Renting a property can be an affordable, relaxing alternative to staying in a hotel, says ANNABELLE THORPE
MANHATTAN APARTMENT From the top of the Empire State Building to the subway out to Coney Island, New York is great for a family break and staying in an apartment can be far more affordable than many of the city's stratospherically pricey hotels.
Across this great city, Holiday Lettings (holidaylettings.co.uk) has more than 150 properties to rent, including a superbly located three-bedroom apartment on West 39th Street, just a short stroll from the bright lights of Times Square and Macy's, and a few blocks from the Empire State Building itself.
West 39th Street, just a short stroll from the bright lights of Times Square and Macy's, The chic walk-up apartment has an open living/dining/ kitchen area and three bedrooms all with polished wood floors, clean cream walls and matt black furniture.
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The well-equipped persuade yourself to eat kitchen is ideal for whipping up breakfast or supper although it may be hard to persuade yourself to eat in as there area vast array of caf©s, restaurants and brasseries in walking distance.
Holiday Lettings offers seven nights in a three-bedroom apartment in Times Square (sleeps seven) from £1,115. Ref 154799.
A trip to Orlando's mind-boggling array of theme parks can be unforgettable and not just for the experience but also because of the cost.
Renting a house for a week rather than staying in a hotel can help keep spending down and in Florida's searing heat, it's a great idea to have your own pool.
Owners Direct (0208 827 1998/ ownersdirect.co.uk) has a selection of more than 700 properties to choose from in the Orlando area, from spacious family homes to chic apartments and all just a few minutes' drive from the major theme parks.
A three-bedroom house in the Indian Wells development comes with a generous pool in the back garden, two bathrooms and a fully-fitted kitchen that opens out to a cool, tiled living area.
The shops, markets, restaurants and bars on Highway 92 are within walking distance and Disney World is a mere three miles away.
Owners Direct offers seven nights in a three-bedroom house (sleeps seven) from £450. Ref F468.
Although not quite the bargain destination it once was, Turkey is still cheaper than many eurozone countries and a property boom has seen a huge number of holiday homes spring up along the Mediterranean coast.
Villa Renters (villarenters.com
) has more than 200 properties in resorts such as Kalkan, Kas, Belek and Side including the Villa Zeytin Agaci on the Kas peninsula just outside the town.
Located at the top of a small hill the villa has uninterrupted views of the sea from the pool terrace and two of the balconies.
The spacious terrace, complete with hammock and infinity pool, provides the X Factor but the house also has a steamroom and a well-equipped kitchen. Ideal for two families, Zeytin Agaci makes a great base for exploring by car, foot, bike or even kayak.
Villarenters offers seven nights in Villa Zeytin Agaci (sleeps eight) from £627.SPANISH RETREAT
Why stay in a tired hotel on the Costa Brava when you can enjoy a smart, spacious holiday home?
There are thousands to rent through HomeAway.co.uk from beach villas that open on to the sand to peaceful retreats up in the hills.
There are plenty of new-build properties but for something with authentic charm book a masia: a converted, traditional farmhouse.
Take the family or friends to stay in an eight-bedroom masia in the small village of Vall-Llobrega, just five minutes' drive from Palam³s's sandy beaches and nightlife.
The house has a huge pool, a football pitch, basketball area and a lovely shady terrace, perfect for alfresco suppers.
The bedrooms are roomy and there are five bathrooms.? HomeAway.co.uk offers seven nights in an eight-bedroom masia (sleeps 18) from £1,250. Ref 863395.
Who doesn't dream of relaxing in the beautiful French countryside?
Make it a reality, for a while at least, in one of the beautiful farmhouses or g®tes available at click4holidays.com which offers properties from Provence to Brittany and at many of France's prettiest regions in between.
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Dordogne is popular and famed for lush countryside, picturesque villages and quaint stone houses such as Fonguilleres.
Sleeping eight, it has an adjoining small cottage that can sleep another couple.
Both are sympathetically restored with exposed walls, heavy wooden beams and tiled floors.
The medieval town of Viller©al is five minutes' drive away and some of the region's most delightful villages Issigeac, Monpazier and Monflanquin are also close by.
click4holidayhomes.com offers seven nights in Fonguilleres (sleeps eight, ref 6340), (sleeps 10, ref 6339) from £1,050.