For many a vacation rental instead of a stay in a hotel has become more and more the norm. We are including not only cabins and cottages but also apartments, condos and even rooms through such sites as AirBnb, VRBO and FlipKey to name a few. But these kinds of holidays are not like staying at a hotel and it is important to know the difference. From getting the local view to keeping the budget intact, vacation rentals can be a wonderful experience if you make some smart decisions along the way.
Do Your Homework
When cruising through that vacation rental site, look through everything that fits your criteria before saying yes. Read all the listing, and make a note of not only what they say they offer but also what they don’t offer. If you have a specific need not being listed, write and ask directly if it is included. The stay will be more enjoyable if you aren’t surprised by the fact they don’t have A/C or Wi-Fi.
Know Your Site
It is always best to go with a reputable site then one you have never heard of before. On the other hand, local real estate sites are often a good way to find rental listings in the area you intend to visit. You many get a deal from your hairdresser’s brother but there is no guarantee what you are walking into either.
Keep to Your Schedule
If you say you will be arriving at 2PM, then keep to that schedule if you can. Yes, things happen but arriving late can often mean leaving the renter hanging. Also – don’t arrive early. The cleaning crew could still be taking care of final touches and your arrival may mean a quick and incomplete job. Stick to the schedule.
Rentals And Pets
Some rentals are very pet friendly, others absolutely forbid them. If it doesn’t say in the listing and your heart is set on bringing the family dog, ask. Some vacation rentals won’t offer but will allow one well behaved dog, with a deposit. But never bring your pet without permission first.
About That Food In The Fridge
Vacation rentals can be funny this way. You may open the fridge when you arrive to find a half a jar of what looks like homemade strawberry jam. But unless you left it there, toss it! You have no idea how long it has been there or who left it. Unless the vacation rental specifically states it comes with a stocked fridge, toss out anything you find that could be old or spoiled. Food poisoning is no way to begin a holiday. By the same token, don’t leave half-eaten food in the fridge when you leave.
Do Take Hosts Advice
Sometimes we build a lovely relationship with our host, especially when using places like Airbnb to rent parts of a home. If your host names a great local restaurant or wonderful park to explore, check it out. They are telling you because they want to share what they love about their home and neighborhood. It can be a great experience to follow up on their offer of discovery.