January 30, 2009

How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental

1. Define your Dream Vacation-Identify what is most important for your family in a Rental Vacation property before doing your research. What do you want to spend your vacation doing? What attractions are you planning to see? Is it important to be next to a variety of restaurants or will eating in your rental home suffice? If you are bringing infants or small children, you’ll need to write a list of the items that are necessary and nice to have. How many bedrooms will you need? Do you require internet access? These are just some of the things you’ll want to figure out before doing your homework.

2. Compare Prices- By comparing with similar sized rentals and amenities you will ensure you’re getting the best deal. Also, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. While one home might be a couple hundred dollars cheaper, you’ll know exactly what you are getting with photos. Ask yourself if the savings is worth the loss of comfort, style, abundance of amenities and location, etc.

3. Get the Facts- Make sure you know the details of payment and pricing as well as the location. Also, find out what amenities and extras the home has. Are beach towels, laundry detergent, dish soap, dishes, pans, pots , a coffeemaker with coffee filters, shampoo, bodywash, etc., included? What restaurants does the owner recommend? Which nearby grocery store is best? Will you have to do any cleaning before you check out? Is there anyone you can call (such as a property manager) if problems or questions arise during your stay?

4. Truth in Testimonials- As with most things in life, whether it be shopping online or a restaurant experience, one of the most important times to get feedback, is when it pertains to your accommodations. Specifically when you rent a home (where you cannot simply check into a new room or house for that matter) you’ll want to hear positive comments from previous guests. Take it one step further-ask the home owner if you can contact a few previous guest(s). Often they will have that information on file and should not have a problem giving it to you.

5. Always Negotiate! In such economic times as these, it is important to keep every last dollar you can. The worst thing that the home owner can say is ‘no’. With many homes sitting for weeks without being occupied, it is in the best interest of the home owner to fill it up! If they agree to your price, you just got a sweet deal! If they aren’t willing to budge on price then you can try other homes, or book knowing you made a valiant effort. This is not necessarily common practice in Vacation Rentals but I firmly believe in negotiating whenever you can on everything.

Happy hunting and I hope your Vacation is dream come true!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karla,
    Thanks for such a great post. These are very important tips when choosing a vacation rental. I would also like to alert people about vacation rental scams. Although most property owners are honest it is good to be aware that internet fraud does happen. So when choosing your ideal vacation rental I recommend you keep in mind the tips mentioned in one of my favorite vacation rental websites, Rentalo.com:

    Vacation Rental Scams - Don't Let them Trick you!

    Also, I would like to recommend Rentalo.com to everyone looking for a vacation rental. I think its Destination inquiry service is very helpful to compare vacation rentals. You submit an inquiry to all vacation rentals in a destination that match your criteria, and you basically wait for offers from property owners. This is really helpful, time and money saving.

    Hope this tip helps to complement your post.

    Best regards!


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