Tips to come out on top when looking for a quality vacation home to rent.

Ah, the holidays: The promise of gathering the whole family under one roof for togetherness. But which particular roof you assemble under, everyone knows, has the potential to lead to some holiday sneer. As an alternative, renting a vacation home for the holidays can factor a degree of neutral ground into the get-the-whole-gang-together equation. Staying in a rental property has the potential to be more rewarding than gathering at a hotel, despite the latter being more likely to offer a bargain (year-to-date revenue for the U.S. hotel industry is off 15%, at $80 billion, according to Smith Travel Research). Yet rental properties have the added advantages of full kitchen facilities, private hot tubs under starry skies and multiple floors of accommodation to keep combative parties apart. Nevertheless, there’s still an art to picking the right rental home for your crew. – From Forbes