Here’s the one thing I learned on a trip to Tybee Island, GA, with my family: You don’t always want your beach house right on the beach. It was not just hot on the beach, it was “I’m from Texas where it always feels like 188 degrees outside and I still think this is too hot" kind of hot. I chose our HomeAway for its value and proximity to the beach and ice cream shops. Exactly as promised, it was across the street. Walking a couple yards across a flip-flop-melting parking lot got you right up to the feet-searing sand. In Tybee’s defense, they were experiencing an unusual June heat wave. One morning, before the thermometer burst, I walked away from the beach through neighborhoods. The trees! The shade! I felt my core body temperature drop and wondered if the vacation renters would notice if I curled up in their HomeAway hammock. We chose correctly for this trip because you can’t beat a house right on the beach when you have little ones along, but as soon as my niece and nephew are ready to make the three-block walk carrying their sandcastle building supplies, I’m moving inland.
Melanie Fish is HomeAway’s family travel expert. Staying in HomeAway vacation rentals is an upgrade from the Winnebago Minnie Winnie she stayed in while growing up with a family full of wanderlust.