What You Need to Know About Vacation Rentals

Whether you’ve already decided you want to rent a house or apartment for your next vacation or trip, or whether you’re still deciding, there’s plenty you should know about finding a vacation rentals place.

It’s best if you learn all the important stuff first, instead of possibly delaying your vacation due to waiting until the last minute.

Because of the increase in rental popularity, there has been a subsequent explosion of rental providers and resources available online. This can be overwhelming for first-time renters. How do you find the one that’s right for you? How do you know you can trust the homeowner?

We’d like to help with all of that by pulling together some useful tips and resources for finding what you need and getting a great deal as well.

When it’s time to search out a rental for your next family trip or business trip, whether or not it’s your first, you’ll know where to look, when to look, and how to proceed. You’ll find the perfect place for you and your family in no time! Let’s get started.

Getting Started

The first thing you want to do is research. You can start this process by checking out the best vacation rental sites in whatever locality you’re going to. Rental sites like Airbnb are generally very organized, showing you areas of greater appeal and telling you what can be expected there.

Many sites offer comparative shopping, so to speak, and allow you to speak directly to the homeowners who are more than happy to share what they know about the area in order to gain your interest.


Be sure to compare rates as well as amenities, conditions, and views before proceeding to enter an agreement. Some sites are primarily just lists, where homeowners simply list their rental, and others have rental agents who are more involved in the process.

It’s your choice which you prefer. However, you may pay more for going through a rental site, but you also get more peace of mind. The vacation rental sites typically are willing to step in if something’s not right with the property that you rented.

When comparing rental sites, don’t forget about the little guys. These usually cater to specific destinations, with properties listed which you wouldn’t find on other bigger sites.

In fact, local real estate offices can most definitely be a wanted resource, particularly if the spot is within driving distance and you would like a tour prior to making a decision. For local realtors, you can just contact the local Chamber of Commerce of where you’ll be vacationing.

Just remember, when dealing with a realtor or vacation rental site, you will have to pay an extra fee for the “finding you a place”, Also keep in mind that some homeowners are willing to negotiate prices and they’re generally more honest about the state of the rental as well as its surroundings.

Getting What You Want: Start Early

If you think the beginning of the year is too early to start planning your summer vacation, think again! Many people begin planning their vacation getaways right after New Year’s.

Additionally, it’s easier to find what’s referred to as “loyalists”; people who rent their properties out the same time of the year every year. By beginning early, you’ll have a larger selection.

Be sure to ask if they offer any type of early booking discounts. In addition, you can check “rent my house online” in the area you are traveling to in order to find independent homeowners who rent out their own homes while going on vacation themselves.

Know What You Want

Know exactly what you want and check the best vacation rental sites. If you are going to be bringing the family dog, be sure they are accepted. Do you have small children? Again, be sure they are accepted.

Believe it or not, some people don’t allow either of their rental properties. If you have children, you most definitely want a place that is child-friendly with plenty of child-participant activities nearby.

If you or one of your family members needs handicapped facilities, be sure the rental in question is accessible; how many steps/levels it has maybe a required question.

Do you want to grill out? ask about that. Are they allowing cooking out? Do they have a grill? Do you need to bring fuel?

Get details in writing and have a copy when you go for your vacation stay. Check to make sure everything is in order before unpacking.

If anything is wrong, missing, or incorrect, report it immediately. You don’t want to get charged for something you didn’t do, so make sure they know immediately if there’s a problem.

Last-Minute Plans

For some reason, if you suddenly decide to take off for a few days and you need a place to stay, you may be in big luck. If where you’re going is a popular destination with more supply than demand, rental agents will be practically begging you to stay in one of their units.

Check with local best vacation rental sites, and if you can be a little flexible on the actual dates and/or amenities, you can more than likely find something at tremendous savings when searching at the last minute. Unfortunately, when waiting so close to when you need it, you may not get the place you wanted, so be prepared.

Read Every Single Word

Before committing to a rental agreement, be sure that you understand every single thing that is involved in the agreement. Read the small print. In addition, starting early will enable you to learn more about things such as financial arrangements.

Like the deposit, your expected obligations, property insurance, and liability, both yours and theirs, as well as the terms and rules, the layout of the rental and how it’s furnished, repair and cleaning services, if/when needed, proximity to attractions/services.

And transportation services, if needed, along with any other details that you can think of or that are required. Drastically reduce your chances of having unpleasant surprises by being thoroughly prepared beforehand and before it’s too late to back out.

Many vacation rentals have ratings that have been received by previous vacation tenants; read these thoroughly. If you have any questions or concerns, ask the homeowner. Another thing to remember is that renting a house or apartment isn’t like renting a hotel room.

Rather, it’s a binding contract which you have to cancel if you’re going to do so, within a period of time up to thirty days in which to receive a refund.

In addition, some cities have a law against renting out citizen’s own homes less than thirty days, so be sure you know the laws of where you’ll be vacationing. Have a great vacation!

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