ELLEN GILLETTE PHOTOS
Stepping into this General Development home in Sebastian, a vacation rental owned and operated by Glenn Powell, is like taking a trip to the 1960s. Even
the Fiestaware dishes are period. Some decorations are gifts from renters who enjoyed their stays there.
Local vacation rental owners share their experiences
using online platforms to open their homes to visitors
For Jill Cleveland and her husband, David, the week
BY ELLEN GILLETTE
they spent in a cottage in Scotland was simply fabulous.
The Fort Pierce residents have enjoyed several
family vacations where they rented a house or an
apartment, explaining it is more cost-effective than staying in
a hotel and eating in restaurants.
Saving is only one of the reasons Cleveland says the couple
prefers vacation rentals. The complete experience is one of the
other reasons. Due to their wonderful times staying in vacation
rentals, the Clevelands plan to rent part of their North Carolina
mountain property to vacationers one day. “The mountains are
popular for tiny cabins and yurts,” Cleveland says.
Families like the Clevelands are seeking those special vacation
rentals when visiting Florida, opening up new opportunities
for residents. According to Airbnb, more than 45,000
Floridians have shared their homes via its website, typically
earning about $6,500 per year.
The 4.5 million visitors who used Airbnb also paid for gas,
food and entertainment — a boost for any city’s economy.
And, these figures don’t factor in other vacation rental companies
like Vrbo, FlipKey, HomeToGo and others associated
with travel websites like Booking.com.
While vacation rental companies offer the same services,
subtle differences send both hosts and guests to specific sites >>