While a great hotel can make a trip -- and staying with friends or family can break a trip -- travelers are increasingly exploring a third option, vacation rentals. In 2010, more than one in five travelers tried a vacation home rental, according to an industry trade group. The same group says that nearly 50 percent of people planning a trip in the next two years are considering a rental rather than a more traditional stay.
While the Vacation Rental Managers Association has a vested interest in promoting its industry, the sheer uniqueness of vacation rentals is an undeniable benefit to these hotel alternatives. In a world awash in cookie-cutter chains, rentals offer one-of-a-kind experiences like spending the night in a static aircraft, a crane cab in the Netherlands, an English wheelhouse or an entire German wine country village.
Here, then, 11 of the world's quirkiest, wildest and just plain unique vacation rentals.