When you start planning your vacation, one of the most important parts is finding the right place to stay. Thanks to the meteoric rise in popularity that the sharing economy has experienced in recent years, hotels have dropped off many travelers’ radars and this has made room for more affordable vacation rentals. With the internet full of houses to rent, finding the right one for you can be challenging.
Research and compare
Start your research by browsing rental sites and comparing listings by looking at their prices and amenities. This way, you can get a good understanding of how expensive the area is and what features are common in the houses in the area. It is very important to know what to expect when you are looking for a vacation rental, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the region.
Also, be aware that not all rental sites are created equal. Some sites will always side with the owner over the guest, some are great about protecting guests, and some are outright scams. If a rental seems too cheap to be true, don’t forget that you always get what you pay for. Read the terms of service carefully and make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
When to start looking
There are two main strategies when it comes to finding accommodation. One strategy is to start researching well in advance of your trip. Some people start planning their vacations right after the New Year. This strategy has the advantage of being able to pick any location you want. Some owners offer early booking discounts, so you can win a great bargain by planning ahead.
Another strategy, more risky, is to start researching right before your trip. Many owners offer last-minute discounts and promotions during peak seasons because they don’t want to see their buildings empty, so they will do everything possible to attract guests. However, chances are high that you might have to give up on some desirable amenities, like proximity to the beach or a great view, as these locations tend to be very high in demand and will probably already be booked by this time.
Know what you want
No matter where you end up deciding on, make sure the property has everything you need before you book. For example, if you have problems walking, you want an accessible property without stairs. If you’re bringing a pet, ask if they are allowed and make sure you’re aware of any pet fees. Think of any little detail you might imagine, like using their grill or having friends over, and talk things over with the owner. When everything is settled, write it down in your rental agreement with the owner. You should also ask for the phone number of someone who can assist in case of an emergency, like a water pipe breaking down.
You will find reviews for pretty much every rental, so you can see what other people think about the property. This is a good way to evaluate the place before you get there, especially if it’s far away from home. One way to avoid unpleasant surprises is to look only at listings from well-rated vacation rental host management.
The last thing you need to be aware of is the property’s cancellation policy: some owners don’t offer refunds at all, or they only offer partial ones, so read the small print before you sign any agreements.