Published: Sep 08, 2010 11:47 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 08, 2010 8:47 AM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - You've probably been there: on vacation with the family, all crammed into a small, high-priced hotel room. But there might be a way to stretch out and stretch your budget.

"Here you've got a lot more space, a lot more freedom, a lot more flexibility. I would much prefer to stay in a villa like this with all the facilities that you've got than in a small cramped hotel room," said Vacationer Adam Jackson.

When Adam planned his Florida vacation, he used a new method of finding the right place at the right price. Instead of booking a hotel, he went to one of several websites that connects homeowners with short-term tenants.

It's a win-win situation. People like Adam can get a whole house for the price of a hotel room. And people who have houses like this can get short-term, high dollar renters, to help them with their expenses.

"Instead of losing our home or trying to sell it a loss, we've actually turned it around now to where it's not really an income but covers itself, and allowed us to move to where we wanted to go and leave the house behind and it's taken care of," said vacation home owner Mike Geraud.

This concept did more than help Mike keep his home. It's become a career for him: he's now helping other homeowners find vacationers that will help them keep the bills paid.

So the next time you're thinking hotel, before you check in to a high-priced box, maybe you should check out this idea.

"It's like a home from home. In fact, it's better than a home from home, which is what you want for your holiday," said Jackson.

There are several websites where you can either offer a place for rent, or find a vacation rental. Just go to to find a list.