5 Awesome Alternatives to VRBO, Homeaway & Airbnb
Are you looking for alternatives to VRBO?
VRBO fees have caused vacationers to seek out alternatives to VRBO in New Hampshire. Find out the best vacation rental sites in 2019 and learn how to find no booking fee rentals.
Before we talk about the alternatives to VRBO, let me explain how Vacation Rentals have become such a big thing!
Vacation rentals booked directly with owners are one of the most popular ways to travel these days because of how convenient and affordable they are!
Because of the huge increase in popularity, the Internet has become clogged with Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) like VRBO (Verbo), TripAdvisor and Airbnb, that clamor for your travel dollars.
Several years ago, HomeAway, VRBO and Airbnb started allowing property managers of vacation rentals to advertise on their family of sites.
So now, instead of talking to the owner of vacation rentals, you might be dealing with a property manager that has an inventory of hundreds of properties. Any questions that you have are answered off a description sheet instead of chatting with an owner who loves their property!
You might be wondering what’s so special about booking a vacation rental directly with an owner?
Choose a Vacation, Not Toys
The other day, a friend asked me what my earliest memory was.
Hmmm... I had to give it some thought. Was it a toy I got for Christmas? The time we had a picnic at the beach? When Mom and I made an angel food cake with colored sprinkles? Or the day I got to row a rowboat all by myself?
It was most certainly the day my Dad let me row the rowboat all by myself. I was about 5 years old and I was so happy and proud.
I started reminiscing about my childhood and all the fun, funny, happy, and memorable times I could remember were all "events" and not "things".
My work gig is that I own Four Seasons Lodge in North Conway, NH and realizing that my fondest memories growing up were almost exclusively time spent with family or friends playing, vacationing, and celebrating was an epiphany for me.
I started to wonder if I was onto something - turns out I was.
A Fantastic Vacation = Increased Productivity at Work!
Did you know that a healthy vacation when you plan active and relaxing activities will result in increased creativity, experiencing new activities, reduce stress, and recharge your internal batteries.
I did a lot of research for this blog and the word that kept popping up was creativity. Most research articles report that time away from work boosts creativity which leads to increased productivity at work.
It all makes sense. If you don't take a break from the task or project you are working on to problem solve, your brain gets no break from the path it's on.
If you change up things and take a vacation with your family or friends, you'll boost your creativity. When you are exposed to new and different things or maybe try something that's out of your wheelhouse will also boost your creativity. Vacations are a great time to do just that - most people try a new activity or explore a new place on vacation. A creativity win!
Psychology Today Has a Lot To Say About Vacations
Elizabeth Padillo Olesen starts her poem about work like this:
Work in the morning
Work at noon
Work in the afternoon
and work in the night.
Does that sound like you? Well, you're in good company because according to Psychology Today:
Most Americans pride themselves in working hard and being dedicated to their job but research has proven that employees will work harder, have better health, enthusiasm, and perform better at their jobs if they take time off.
Why is that?
According to Psychology Today, time spent enjoying leisure activities boosts our satisfaction with life and our marriages, increase good health, and result in us working harder.
How could it not? Vacations should be exactly what you envision - unplugging from social media, TV, work and pleasure emails, and just enjoying activities solo or with friends or family that bring you joy.
Taking a few days off and only getting up from the couch to eat and go potty will not give you the benefits you're looking for. Your couch should not be your vacation destination.
You need to get up and go and do something you love. The break from work will help you to return with a new and enthusiastic point of view.
If you find you are unable to detach from work, you'll end up with burnout that impacts productivity.
Economically, you'd think businesses would encourage folks to use all their vacation time because it's estimated to cost $224 billion per year to pay folks for unused vacation time!
Raise your hand if you've ever sold back vacation time to your employer. At the same time, commit to yourself never to do that again.
This is the BEST New Hampshire Black Fly survival guide!
Yeeehaaaa! Winter is OVER! The days are getting longer, April showers bring May flowers, the days are warm and the nights are cool.
Don't you just LOVE spring? I do and so do the black flies, or as some folks call them, May flies. While you're ducking the black flies, check out 7 Perfect Summer Days in North Conway, NH.
Don't let the black flies keep you from enjoying the outdoors. There are many suggestions later on in this article to keep you black fly free!
North Conway Lodge, North Conway Restaurants, Conway Scenic Railroad and Outdoor Exploring!
North Conway has come a long way baby!
