Choosing a Vacation Rental
Sometimes, the toughest challenge when planning a vacation is choosing where to stay. If you’re all set on a vacation rental, it doesn’t even end there. With tons of locations and properties out there, choosing can be overwhelming. But there are considerations that can help you choose right without losing your sanity.
Pick a popular destination.
If you want to save considerably, your best bet is to go where there are lots of vacation rentals and prices are competitive.
Compare different properties.
The benefits of making comparisons are obvious. Best of all, that’s very convenient to do online! Take advantage of those comparison tools on the Internet. Very importantly, do not sign anything unless you have comparison-shopped.
Don’t send cash until you’ve signed paperwork.
Make sure that your rental paperwork is signed before you send any money for vacation rentals.
Know who you’re dealing with.
Ask them for references and know their background. Most vacation rentals are handled by professional agents, so you should find all the important information in the paperwork. Even if you’re dealing directly with the homeowner, it’s still important that you sign a lease.
Check the fine print.
Just in case you have to leave early, do they have a cancellation policy? If you do cancel, does it say when they’ll return your deposit?
Know what’s included in the deal.
Most contracts for vacation rentals will say “everything’s included,” but check if there are hidden surcharges. If Internet and cable are covered, does that automatically mean WiFi is included or that the connection is high-speed? Is cable basic or premium? If they say you don’t have to pay for electricity, is there a cap or limit? If you’re renting a home with a pool, who’ll pay to heat it (this can get expensive in winter)? These small things about vacation rentals are often overlooked, yet they can make a considerable difference in your final total costs.
Consider the people you’re traveling with.
If you’re traveling with kids, check the bed configurations. If there’s only one king-sized bed, that can mean trouble. Also be sure to see photos of the property. If your crayon-crazy three-year-old is coming, forget that house with a gorgeous white couch and fancy decor.+ If your beloved Great Dane is coming along, be sure they don’t have a weight limit for pets.
Get an emergency contact person.
Lastly, make sure you have someone to call during emergencies, like an electrical blackout or the dishwasher breaking. The contract should also indicate a timeframe for fixing the issue.