Booking a vacation rental home is no longer a rare occurrence. While many people make be accustomed to renting a home for the annual family vacations at the beach, there are many travelers new to the concept. With sites like Homeaway and AirBnB, travelers are gaining the knowledge that vacation rentals are budget friendly and an ideal way to stay while away from home. This is opening more doors for vacationing, but there are still important “need-to-know” facts when booking a vacation rental.
3rd Party Websites versus Property Management Websites
Third party and aggregate websites are amazing resources for initial research. These sites, like those mentioned above, provide a decent scope of the types of properties available in the area. The properties you’ll see could be directly from homeowners or from property management companies.
The catch is, what you read is what the homeowner displays, but sometimes systems don’t sync. You may be able to ask about a home for 3 nights, but really the home only takes 7 night stays. Other, more thorough, details about properties, specials, promotions , payment plans and rental information may not be included on these sites’ listings because their displays may not have a space for it.
So, as you do you research, certainly use these sites to browse, but definitely book through the property management company to guarantee you know what you are booking and that all of the contractual information is valid.
Vacation Travel Insurance
Often times, travel insurance gets a bad rap. It has that lingering annoyance of extra expenditure. Here’s the thing, if you are investing in a vacation rental, don’t just forget about it. Some vacation homes cost thousands of dollars; and while the cost split between multiple families makes it affordable, a few more dollars will protect the investment. Health reasons are the largest factors of cancelling trips, but travel insurance can cover and assist with a variety of items including unpredictable school day extensions, roadside assistance, misplaced luggage, and more.
Create a Must-Have and Want List
When transitioning from staying in a hotel to staying in a vacation rental, you can explore more options beyond wanting a king size or two double beds. Property management sites have advanced search options when you can see homes based on amenities, rooms, location, and more. By creating a list, you can research rentals that fit your perfect vacation, then explore and adjust from there, instead of overwhelming yourself with rental options.
Hotels have front desk staff ready to support travelers. Vacation rental companies have entire departments. If you are booking with an individual homeowner, try and establish a communication line prior to check in so you understand all details. With property management companies, you have dedicated support staff there to help answer any questions. Call about location insight, things to do, discounts, rental specific details, and more! You can still receive, and 100% deserve, quality service.
Read the Contract
Understanding what you signing up for is a best practice for any traveler, in any circumstance. Know cancellation policies, coverage, payment details and rental information. This is imperative should you decide to not book with a credible property management company. Always make sure you receive a valid contract, and if you book a rental through a 3rd party site, but it’s from a property management company, make sure you understand the property management company’s contract in addition to the website’s obligations – as they may not be the same.
Staying at a vacation rental is more than just a trend, it’s becoming the new accommodation norm. Arm yourself with this insight when booking your rental and set yourself up for the perfection vacation! Happy booking!
Siebert Realty – The Beach People
Over 350 Beach Home & Condo Vacation Rentals
757-426-6200 / 877-422-2200