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In Search of Value: What’s the Best Way to Stretch $1,000 This Summer?

Rent1  
     If I had $1,000 to spend on a vacation this summer, where would I spend $1,000?

    That's easy. I'd think of staying in a home. And no, I don't mean the vacation du jour, the "staycation." I mean renting someone else's home.

    Renting a condo, a house, a cabin or an apartment is one of the best ways I can think of to stretch vacation dollars. The recession means that an increasing number of people are putting their homes into the rental market. You've got a lot of properties to choose from, at very competitive prices. 

    There are almost always clear savings when you compare the cost to a hotel room. And you'll get more bang for your buck when it comes to space: a living room, perhaps multiple bedrooms, as well as a kitchen, which allows you to save on the cost of eating out.

    Okay, $1,000 won't cover the tab on a villa in Tuscany this summer. But it will go a lot further than you think. Here are five properties you can have for $1,000 a week or less.

Brooklin, Maine           
    A recently renovated two-bedroom Cape (above) with large deck on four acres on Blue Hill Bay. Located just 15 miles from historic Blue Hill, 40 miles from Acadia National Park and 5 miles from the The Wooden Boat School, it is just a short walk to a beach $750-$950 week. GreatRentals.

Rent3


San Francisco, CA
    A one-bedroom cottage (above) in the Cow Hollow neighborhood, with garden, WiFi and cable. Close to Union and Chestnut Streets, as well as Marin Green and Fisherman's Wharf.  $125 per night with a seven night rental.  VRBO

Rent4

Drimoleague, County Cork, Ireland
    In the heart of West Cork is The Milking Shed, Seehanes, situated 2 1/2 miles north of Drimoleague. There are three bedrooms and one a half baths and it's set on 16 acres, surrounded by rolling farmland and with views of local hills. In July and August its $690 (530 E) per week. VRBO.

Rent5
Vancouver, BC
    A condominium (above) with one bedroom and one bath in the West End, one block from the beach and Sea Wall. Ideal for viewing the sunsets, fireworks, boats and ships in English Bay, Stanley Park and the mountains. It's $775 per week. VRBO.

Rent6

Lake Willoughby, VT
A waterfront house with three bedrooms and one bath on Lake Willoughby, Vermont's most spectacular lake. The rental is $800 per week. VRBO

THE FINE PRINT
   
Where to find rentals? Look at Rentalo.com, forGetaway.com, PickPackGo.com and Zonder.com, which list professionally managed rental properties. But you can also rent directly from tens of thousands of homeowners at sites like HomeAway.com and its subsidiaries, such as VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, A1Vacations.com, GreatRentals.com and CyberRentals.com. Timeshares that can't be used or traded are often put up for rent at MyResortNetwork.com and RedWeek.com. But with any internet rental, be sure and pay with a credit card or through PayPal. That will offer you a measure of protection in case something goes wrong.

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