9 Absurd Mansions You Can Rent For A Dirt-Cheap Vacation

Want to do a fun summer trip with ALL your friends or family? Well, there are some amazing houses you can rent these days that could be cheaper than renting hotel rooms. Plus, you get the added benefit of everyone staying in one place together for some quality bonding time.

And these are not your normal everyday homes. These mansions are designed for huge groups and come with everything you could possibly want to make your trip unforgettable.

Check out these houses for some ideas to help you get started planning your next friend bash or family reunion.

The prices are based off the average cost per night divided by the total number it sleeps. The key is getting a big group together to keep the costs low. Even without filling to the max, the prices are still pretty good. Plus, it’s fun just looking at these crazy homes.

A quick note: The prices fluctuate on these homes, but were accurate at the time this story was published. You’ll definitely want to click each listing to learn more and to make sure it’s still affordable for your family!

1. Destin, Florida

Located off the Scenic 98 in Destin, FL, this house has something for everyone. The swim up bar in the middle of the pool is the icing on the cake. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 34
  • Price: $44 per person/night

Now that’s what you call a pool. Get the details here.

And if you don’t want to actually hang out in the pool, this amazing outdoor living space will do just fine. Details here.

Wow. Now, this is a kitchen. You should be able to whip up even the biggest meal in here. More details here.

2. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

This estate is situated near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and perfect for a summer mountain gathering. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 28
  • Cost: $89 per person/night

Just look at that view. Close proximity to biking and skiing.

VRBO

A great open floor plan for gathering. Can’t you picture a roaring fire going as the snow falls outside?

VRBO

3. Big Bear Lake, California

The little gem is called Edgewood and is located in Big Bear.  It has a guest house that is the perfect spot to put those friends or family members that don’t make your A list. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 24
  • Cost: $82 per person/night

This foyer will just make you happy every time you walk into the house. Details here.

Relax and be at peace with yourself in the sunroom. Fountains included at no extra charge. Details here.

You can whip up quite the nice meal in this gourmet kitchen.

4. Hudson, New York

Nestled in the Hudson Valley, this estate offers beautiful views in nearly every direction. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 24
  • Cost: $42 per person/night

VRBO

Just look at this gorgeous pool.

VRBO

5. Orlando, Florida

Want that perfect Disney vacation? This gem of a house could be what your dreams are made of. It boasts a pool and movie theater room to name a few. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 22
  • Cost: $56 per person / night

The mansion has an enclosed pool so you can swim without any bugs bothering you. Details here.

And when the weather is bad, everyone can just spend some time watching movies in the private cinema. Details here.

6. Las Vegas, Nevada

Looking to step up the fun level? Then make a trip to Las Vegas. This house is a short ride from the strip, but why would you ever want to leave this pad? Details here.

  • Sleeps: 30
  • Cost:  $50 per person/night

Have you ever swum in a car-shaped pool? Here’s your chance. Details here.

This classic white kitchen looks stunning with plenty of room to cook for a big group. Details here.

7. Outer Banks, North Carolina

If the beach is your thing and you have 30 relatives or friends to join you, then you need to check out this oceanfront pad in Outer Banks. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 32
  • Cost: $19 per person / night

The pool is just yards to the beach, but why bother when you have this setup. Details here.

This living room is made for lounging and game-playing. Details here.

And it really doesn’t get much better than this view. Details here.

8. Lake Michigan

There’s nothing better than a summer lake trip. And this house would be the ultimate place to spend that vacation. It even comes with 450 feet of private beach. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 64
  • Cost: $26 per person / night

It doesn’t get much better than relaxing at a lake. Talk about peaceful. Details here.

There should be more than enough kitchen cabinet storage for all those snacks you’ll be eating lakeside. Details here.

9. Auvergne, France

And finally, if you really want a truly unforgettable friends or family trip take a look at this place in France. You will feel like you walked back in time and are living like royalty. Details here.

  • Sleeps: 60
  • Cost: $34 per person / night

The pool looks even classier at night. Perfect for an evening dip. Details here.

This vaulted living room makes you feel like you are in a castle. Wait… you are. Details here.

Take your dinner to the next level with this formal dining room that’s fit for royalty. Details here.

Click here for 7 additional mansions that are available to rent.

This Ginormous Pillow Is Exactly What We Need To Relax

Let’s face it: In this busy world, sometimes we all need is a little time to relax. And what better way to take a load off than by snuggling up in an absurdly large pillow?

This pillow/couch/chair made by Lovesac is called the Big One—for an obvious reason. It measures 8 feet wide by 3 feet tall. If you want to cuddle with your significant other, there is more than enough room. In fact, you could even have your dog join you, as it fits up to three adults.

Lovesac

And unlike a traditional bean bag, the Big One is made with shredded Durafoam, which absorbs body weight and doesn’t compress over time.

The folks at Insider took the Big One for a test drive, and it sure looks comfy.

