Vacation Rental Home Tips

07.10.2009 In: World travel news

Home vacation rentals can be a great experience. They provide lots of space and privacy and can be less expensive than luxury hotels, but which property you choose can make or break your vacation.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
The No. 1 rule of selecting a vacation rental property is to look at lots of pictures, at least eight if possible.

Even an honest property owner or rental agent will be biased toward their property, but pictures will always give you an objective view. What is "spacious" to one person may be small to the next.

Ask for pictures of anything that can be exaggerated, especially views or beach access.

Also examine the details. Is there a lot of clutter? Is the decor suitable for children or pets? Are the walls covered with personal family photos and mementos?

Beware of owners who claim that they do not have pictures of the interior. This should always be a red flag.
Ask About the Things You Cannot See
There are a number of things in our homes that we take for granted and assume will be available in a rental home, but the fact is that sometimes they just are not.

Availability of linens is a big one here. While bedding should be expected, sometimes towels are not part of the deal.

If you plan on cooking or eating at the place you rent, ask about how the kitchen is equipped. Do not just inquire about the appliances, but also about bake and cookware, utensils, dishes and silverware.

Also ask about entertainment in the house. What type of television does it have? What about DVD or Blue-Ray? Is there a movie library or will you have to bring movies? What about a stereo and music library?
Check Other Sources
While the property owner and rental agent can be good sources of information, it is never a bad idea to get a second opinion.

Research the area of the home. Type the address into Google Earth or another site that will give you a view of the neighborhood.

Check out restaurants and attractions nearby.

Discussion boards, blogs and chat rooms can be a source of information from the locals. Don't be afraid to post questions.