North Conway, NH has come a long way baby!
Come on for the ride and explore with me all the Things to Do in North Conway, NH!
Things to do in North Conway, NH in Summer!
Most vacationers that come to North Conway have a rough idea of what they want to do on vacation - after all, you picked a vacation in the White Mountains and not the beach!
I'll break it down for you into 7 days packed with fun - there's also a bonus 8th day for those that cannot get enough!
If you're like me, you spent lots of time in northern NH as a kid. My folks were not athletic but they loved going for rides through the mountains and pick a place to stay along the way! I guess that's when I got my desire to live and work in North Conway!
I am a hiker, biker, horseback rider (call me anytime to talk about horses!), kayaker, canoer, explorer, love waterfalls, shop when I need to, LOVE to eat out, am very social so we frequently can be seen enjoying a drink with friends, raised children here and now get to enjoy all the "kid stuff" with the grand babies, and lover of any activity the gets me outdoors summer, fall, winter or spring!
Follow along my journey around North Conway and the White Mountains and benefit from the fact that I've wasted time and money on activities and you don't need to make the same mistakes as me. I've included the best of the best in value and fun, things to do in North Conway. I hope you agree!
If you play your cards right, you can arrive early and stay late to enjoy 8 perfect summer days with plenty of things to do in North Conway, NH!
North Conway Restaurants For The Foodie In You
One of your main concerns when you go on vacation should be (and if isn't, trust me. It should be) when, where, and what are you going to eat? In the Mount Washington Valley we have options of several awesome North Conway restaurants on a budget, kid-friendly North Conway restaurants, allergy sensitive North Conway restaurants, bars, pubs and you can put together a great North Conway pub crawl!
There are some wonderful bars and restaurants to be sampled here in the Mount Washington Valley and I'm here to lead you in the right direction! Or you can stray away from these great options... up to you. I'm just here to hand over the information.
Don't Cry... There are LOTS of Things to DO in North Conway, NH!
Kid Friendly Rainy Day FUN at Four Seasons Lodge in North Conway, NH
Vacationing in North Conway, NH is fun, picturesque, and usually outdoorsy. If you've traveled to town expecting to hike, bike, or tube and Mother Nature throws a few inches of rain into the mix - fear not! There are plenty of kid friendly, indoor and outdoor things to do on a rainy day in North Conway, NH.
Our favorite rainy day activities include; Story Land, Diana's Baths, Mt Washington Valley Children's Museum, Uberblast, M&D Productions, Saco Valley Sports Center, Remick Country Doctor Museum, Tin Mountain Conservation Center, and Ham Arena.
Things To Do in North Conway, NH that are Family Friendly
My head spins when I think about how many family friendly things to do in North Conway, NH there are. Most of them are budget friendly too!
North Conway, NH is probably has the most family friendly things to do in all of New England. Tourism and the outdoors are the only industries in the area so you can be sure there are many fun, budget friendly, and outdoorsy activities close-by. A few of my favorites are skiing, doing a covered bridge tour or spending a day hanging out by one and splashing in the water below, and enjoying a day hike that's kid-friendly.
Saco River Tubing, History & More
The Saco River is a very important part of the White Mountains. It provides a rite of passage sport for newbie vacationers to the area - Saco River tubing. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's one of the most popular outdoor fun things to do in North Conway, NH! I know I probably just upset a few die-hard hikers but come on, who doesn't like kicking back on a sunny day, enjoying an adult beverage or two, having Mother Nature's power propel you down a waterway, knowing the kids are having fun too?
What most folks don't realize is that the Saco River has a rich and interesting history and is a kind of life-blood for NH and Maine residents too. Read on for some interesting factoids you can tuck away to impress someone at your next dinner party!
Covered Bridges in North Conway, NH that are Awesome
So, you think you know about covered bridges? Well, you don't! But New Hampshire sure does... well, maybe you build bridges and I shouldn't jump to conclusions but then, you must be interested in North Conway's historic covered bridges!
The White Mountains covered bridge history is wildly interesting. My favorite is the Jackson Kissing Covered Bridge. If you're looking for things to do in North Conway and photo ops, head to the Saco River Covered Bridge in summer, Albany Covered Birdge in winter, and the Swift River Bridge in a snowstorm!
If you want to enjoy all the covered bridges that the White Mountains have to offer, you can easily create your very own White Mountains Covered Bridge Tour!
