn cute. (P.S. Don’t buy from them.) Then there’s the oh-so-fun, and often funny, people-watching. I won’t go into details with my opinions, but some of the things I see (and hear) just crack me up and sometimes leave me shaking my head in disbelief.

I feel swallowed up and out of place in malls anymore. I love Marshalls, and Ross! I’ve never found anything at TJ Maxx, but I have found a few great deals at Nordstram Rack. The thrill of finding something that you won’t see at least ten other people in town wearing, because half the town shops at Walmart and Target, is a bit of a thrill to me. I’m not gonna lie! Top it off with the price tag reflecting 75%-85% lower than original retail price, and I’m one happy camper! A $65 pair of jeans that fit perfectly for just $14? BLISS!

Some people suggested mani-pedi, massage, or facial to pamper myself and relax during my brief time off work. I’ve had one manicure in a nail salon, and the polish didn’t last any longer than when I do my own nails. It wasn’t that special to me. I have a thing about feet, and I don’t want anyone touching mine, so pedicures are out of the question. I’ve had one massage. While it was alright, I don’t think it was worth the amount of money it costs.

What relaxes me, drives the rest of my family nuts. I love to just go places and take a stroll to see the sights. I don’t have to have a purpose or a mission to have a good time. Just being out and seeing things I don’t normally get to see is fabulous! Museums? Bring ‘em on! A photo walk downtown or in a park? Amazing! Photo walks are hard to enjoy with others who aren’t also there for photos. They just don’t get it, and I can see where that would be boring to them. So that’s something best left to do on my own – like once the kids are back in school and I can use my half-day Fridays to do just that!

So basically what I find fun and interesting, the rest of my family finds boring. If I make them go with me anyway, I don’t have a good time because they complain or just clearly don’t have a good time (based on bored faces or the fact that they are rushing through wherever we happen to end up). I think my family needs to be taught to just slow down and take in their surroundings and just RELAX!

On that note, I’m off to see Eat, Pray, Love (if that’s the right order)!

Mountain Getaway | Day 2 Continued & Day 3

Day 2 Continued:

I learned some interesting history at the ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel today.  I’m not so sure how much of the haunted part I believe (though, I do have an unexplainable shadow in one of my photos), but the history was fascinating!

First of all, Freelan Oscar Stanley (F.O. or Freel) had a twin brother named Francis Edgar Stanley (F.E. or Frank).  When they were 5 years old, their father gave them each a carving knife – something we all dream of giving our 5-year-olds. Right? Well, these genius little boys started carving toys from wood and selling them for a penny a piece.  By the end of the year, they had made $5.00.  That’s a lot of toys! Another interesting hobby they had was making concert quality violins by hand. The Stanley violin is still one of the most sought after violins in the world.

Like me, many of you probably only know F.O. for the Stanley Steamer automobile. I was surprised to lear that he and his brother had a history in photography! F.E. patented the airbrush in 1876 and was a portrait artist. The brothers became partners in the Stanley Dry Plate Company in 1884. The dry plate process put an end to sitting perfectly still for 20-30 minutes for a portrait (no wonder they didn’t smile). Although they were grossing nearly $1 million per year at the turn of the century with this business (eat that Bill Gates), they sold this company to Eastman Kodak in 1904. Learning this, of course, intensified my obsession with the Stanley history and that fabulous hotel!

So about that striking white Georgean style hotel with the red roof… It was originally a mustard yellow. The biggest change, though, was to the MacGragor Room. If you were to peek in this room off the left end of the lobby as a tourist, you’d never guess that it was changed for Stephen King’s The Shining mini-series. This room and the lobby were originally the same yellow and white color scheme as the Music Room. Hollywood didn’t feel this was scary enough. The stage was added to the MacGregor Room, too, which is where you can see Stephen King standing in a cameo role in the mini-series. That’s exactly where we sat to listen to the tour guide for a bit.

It is true that Stephen King found inspiration for his novel while staying at the hotel – room 217 to be exact. However, he had already written an entire novel while he was a teacher at CU Boulder. His publisher thought it was a bit over the top, though, and recommended rewriting. Stephen King, over the top? Shocker! He stayed just one night at the Stanley, then he completely rewrote the novel that we now know as The Shining, got it approved and published, and it hit number one all within two months.

The history behind room 217 involves the head housekeeper. There was a gas leak, and when she went to light the gas lamp, there was such an explosion that the whole front of that side of the hotel blew out.  The housekeeper was forced down a floor into the MacGregor Room and survived. Her legs were badly broken, but she was otherwise fine. F.O. visited her in the hospital and offered her a raise and to put her children through college. Apparently, she is still working there and has unpacked and neatly put away guests’ clothing.

The fourth floor actually has even more paranormal activity. This was the floor used for the children of guests and their nannies. Many guests today call down to the desk to complain about children running up and down the hall laughing, even when there are none even staying on the floor! The tour guide described room 401 as a room a room with probably the most paranormal activity. Lord Dunraven often hangs out in room 407.

