Vacation Home
Vacation Home

Where to Save and Splurge in Your Vacation Home

Owning a vacation home is a dream for many people. Your home-away-from-home offers a personal escape from the daily grind and can also be a potential source of rental income. However, furnishing and maintaining this second home needs to be a balancing act between cost and comfort. Knowing where to save and where to splurge can help you create a welcoming, cost-efficient retreat. Explore some of the smartest ways to allocate your budget when outfitting your vacation home, from investing in affordable kitchen appliance packages to fitting the bedrooms with luxe linens.

Save: Smart Home Gadgets

While smart home gadgets like thermostats, lighting and security systems are an excellent addition to your primary residence, you don’t need to buy the most expensive models for your vacation home.

Many affordable options offer the same convenience and security features as high-end versions. For example, the Wyze Cam v3 is under $40 and offers features like night vision, while Lutron Aurora dimmer lights fit over your existing switches, so there is no need to spend extra money on rewiring. Smart home devices can also save you money on energy bills, making them cost-effective.

Splurge: Reliable Appliances

The appliances in your vacation home should be reliable and efficient. Investing in quality brands like ZLINE appliances for your refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer can prevent the headaches of frequent repairs or replacements.

Also, consider energy-efficient models that save on your utility bills, making them a worthwhile splurge. When searching for energy-efficient appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label, a government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. 

Save: Trendy Décor

While it’s tempting to deck out your vacation home in the latest décor trends, these can quickly become dated. Opt for classic, timeless pieces that won’t require frequent updates. Look for items like landscape paintings, black-and-white photographs, or even abstract art that complement the color scheme of your home.

Include a well-placed mirror in a minimal gold or black frame to improve light diffusion and give a sense of space in a room. For textile items like throw pillows and blankets, choose solid colors or textures like cable knit or herringbone. This adds warmth and comfort to your space without being too trend-focused. You can also save money by shopping at discount home goods stores or embracing DIY projects for a personal touch that doesn’t break the bank.

Splurge: Quality Mattresses and Bedding

After a day of adventures or relaxation, a comfortable bed is essential for a restful night’s sleep, whether for yourself or your guests. Choose premium mattresses made from durable materials engineered to give your spine the best support.

Memory foam mattresses are a popular choice, known for their pressure-relieving properties and ability to contour to the body. They are ideal for guests who prefer a softer, more enveloping sleep surface. If you like firmer support, consider innerspring or hybrid mattresses, which also offer better air circulation, keeping sleepers cooler through the night. Also, purchase good quality linens for your bed. Splurging on high-thread-count sheets makes a difference for you and your guests, especially if you’re renting out the property.

Don’t forget to invest in high-quality bedding accessories like pillow-top mattress toppers and moisture-repellant mattress protectors. These items will protect your mattress from spills, dust mites and allergens, helping prolong its lifespan. 

Splurge: Durable, Easy-to-Clean Flooring

Floors in a vacation home endure wear and tear, especially if located near beaches, mountains or other nature-centric locales. Investing in high-quality, durable flooring like tile or high-grade vinyl can withstand heavy use and is easier to clean. High-end vinyl floors can cost between $250 to $4,600 per room, depending on the style you want, while tiles can set you back around $2,000 to $6,300. Although these materials might cost more upfront, you’ll save money and hassle in the long run.

Save: Second-Hand Finds

Furnishing a vacation home doesn’t mean everything must be new. Second-hand stores, estate sales and online marketplaces like Facebook or eBay can be goldmines for unique, inexpensive furniture and décor. Not only does this save money, but it also adds character and charm to your space.

Look for items with quality craftsmanship and timeless design when exploring second-hand options. Choose solid wood furniture in sleek, minimalist styles like Mission or mid-century modern. Be on the lookout for area rugs. Quality rugs can be expensive when bought new, but second-hand stores often have a wide range at more affordable prices. Just make sure they aren’t worn or frayed. 

Splurge: HVAC Systems

When it comes to ensuring comfort in your vacation home, the home HVAC system is one area where splurging is justified. A premium heating, ventilation and air conditioning system provides a comfortable environment regardless of the season and adds value to your property. 

If your vacation home has outdated central, ducted heating and cooling, switch to a ductless system like the MRCOOL mini split. Mini split systems allow for zoned temperature management, allowing you to cool or heat the rooms you are using and save energy in the ones you aren’t. You can also supplement your HVAC system with ceiling fans like Big Ass Fans. Fans help improve the airflow, putting less strain on your HVAC and allowing it to last longer, ultimately saving you money in the long term. 

Save: Entertainment Options

Vacations are a time for rest and rejuvenation, but spending all your time zoned out in front of the TV means you miss out on exploring the fantastic attractions surrounding your holiday home. 

Instead of a high-end entertainment system, consider more budget-friendly options for kicking back at the end of a long day. Streaming devices, a selection of books and board games, or a good Bluetooth speaker can provide ample entertainment without a hefty price tag.

Maximize Your Vacation Home’s Potential

Outfitting your vacation home is an exciting journey that blends practicality with personal taste. It’s about creating a space that offers comfort and style but also stands the test of time in terms of durability and functionality. 

The choices you make today on where to save and where to splurge will shape your enjoyment of your vacation home and the memories you’ll make there. Whether it’s sinking into a plush, high-quality mattress or enjoying the efficiency of a well-chosen HVAC system, each decision is a step toward creating your haven.