North Conway, New Hampshire is perfect for group and corporate retreats! We have an abundance of indoor activities here in North Conway as well as outdoor things to do in North Conway, NH! There are several awesome North Conway Restaurants, White Mountain attractions that are perfect for groups and Four Seasons Lodge should be your next destination for your corporate retreat!
Summertime Fun for Everyone in North Conway NH
Thinking of heading to North Conway, NH and need a summer fun list of things to do? There are lots of indoor and outdoor things to do in North Conway, NH that will make everyone smile (even cousin Richard). Get your pencil and start taking notes. My top picks include; Saco River Tubing for all ages, hikes for tykes in North Conway, Diana's Baths in summer, relaxing on the Conway Scenic Railroad, enjoying the White Mountain National Forest, and Story Land for folks on a budget.
Remember folks, North Conway, NH is a tourist town so you can bet that there will be things to do that will slap a smile on everyone's face!
I took a chance naming my lodge "Four Seasons Lodge" because 28 years ago, we were essentially a one horse town. Skiing was what we were known for and Settlers Green and North Conway outlets were Johnny Come Lately's!
Over the years, folks have become way more outdoorsy, (even though gaming seems to be the #1 sport among teens) and hiking, ice climbing, dog sled races, snowmobiling and more have become a thing.
Combine those sports with all the new and super fun White Mountain Attractions, and you'll need two pages for your list!
So, let's start.
Planning a Gay Family Vacation in North Conway, NH?
Planning a gay family vacation in North Conway, NH? You've picked a perfect spot for it. North Conway, NH is an inclusive, welcoming, and family friendly town with many things to do. We have many gay family vacation tips for out LGBTQ friends. I've lived in North Conway, NH for a long time and like most vacation destinations, it's very gay friendly. Some of the events and highlights for you to consider are; Gay Pride Week in North Conway, NH, all the summer fun you can have in North Conway, NH, delicious North Conway restaurants, and last but not least, the Be Kind Festival at Schouler Park.
Saco River Tubing, Sun, and FUN!
Have you started planning your summer vacation? I have many suggestions of fun things to do in North Conway, NH but Saco River tubing tops this list!
Many things that folks like to do in North Conway require you to be physically fit. Not everyone is buff enough to climb a mountain or jog a few miles. I dare to say that even the couchiest of couch potatoes can climb into a canoe or kayak and float down a lazy, perfectly clear, refreshing river and go Saco River Tubing!
North Conway, NH - Not Just a Ski Town
Family vacations in North Conway, NH are a huge portion of tourists during every season. There are several great North Conway restaurants when you’re on a budget. Some folks are looking for tips for Saco River tubing and Conway Scenic Railroad for families. Are you worried about surviving North Conway weather? Most visitors don’t know that Mt Washington Auto Road is family friendly and you can enjoy Story Land on a budget too!
North Conway, NH is a very family friendly spot to host your family reunion or friend getaway. Four Seasons Lodge is a wonderful North Conway lodge and perfect for a large group gathering.
Looking for fantastic North Conway Restaurants?
I have 7 favorite restaurants in North Conway, NH and they are a mix of family friendly, foodie, moderately priced, and local North Conway restaurants.
In no particular order, my tip picks for restaurants in North Conway are; Stonehurst Tavern, Almost There, Red Fox Bar and Grill, Taste of Thai, Jalisco, North Conway Country Club, and Horsefeather’s and are all within minutes of Four Seasons Lodge - the best North Conway lodge.
Food is not that important to me plus I'm not a foodie and I'm cheap so so those characteristics are absolutely going to influence my top 7 picks.
In no particular order, here are my top 7 North Conway restaurants.
Saco River Tubing is Fun for Kids of All Ages!
Saco River tubing with kids in summer is an amazing experience for everyone! There are lots of places but we know the best places to tube on the Saco River. Saco River put-in and take-out can be tricky to check out our articles for Saco River tubing tips. My best tip is not to put-in at First Bridge in North Conway. It's very crowded and the water quality is iffy due to all the pee pee (if you get my drift).
You'll want to pick a really hot summer day to partake in one of my favorite things to do in North Conway, NH - Saco River Tubing. The Saco River is the hottest location for tourists and locals alike during the summer--and by hottest, I mean coolest!
Our Favorite Things To Do in North Conway, NH in Winter
3 Perfect Days Vacationing in North Conway!
We are locals and know the ins and outs of North Conway.