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Five ‘Outside the Box’ Options for Summer Vacation

The family vacation. That one week each year when you pack up the kids, load up the family vehicle, and hit the road for the opportunity to “get away from it all”. Usually these trips involve tourist destinations like a beach or a major U.S. city, while others may opt for a week’s worth of “roughing it” (complete with water and electric hook-ups) at a National Park. As nice as these destinations can be, they can become mundane after a while, so why not jazz up the family vay-kay with something new and different? is a website where everyday people from around the world offer their own property for rent to travelers looking for something “outside the box”. While you can find the plenty of options for the typical Bed and Breakfast or beach front property, you can also find more unique, one-of-a-kind options like these:

Tree House

(Doug & Linda/

At some point in your life you either had a tree house of your own, or knew someone who did. It was usually dirty with spider webs in the corners and over time it became more of a retreat for small woodland creatures and other insects than it was for the kids who it was built for. But in its heyday, that tree house was a fort you attacked the imagery enemy from, or hung out in just to have some alone time.

Thanks to users, Doug and Linda, you can relive those youthful days or just enjoy some peace and quiet in the 120 square foot tree house they built in Burlingame, California, just a 20 minute drive from San Francisco.

Providing accommodations for four people, you won’t exactly be roughing it as features include cable TV, DVD player with DVD’s, and Wi-Fi. All this can be yours for one week at the cost of $1,175




A search of “planes” on the website gives you four options, all of which are in other countries like this 1950′s freight plane available for rent by Airbnb user Billy. According to Billy’s description, this plane was one of the last planes Allied forces flew out of Vietnam during the war and is possibly the only accommodation of its kind in the world.

Situated in Otorohanga, New Zealand, the plane features two separate units, the “Cockpit Unit” and the “Tail Unit”. Each can accommodate up to four people with the Cockpit Unit featuring two sleeping areas. One of which contains a double bed and a pull-out sofa, while the other contains another double mattress on the floor which Billy recommends for younger kids as it sits in a part of the plane with a low ceiling. The Tail Unit has one sleeping room with a double bed and a bunk bed. The photos that accompany Billy’s post show a small kitchen area with a sink, microwave, two burner stove top, and mini-fridge.

Pricing is based on the time of year the stay is booked.


Train Caboose



Live out your Thomas the Tank Engine fantasy with a stay in this converted caboose by Airbnb user Juggler. Sitting on a secluded set of train tracks in Freeman, Wisconsin, this unique abode features a kitchen, bath, gas fireplace and a private deck with its very own hot tub. The unit features a double futon and bunks for sleeping and goes for $150 per night.



(Gail & Greg/

Honestly, I had to Google the word “yurt” to see what in the world it was. By definition, it is “a circular tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework, used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey.” As you can see from the picture above, today’s yurts have abandoned the use of felts or animal skins in favor of more modern fabrics.

The pictured yurt is located in Ocean View, Hawaii (isn’t pretty much all of Hawaii “ocean view?) and is available for rent through Airbnb users, Gail and Greg. The 24-foot yurt provides 420 square feet of space and accommodates two people with a queen size bed, living area, a kitchen with all utensils provided, and is “conveniently located close to Volcanoes National Park”. This out of the ordinary camping experience can be yours for a week at just $360.




A exclusive search of “igloo” at brings up 14 results, four of which aren’t typical igloos (one is an igloo-shaped tent). However, if you are looking for a true “bare bones,” “roughing it” trip, hit up Airbnb user Ruru whose lists the igloo pictured above in Vorarlberg, Austria. Amenities included the ability to bring your pet along, an indoor fireplace (which I would think isn’t the best idea unless you’re looking to install a skylight), the ability to smoke inside…and that’s it. If you’re interested, plan accordingly as the description states this bit of property isn’t available in the summer. As a matter of fact, that’s the only thing the description states.

How much can you expect to pay for this 10 square foot, man-made ice house? I guarantee that whatever your thinking is too low. Ruru is asking for $1,375 per week. That’s $200 MORE than Doug and Linda are asking for their California tree house that features cable TV and Wi-Fi. Tell you what, Ruru, I’ll just stay home and sit inside the deep freezer in my basement for a week.


For these and other unique options such as boats, ti-pi’s, huts, and lighthouses, along with the aforementioned “normal” locations like apartments, condos, and houses, visit

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