13 Cities Where It Pays to Get in the Vacation Rental Game

ENJOY SOMEONE ELSE'S VACATION

Generating passive income by renting out a house or apartment is a dream for many. Even people who can't afford a rental property or vacation home are putting their places up for rent online when they're out of town. As always in real estate, what matters most is location, location, location. But that doesn't mean you have to live in a big city that draws lots of tourists to make money this way. TripAdvisor recently determined where in the United States the demand exceeds the supply of listings on its vacation rental site. Perhaps not surprisingly, Florida leads the pack, but Southern beach and mountain towns are also popular. Read on to find out if your city made the list.

MARATHON, FLORIDA

Marathon is known as a family boating destination (in other words, no spring breakers wreaking havoc on your home). Owners of one-bedroom apartments in this small, pretty city in the Florida Keys garner an average income boost of $2,344 a week, and a four-bedroom home can be rented out for an average of $3,668 a week.

KEY LARGO, FLORIDA

Key Largo's reputation as the diving capital of the world, along with many other amenities, draw vacationers to the northernmost location in the Florida Keys. Average weekly rates are $1,985 for a one-bedroom rental, $2,321 for two bedrooms, and $3,103 for three bedrooms, so it pays to own a bigger home here.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

Nashville residents can make some serious cash renting out their homes to country music lovers who come to visit for the tunes, food scene, and fun. A one-bedroom goes for an average of $1,100 and a four-bedroom jumps up to $3,358 weekly.

SIESTA KEY, FLORIDA

In Siesta Key, where visitors admire the white-sand beaches, homeowners fetch $1,077 on average when renting out a one-bedroom apartment weekly. Four bedrooms more than double the rate to $2,856 a week.

GALVESTON, TEXAS

This coastal resort city on Galveston Island is a scenic place to visit as well as to live year-round. One-bedroom owners can make an average of $954 a week, two-bedroom owners $1,408, and four-bedroom owners $2,531.
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GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE

This picturesque town in the Smoky Mountains attracts visitors for couples' getaways and outdoorsy family adventures. A one-bedroom rental averages $1,083 for a week, and a three-bedroom brings in $1,742 a week in rental income.

DESTIN, FLORIDA

This popular beach destination off Florida's Emerald Coast is known for its soft sand and sparkling green water. A one-bedroom averages $870 a week in rental income, a two-bedroom earns $1,093, and a four-bedroom is $2,161 a week, so single-family homeowners can make a bundle.

OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

Ocean City is a much-loved vacation destination for East Coasters looking for some beach fun in the warmer months. Owners of a one-bedroom rental can make about $832 a week, and a three-bedroom rakes in $1,441.

LAS VEGAS

In other places, a larger home can bring in more than twice the rental income of a one-bedroom, but Vegas residents will find a vacation-rental side business worth it even if they own a smaller place. One-bedroom units rent for $1,133 weekly, whereas two-bedrooms average only about $40 more and four-bedrooms go for $1,867.

ORANGE BEACH, ALABAMA

In Orange Beach, visitors seek out family-friendly condos on the water. A four-bedroom rental earns $2,079 a week, while a one-bedroom puts an average of $767 a week in an owner's pocket.

HELEN, GEORGIA

Built to resemble a Bavarian village in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Helen is a popular draw for outdoorsy types and other tourists. A one-bedroom rents for an average of $792 and a two-bedroom for $1,025 weekly. The average price for a four-bedroom: $1,947 a week.
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GULF SHORES, ALABAMA

This coastal town entices tourists with gorgeous beaches and nature galore. Average rates rise modestly from a one-bedroom for $687 a week to a two-bedroom for $844. Owners of bigger homes do better: A four-bedroom brings in $2,116 a week.

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA

This happening beach town is known for its busy boardwalk, many mini-golf courses, and good weather. The average one-bedroom goes for $662 a week, and renting out a four-bedroom garners an average of $1,264 a week.