Now, relaxation does not come cheap. This fancy pillow will set you back a cool $1,300 (although its currently on sale for $1040). But then, can you really put a price on your comfort?

It comes in about 80 colors and styles, so there should be one to fit every taste. Keep in my mind that you may need to remove some other furniture to fit this massive piece in your room.

Here are some of the styles we liked the most.

Soft, Furry White

This Polar Cut Phur Cover in white could be a great option for a bedroom or somewhere relatively kid-free!

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Soft, Furry Gray

The same idea as above but even furrier. The Chinchilla Dense Phur cover in gray is a great, stain-resistant choice for homes with kids and pets.

 

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A Cool, Funky Pattern

This Atomic Morocco Polylinen cover looks chic and vibrant.

More Cozy Chair Options

If the Lovesac’s not entirely your style, there are plenty of other cozy chairs out there that may do the trick. Here are a few ideas (some of which are available for purchase and some that are only concepts at this point):

1. The Inchworm

If you miss the days of your cradle, you’ll enjoy this encapsulating piece of furniture, aptly named The Inchworm. The cushions wrap around you when you lay down, making it a cozy spot to read a book or just relax.

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Alexandra Knyazevoy

You can glide through the air in these hanging loungers:

2. Seatcraft Cuddle Seat

If you like to watch movies curled up against your significant other, these chairs are for you. And you won’t feel smushed, as these chairs are made for two.

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4Seating

4Seating, $999

3. A Papasan Chair

This plush chair not only adds an accent to the room, but it provides a nice, comfy cushion to set your bum down on after a long day. Nothing says “curl up here” like a papasan chair.

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Pier 1

Pier 1 Imports, $54.95 for the frame and cushion (sold separately)

4. Cradle For Adults

You’ll feel just like a tiny baby when you cozy up into this cradle made for adults. This beautifully-crafted wooden piece of furniture is as aesthetically appealing as it is comfortable.

cradle
Yanko Design

Yanko Design, not yet available

 

This Dad Is Creating Unbelievable Costumes For Kids In Wheelchairs

Ryan Weimer’s son, Keaton, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) when he was 9 months old. As a result of SMA, Keaton had to use a wheelchair.  When Ryan asked his son what he wanted to be for Halloween, Keaton said he wanted to be a pirate. That’s when the light bulb went off for Ryan:

A couple days later I had one of those moments when my brain decides it’s the best time for thinking – this usually seems to happen way too early in the morning when I should be sleeping or in the shower – but during this magical thinking moment I realized, “Keaton has this wheelchair he cruises around in, and every pirate needs a ship, so let’s just build one around  his chair!”     -Ryan Weimer, MagicWheelchair.org

The costume was so popular that Ryan launched a nonprofit called Magic Wheelchair to create amazing costumes for other kids in wheelchairs.

Today, there are 18 teams of volunteer builders. “This year, thanks to the help of some incredible volunteers, we have been able to spread around the country,” Wendy Barrett, a friend of Magic Wheelchair, told Simplemost. In 2016, they plan to build 25 costumes in 11 different states.

In order to be selected, the kids have to submit a short video describing their idea.   Those that are accepted get to watch their dream become reality.

 

Here’s come cool photos from the designs they create:

dragon-wheelchair
Facebook | Magic Wheelchair

 

A High School Student Invented A Stroller To Help Moms In Wheelchairs

When most people take their babies for a stroll, they simply pop them in the stroller and off they go.

But for those that have to use wheelchairs, that simple exercise becomes much more challenging. That’s the challenge that Sharon Jones faced.  She was shot at age 5 and lost the use of her legs. As an adult later in life, when she became pregnant, she started thinking how she might handle this seemingly basic task.

That’s where Alden Kane, a 16 year-old at University of Detroit, came in. He invented a new custom wheelchair stroller to help.

“It was great to meet her and talk to her about what she wants and doesn’t want,” he told The Michigan Catholic. “Talking to her was a big help, figuring out the workability of the device, where to put a diaper bag, whether or not she could unhook the stroller and how she can move around in the chair.”

With the success that Sharon has had with the stroller, Alden plans to make the device available to more people in need. What a great young man, and an inspiring story.




Looking for more products that help parents with disabilities? Here are some adaptive products that can help make life a little easier:

Side doors make this crib more accessible for parents with disabilities

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Parents with Disabilities Online

This velcro wrap, called the Wriggle Wrapper, allows parents with limited mobility to sit and hold or feed their child more comfortably. It also can convert any chair into a high chair, making life a little easier for all parents when out and about.

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phil&teds

 

This swivel car seat allows parents to turn the seat 90 degrees for easy loading and unloading into the car.

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Amazon

Orbit baby G3 toddler convertible car seat, $304

This DIY Dog Toy Will Keep Your Pet Busy For Hours

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Being a loving dog owner, I’m always on the search for new toys to keep Stanley busy while we are away. We’ve tried everything from deer antlers to Benebones (which are great, BTW), but I was intrigued when I came across this DIY dog toy.

This definitely shows some great promise, plus it’s pretty cheap to make.

