Tips to Help You Select a Vacation Rental Property

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Who is ready for a vacation? If you found yourself saying, “Me! Me! Me!” – you’re not alone. More and more people are planning getaways – whether it be for a long weekend or an extended period of time.

No matter where you’re thinking of going – you’ll need to make some choices. Will you fly or drive? Will you take some tours? And, maybe most importantly, where will you stay?

A hotel is always an option, but you may be considering renting a vacation property – such as a home or condo. 

If this is a route you’re exploring, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make a good choice.

  • Decide What You Want: You need to figure out what you need. How many bedrooms? Do you want a pool? Do you want to be close to the beach? Is it necessary for you to have a nice kitchen to cook meals in? Once you’ve got a list of your needs, most vacation rental property solutions will allow you to plug in your wants and match you as best as possible.
  • Book Early: If you have some really specific needs or a date that is set in stone, you’ll want to book early. Popular vacation rentals get snatched up quickly – often with repeat bookings. And if it’s a popular destination that you’re heading to – that can make finding the perfect rental property even more tricky. Booking early can help alleviate the stress.
  • Search Multiple Sites: There are numerous vacation rental property sites – so make sure you spend some time searching them all. Here are a few that you can start with:
    • Airbnb
    • Expedia
    • HometoGo
    • Tripadvisor
    • Tripping
    • Vrbo
    • Plum Guide
    • Sonder
    • TurnKey
    • Marriot Homes and Villas
    • Agoda
    • Getaway
  • Read the Descriptions: Each vacation rental should have a fairly detailed description – just make sure you read it. You don’t want to arrive only to find out that you “assumed” there would be wifi – but there’s none. Or that the property you chose doesn’t have enough beds for all of your family.
  • Check Out the Reviews: Reading the reviews is another essential part of finding a great vacation rental property. Previous guests usually write truthful reviews of the properties – and usually rate the property with a certain number of stars. Look for what reviewers write about cleanliness, location, and amenities.
  • Take a Look at the Surrounding Area: When looking at a property online, most will not provide you with an exact address but will show you a very close approximation on a map of the location. Be sure to make sure the location is where you need it to be – especially if you are relying on public transportation or ride-share services.
  • Save Money, But Don’t Go Super Cheap: One thing you will notice when booking a vacation rental property is that prices can vary greatly. While it can be tempting to go for the super cheap property – that may not be the best choice in the long run. Compare costs with what each property has to offer when making a decision.
  • Consider Negotiating: Yes, you may be able to negotiate with the property owner – especially when booking a last-minute trip and find a property that is available. During peak season though, this is most likely not going to be an option.
  • Read the Contract Carefully: As with any contract, make sure you read it carefully – especially when it comes to canceling your stay, cleaning fees, and extra charges that hosts may have. 

If you’re ready to start planning a vacation – the time is now! And if you’re thinking that you’d like to stay at a vacation rental property versus a hotel – then use these tips to help you find the perfect place. 

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