What are the different types of vacation accommodations?

Published Date: October 17, 2023

Interior photo of a luxury Pacaso home in Napa, CA.
You’ve booked a plane ticket or planned your road trip. You’ve blocked out the calendar. Now, where are you going to stay on your trip? Accommodations can make or break a vacation experience, and which type you choose depends on the amenities you’re looking for, your destination and your budget. Here’s what you need to know about your options. 

1. Hotels

Ah, the old standby. Staying in a hotel is the de facto choice for many travelers, and for good reason. You’ll find hotels in all major cities and almost all vacation destinations, with a wide range of options for size, amenities and price point. 

Types of hotel properties 

  • Luxury: Typically described as four- or five-star properties, luxury hotels have all the bells and whistles. Discerning travelers love the personalized service, myriad of amenities and luxurious furnishings. Many properties feature 24/7 concierge services, fine dining restaurants, on-site spas and a staff dedicated to making your stay the very best. 
  • Boutique: Boutique hotels often have the same level of service as a luxury hotel, but in a more intimate or unique setting. Boutique hotels have fewer rooms and unlike large hotel chains where every room is the same regardless of the destination, boutique hotels often take design cues from the local area and offer a more one-of-a-kind vibe. 
  • Mid-range: Most mid-range hotels are operated by large national chains. They’re a middle-of-the-road option, with quality rooms and a comfortable level of service that’s consistent across locations. Rewards programs give benefits to loyal travelers.  
  • Budget: The most affordable option, budget hotels are wallet-friendly but they have limited service, not offering much in the way of perks or amenities.  
Pros: Easy to book online, upfront pricing, a standard set of amenities based on room and property type. Cons: Can be expensive, small guest rooms, often no kitchen, lack of cultural immersion with the location. 

2. Destination resorts & all-inclusive properties 

Designed specifically to deliver memorable vacation experiences in popular destinations, destination resorts and all-inclusive properties are big on amenities — think swimming pools, expansive spas, golf courses and casinos. While resorts offer plenty of perks, all-inclusive resorts take it to the next level. When you stay at an all-inclusive property, you’ll pay a flat rate for all food, drinks, activities and gratuities. Pros: Great amenities, top-notch service, on-site activities, family-friendly services, a carefree experience.Cons: All-inclusive resorts can be expensive, some have limitations on guests (adults only, for example). 

3. Bed & breakfasts 

Bed and breakfasts are independently owned and operated by an individual, who often lives on-site. These small inns typically have only a handful of rooms in a single residence, but sometimes standalone cottages are considered in this category. Because the owner resides on site, you can expect warm and friendly service — often, a homemade breakfast is included. The communal environment is a plus for guests looking to connect with fellow travelers. Pros: Locations often in the heart of a destination, friendly service, opportunities for connection. Cons: Fewer amenities, less privacy, shorter check-in/check-out hours. 

4. Vacation rentals 

With the advent of sites like Airbnb, Vacasa, Vrbo and others, it’s easier than ever to book a vacation rental for your next vacation. Vacation rental offerings run the gamut from single rooms in a shared apartment to luxury villas to private homes as part of a vacation club. They can be a great solution if you need more space than a hotel room, want to immerse yourself in a specific neighborhood or you’re traveling with a group. Pros: Many property types, affordable options, convenient locations. Cons: Unpredictable hosts, restrictive rules, expensive fees. 

5. Timeshares 

Unlike other accommodation types where you can visit once and never return, with a timeshare, you purchase ongoing access to a specific hotel or resort group, with a set number of nights per year available for your use. They can be a good option for people who like to return to the same destination every year, but they can also have restrictions that make it hard to take advantage of your membership. Pros: Access to stays that might be too costly otherwise, built-in stays at a favorite destination.Cons: Inflexibility, hard to resell membership, large upfront costs. 

6. Co-owning a second home with Pacaso 

While each of the accommodation types we’ve explored here offers great benefits, there’s one option that every frequent traveler should consider: co-ownership of a luxury Pacaso second home. Instead of spending money on hotel stay after hotel stay, getting locked into a timeshare, or having to scope out a different vacation rental on every trip, Pacaso gives you a true home away from home in your favorite destination. As a ⅛ owner of a Pacaso second home, you’ll enjoy every moment in your luxurious abode. Maintenance and management are all overseen by your dedicated property manager, who makes sure everything is perfect for your stay. Equitable and flexible scheduling ensures every owner gets ample time to make memories in the home every year. Best of all, Pacaso homes are available in top vacation spots, whether your dream destination is the mountains of Aspen, the sunny shores of Baja, California Wine Country, the Florida Keys or any number of other crave-worthy locales.

Jen Headshot

Jen Lyons

  • Share this post:

Featured articles

Travelers carry their luggage into their beachside rental unit, confident they received the best deal after comparing Vrbo vs Airbnb.

Pacaso co-ownership home in Lake Tahoe
ByJen Lyons


Don't miss out

The best properties sell fast. See the latest listings, inspiring holiday homes and buying tips.

Want to chat? Contact us.