Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dreaming of a Dwellable Getaway

You know you've found a good app when it makes you think of doing things you had no intention of doing before you opened it. Enter the Dwellable app for iPhone and's got me dreaming of far away lands, crystal blue pools and making me completely forget that in 2 weeks time I will be housebound with my newborn!

To give you a little background, Dwellable is a great website that helps you locate rental properties in destinations all over the US to stay at on your next vacation. The Hubby and I have always preferred to stay in rental properties because it can save you so much money! Once we had Logan, then it was a bit of a no brainer as we always needed just a little more room, needed to save just a little more money and needed certain amenities that hotel rooms just don't have like a full kitchen, bathtubs and separate bedrooms.

App Icon with Mr. Logan peering at you from the background

I was asked by Dwellable to do a review on their new app which is free (yay!) and available in both iPhone and Android markets (Double Yay! As Jas has an Android and I have an iPhone, I love that we can both use it separately). So last night as I crawled into bed at an hour that was much too late for my mental liking, and continued to just lay there in a state of uncomfortable pregnancy insomnia, I decided to turn on my phone and wander through the delightful dwellings available on Dwellable. What I found was, in a nutshell, my dream vacation home. Sigh. I was just trying to peruse all of the available properties, and happen to start looking in Austin, TX (a destination Jason and I have been talking about visiting for years!). Who knew my dream home was waiting for us in the Lonestar state?! While I love this app, I'm beginning to hate it because it's forcing me to dream of vacations that cannot be taken for several months (Have you traveled with an infant and a toddler much? Ya, I'm guessing it's NOT the most relaxing!).

The Dream Vacation Rental: It says it sleeps 3, but I'm pretty sure it can accommodate a cowboy party of 50!

Anyway, enough about my findings, let me walk you through this clean cut and awesome app so that you can all head over and find YOUR dream vacation homes as well! The first easy feature I like is choosing your destination; you can type in where you want to go if you already know, or you can choose to search all of their listings which are organized by state. Currently on the App, they only have listings available for all 50 states - no international rentals or US territories (Puerto Rico for example), but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before more properties all over the world are added. Another feature I was impressed with was once you choose your state destination (again, this is great if you don't have a specific location you want to stay at) the app then takes you to a new screen which divides the state up into several different areas. In my home state of Washington, for example, you can choose to look for properties in Eastern Washington or Western Washington, the Cascade Mountains or Puget Sound etc. This is a great feature because not only does it narrow down where you want to stay but it also informs the unaware traveler that there are that many different areas to stay within one location.

Once you've chosen a more specific area you can filter your search by dates available, price of unit, number of beds, fun amenities available (Pools, hot tubs, pet friendly etc). The photos that are shown for each property are awesome as well. Each are clear, bright and of the properties I sampled, it appeared that every single one had at least 5 photos which is very helpful for a visual person like myself. If you are less visual and instead rely on written descriptions to find out where to stay (Like my husband) each property also includes a lengthy description of what the property offers, certain highlights and in some situations, area highlights which are always helpful.

Once you've landed on your dream property, you now have to contact the owner to finalize your stay. How do you do that you ask? Thanks to the ease of this app, you can do it all with the push of a button...or the tab of your screen. Each property either has a "Email Owner" button which doesn't require you to leave the app at all to email which is brilliant. Or the owner's phone number and/or website is available for you to start up a conversation.

The only real con I found on this app to counter all of the amazing Pro's seems to have been fixed in the 6 hours I was sleeping! Last night the calendar filter wasn't working, but as of this morning it's functioning just fine!

So there you have it - a FREE app that can show you a vacation you NEED before you even knew you needed it and it has ZERO Cons! Haha! Seriously though, I encourage you to download it and check it out, it will certainly be worth your while! And hey, maybe the 4 Laubsters will see you in Austin soon...anyone want to babysit?