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Why stay at a vacation rental as opposed to hotels?

When planning a vacation one of the biggest decisions you will make is where to stay. While hotels used to be the most common answer, a new trend of lodging is rapidly becoming more popular and utilized. Vacation rental homes, once the travel industries best kept secrets, are now becoming the choice for thousands of people each year.

As we become busier and busier, many people are relying on their vacations to be family time. For families traveling together a vacation rental home can accommodate several people while meeting all their separate needs. Rental properties are also ideal for large groups traveling together for business or convention purposes, honeymooners and anybody looking for a home away from home experience. Hotels that offer all the amenities are typically more expensive than a rental property and still lack the custom feel of a rental home.

Finding a vacation rental:

1. What to consider when renting a vacation rental?
Unlike hotels, a vacation rental comes with amenities and option that far surpass traditional lodging choices. Each rental home is completely unique. A condo on the beach, a cabin in the mountains or an apartment in a bustling city, you can customize your experience down to the very last detail. How many bedrooms and baths you will need, the type of bedding your prefer, recreational activities or perhaps a fireplace or hot tub are all choices available to you. Each vacation property has an extensive and detailed list of amenities and maximum occupancy rules making your vacation planning experience hassle free.

2. Location, location, location.
Perhaps the most commonly used slogan when dealing with real estate; Location, location, location is equally important when choosing your vacation rental property. Whether it be skiing or boating or lounging on the beach, selecting a vacation rental property that meets all your needs will enhance your entire vacation experience. When choosing your vacation rental be sure to find out the exact distance from the property to your target areas of interest; vacation time is hard earned and reserving a property in close vicinity is key. If your vacation property of choice does not clearly state this information be sure to contact the property manager with any questions you may have.

3. Plan in advance.
The best properties and most sought after locations get booked early! To ensure the best selection, book your vacation rental home early. It is not uncommon for vacationers to reserve their property of choice up to one year in advance. When planning your trip in advance, consider purchasing travel protection insurance for those unforeseen circumstances.

4. Read the terms carefully.
Once you have narrowed down your search and found the perfect vacation home for your needs, you are ready to book it! As with any travel planning be sure to read all the terms and conditions very carefully and have all questions addressed prior to making the reservation. Pay close attention to payment and cancellation terms as vacation homes typically have different rules and policies than traditional hotels. Most vacation rental properties require an advance deposit. Deposits are usually required to cover excess cleaning and/or damage to the property. For each vacation rental property you reserve, the terms should clearly state the reasons for holding deposits as well as reimbursement time.

Preparing to go:

1. What to pack?
While most rental properties maintain a stock of commonly used items during your stay, it is best to contact the property manager to see exactly what is included in your rental price. Making a list of items you will need to bring is strongly recommended. Linens, kitchen supplies, recreational items (tennis racquets, golf clubs, bicycles, beach chairs), firewood and other items may or may not be included so advance planning is your best bet!

Getting ready to leave:

1. Cleaning.
When your vacation is over be sure to check with the property manger to see exactly what is expected of you. After several days of fun, rest and relaxation a surprise bill should not be part of your vacation experience. In general, it is required that the property be left in the exact same condition in which it was found. The specified cleaning charge (if any) in your rental contract typically covers all basic cleaning such as vacuuming, dusting, trash removal and a thorough cleaning of all bathrooms. Abused areas of the rental property almost always incur additional charges. A final walk through when arriving and departing the property is always recommended.

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