RentMix Maps the Best Alternatives to Hotels

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— Courtesy Bart Speelman/Flickr
Vacation rental in Bali.

Renting a vacation pad—where you typically enjoy more room and more personality, at a lower cost than a hotel stay—became the first choice travel method for more than a million Americans this year, according to surveys. But how to pinpoint the best spots near desirable locations and skip the lemons?

Enter, Rentmix.com, a site that pins on an online map vacant vacation rentals at your destination. It's like a Kayak for vacation rentals, fetching listings from services such as AirBnB, HomeAway, FlipKey.

Say you're trying to stay in London for the Olympics and all of the local hotels are charging astronomical prices. Punch in your trip dates, budget, and preferred number of bedrooms, and Rentmix will fetch the houses and apartments in a district you specify. (For what it's worth, there are condos for rent from $59 a night in London during the Olympics, according to our recent search on the site.)

The clincher: Rentmix brings together the broadest array of lodging options of any site, and its map feature enables you to make sure you're choosing a rental in the right location.

Tip: When comparing listings, use the "Street View" feature of Google Maps to double check that the block matches the lister's description. ("Is it really only two blocks to the subway?")

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