See more photos of the tour here. I also made a slideshow (below). Click “pause” when it opens to click through at your own pace.

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Stanley Hotel
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This digital scrapbooking design created with Smilebox

I still want to go back with Greg sometime (just the two of us) and stay overnight so we can do the late-night tour. No one uder 18 is allowed on that one.

I was able to get internet connection for about 3 minutes on my own laptop last night. I thought I found the right spot to be, but it was short-lived. Since I didn’t bring a flash drive either, I still can’t share any photos.

Day 3:

Woke up on our own today – no alarms! Bliss! I thought about heading to Rocky Mountain National Park right away, but decided to just relax. I looked through the game selection and pulled out Monolopy Millennium Edition. We played for a while and left to go into town. We ate lunch and strolled the town. The only thing we bought was salt-water taffy (and have subsequently eaten far too much of it). The crowd and traffic continued to thicken, so we decided to just stop at the grocery store to pick up stuff for dinner and snacks and just head back to the house. We did stop at Colorado Cherry Company to get a cherry pie for desert, too.  It’s right across the street from the entrance to this subdivision! [Note: the link shows the one on Hwy 34 in Loveland, but the one here on Hwy 36 doesn't have its own website.]

When we got back to the house, we continued with our game of Monopoly until we just drifted away from it and lost interest.  I ended up with the most money. Ali and I had about the same number of deeds. And now Miranda has a cool glass backgammon game set up waiting to play, so I’m going to go do that now!

Not a lot of exciting things to write about today, but every vacation needs some down time – at least I think so. I don’t like to get home and feel like I need a vacation to recover from vacation!

HomeAway (VRBO.com Parent Company) Press Release

VRBO_Logo

Vacation Rentals Growing in Popularity Among Travelers Looking for Better Value

New HomeAway Report Reveals Travelers Choosing Vacation Rentals for More Family Vacations, Weekend Getaways and Even Business Trips

Story Highlights:

· Travelers are considering vacation rentals for everything from weekend getaways (65 percent) to business trips (20 percent)
· 66 percent of vacation rental property owners have offered special deals this year
· One in five owners new to the vacation rental market cited economic conditions as the reason why they started renting out their vacation home

AUSTIN, TEXAS, May 21, 2009 – Vacation rental homes and condominiums are becoming even more attractive to consumers looking for greater value from their travel dollar, according to HomeAway – the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace – which today released the first edition of its new quarterly “HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report.”

According to the report, approximately 66 percent of vacation rental property owners are offering or have offered special deals or incentives at some point this year in response to the current economic climate.

· 27% discount rental rates by a specific dollar amount
· 24% offer a set percent off the normal rental rate
· 16% offer a free night with the purchase of a specific number of nights
· 15% offer free cleaning services
· 11% do not require a minimum stay
· 7% offer a complimentary product or service, such as tickets to a local attraction

While travelers may come across some unique deals this summer including pre-arrival grocery shopping services and complimentary meals or gift  askets upon arrival, 34 percent of  owners surveyed did not offer special deals or incentives. By way of explanation, one of those owners said, “I didn’t offer anything but a great house, in a great location, at a very reasonable price.”

“With or without deals or special offers, there is an underlying value to vacation rentals,” said Mike Butler, chief commercial officer of HomeAway.  Vacation rental homes enable you to rent a whole home for less than the cost of a hotel room and then even stretch your travel budget further by taking advantage of the full kitchens and extra amenities.”

Looking to a Vacation Home for Extra Income

While a vacation rental affords travelers many benefits, it can also provide a steady stream of revenue for the owners. In fact, Butler said more and  ore owners are renting out their properties to generate extra income. The HomeAway report found that the economy played an important role among owners who began to rent their vacation homes to travelers in the past 12 months.  One in five owners (21 percent) new to the vacation rental market  ited economic conditions, including the need to generate additional income, a recent job loss, the inability to sell the home or the risk of foreclosure,  as the reason why they started renting out their vacation home. In addition to citing economic conditions as a factor, many owners new to renting their vacation homes are entering the market to generate a profit.

“The research suggests that in the past, many second home owners entered the rental market with a desire to cover all their expenses, but now listing their properties to cover expenses is an economic necessity,” said Butler.

About HomeAway, Inc.

HomeAway is the worldwide leader of online vacation rentals, representing nearly 400,000 vacation rental home listings across more than 120 countries. The company has contributed significantly to the popularity of the vacation rental industry, making it easier than ever for both owners to advertise and profit from their second homes and for millions of travelers to find the perfect vacation rental. The HomeAway sites include HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk, FeWodirekt. de, Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com.

HomeAway is funded by Austin Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures and Trident Capital. The company is based in Austin, Texas and has offices in London and Ashtead in England; Kassel, Germany; and Marseille and Paris, France.