What you need:

  1. Three plastic bottles
  2. Metal pole
  3. Wood pole
  4. Scrap wood
  5. Four screws
  6. Wood glue
  7. Drill

Steps:

  1. Create a stand using two pieces of wood on the side and one on the bottom.
  2. Attach the wood pole at the top to serve as the carrier.
  3. Drill holes through the bottles and insert the metal pole through them and then secure the pole to the stand.
  4. Put some dog food into the bottles and you are good to go.

[h/t Lifehacker]

via GIPHY

Other Activities For Dogs

If you are seeking other fun ways to keep your pooch busy that are a bit less DIY, then you might want to consider a trip to your local pet store. After all, dogs require a certain level of mental stimulation throughout the day and having fun toys on hand is one way to ensure they get their daily dose. This is especially important if they will be at home without human interaction for several hours at a time.

dog toy photo
Flickr | lindsayloveshermac

Store bought tools to keep your dog entertained include the popular KONG toys, which can be filled with treats or peanut butter, as well as safe chews, like the Nylabone. Some dogs even love puzzles — yes, you read that correctly! — like the Nina Ottosson puzzle toys.




Your furry family member might also love a classic ball, more specifically one that also does a little good like the Project Play Wunderball. Made from 100 percent natural rubber, the super-durable ball is not only safe for your dog, but also the environment.




Plus, the ball’s irregular surface helps to massage your dog’s teeth and gums, and then there is, perhaps, the best part yet — for every ball purchased, the company iHeartDogs donates the a ball to a shelter dog in need of a little love (and play).

via GIPHY

And, really, does it get any better than that?

Amazon Is Hiring Seasonal Work-From-Home Positions With Flexible Hours

 

Looking to make a little extra money for the holiday shopping season? Amazon is hiring seasonal customer service associates to help answer customers’ questions and problem-solve any issues.

It’s important to note upfront that Amazon requires that you MUST live in one of the following states in order to be eligible for these work from home positions: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin or Virginia.

*If you don’t live in one of these states, see below for Other Amazon Employment Opportunities.

Benefits:

  • You can work from the comfort of your own home and wear that new pair of flannel pajamas you bought for yourself.
  • You can choose how many hours you work through Amazon’s Reserve program. This means you can work anywhere between one and 30 hours per week. The average number of hours worked is 12.
  • The rate is $10 an hour.

Qualifications:

From the official job description:

The ideal Seasonal Work from Home Amazonian is internet savvy and has technical aptitude when it comes to online tools and research. You will think outside the box, solve problems, answer questions, and resolve concerns presented by our Amazon customers. Our customers contact us primarily by phone and we hope you can help us deliver customer obsessed results.

Other job requirements:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to take any shift Sunday through Saturday from 3:00 a.m. to midnight PST. During the holiday season, you may be asked to work additional hours or a holiday.
  • For additional requirements check out the job posting here.

Think you have what it takes? Go here to apply.

Other Amazon Employment Opportunities

If you don’t live in one of the states above, but are still looking for work, I’d still recommend checking out Amazon’s job portal. After doing a quick search, there are additional employment opportunities in the following states:

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Texas.

Here’s how you do the search:

  • Click here to go to their job portal.
  • Click the word, “Search.”
  • Select the job type, country and state. You can even narrow the search by entering your city.
  • Click “Filter Jobs.”

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Amazon

I found roles that range from part-time Seasonal Associates, to Logistics Sorting Associates, Prime Now Associates, and more. Some positions are full-time, some are part-time.

If you’ve applied, work for Amazon or have worked for Amazon in the past, please tell us about your experiences on our Facebook page.

And Amazon is not the only company hiring for seasonal positions right now. A number of other retailers are looking for holiday help as well, including the following:

Kohl’s

Another mighty retailer expecting a lot of jingling bells and cash registers—take a look through Kohl’s seasonal careers listings here.

Kohls photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

 

Best Buy

The electronics giant needs folks for their warehouse operations. You need to be able to lift at least 40 pounds. See job specifics here.

best buy photo
Photo by MikeKalasnik

Macy’s

For many, the traditional Christmas season kicks off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and the department store needs to fill these seasonal spots before then. Minneapolis needs a Mrs. Claus, BTW!

macys photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

Target

Target is another retailer that will be bringing on seasonal, red-shirt-wearing staff. Check listings here, where you can also sign up for email updates.

target photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

Read about other companies looking for seasonal help.

You’ve Got To Watch Michael Phelps Swim To The Sounds Of Super Mario

Anytime I hear the classic Super Mario Brothers music, I have immediate flashbacks to my youth and the countless carefree hours spent playing that iconic game.

And those sweet sounds also go perfectly well with swimming races. Retro SFX created this amazing video of Michael Phelps set to the music from the Nintendo classic. I think my favorite parts when it shows the second place person and the music when the American flag is raised.

This video has now been viewed over 6 million times and for good reason. It will put a smile on your face. Watch below.