In the last two years my family has gone on summer vacations to Galveston, TX and Corpus Christi, TX, each time staying in a beach house or condo. Through these two experiences I have found that there are numerous advantages of renting a beach house instead of staying in a hotel.
To start with, lets just consider the actual house. With a beach house you get much more space than in a hotel. Perhaps the most important aspect of the additional space is the kitchen. Many beach houses have full-sized kitchens stocked with cups and dishes. This comes in very handy if you want to stay close to home for the evening instead of spending a couple of hours out eating in a restaurant. Not to mention the ability to save a little money while still enjoying a nice meal. Eating at the house can also be a benefit if there are kids in your group. The kids in our group certainly had more fun being able to run and play while dinner was being cooked than sitting in a car and restaurant, impatiently waiting for dinner.
A beach house also provides enough bedrooms and beds to sleep everyone in your group under one roof. Our most recent trip had 10 people involved, from 3 families. If we had stayed in a hotel, we would have had to reserve three hotel rooms and would not have spent as much time together. With all of the rooms in the same beach house we were able to spend as much time together as we liked.
But more than the bedrooms, it's the amount of bathrooms in most beach houses that make such a difference. Since many beach houses can accommodate several families at once, there is not a shortage of bathrooms. This makes it easy for everyone to take showers and get ready to go out. When you spend time at the beach it seems that everyone takes two showers a day, and a beach house with lots of bathrooms makes this an easy task to accomplish.
Besides the features of the actual house, another advantage of a beach house is exactly why it is called a beach house: you are on the beach, or at least within easy walking distance. Many times, the available beach space is secluded or even private. While there are many hotels and resorts that are on the beach as well, a beach house can be less expensive. If you stay at an inexpensive hotel, you usually will not have access to a private beach area. In addition, if you stay at a beach house, it just seems so much easier to walk from the beach to the house and get cleaned up than doing the same at a hotel.
While it may seem that renting a beach house is an expensive way to travel, if you go on your vacation with multiple families, the price can be split and the nightly rate can be much more affordable. Even if the rate ends up being higher than a hotel, it will not be much higher. Plus, even if it is a little higher you are getting the additional advantages of a beach house that you do not get by staying at a hotel.
So the next time you travel to the beach (or any location for that matter), consider renting a beach house and enjoy a little more freedom than you get by staying at a hotel.