So you're preparing for your vacation and are ready to invest your saved money to pull it all together. You've also informed your employer of the days you'll be gone. Now it's time to book your flights, secure a rental car, start planning what you'll be packing, and mostly importantly decide where you'll be hanging your hat while away from home. Before you hit the 'book now' button, double and triple check that what's important to you will be be represented in the home, condo, trailer, or yurt you have selected.
1. Location: If you are visiting a location to mountain bike, sit on the beach, or walk the quaint downtown area, how far are you willing to drive, walk, or ride to get there? Google maps is a great tool to confirm your dream vacation rental doesn't create a disappointing stay because of the location.
2. Accommodation: Do you require central a/c, no carpet, stocked kitchen, or pet friendly accommodations? We suggesting reading ALL the listing details provided. Many vacation rental hosts provide a long description for your benefit. Although it might seem daunting to read it all, it is your responsibility to make sure what YOU book is exactly what you need or want. Hence the long description and the option to contact the owner directly with questions.
3. Amenities: Some rentals provide everything you need from towels, laundry soap, and even toiletries. Some do not. To help you pack and plan, ask the host. Don't be caught off-guard by arriving to your rental excited about settling in after a long drive or flight only to find sheets are not included.
4. WiFi & TV: Streaming services have taken over in many households, to include vacation rentals. If having ESPN or HGTV is a must during your visit, verify that it's an option. Actually, you might want to start by reading the amenity section to confirm if T.V.'s are even present! In addition, verify if WiFi is included or even phone service is available. Some mountain locations might have limited phone service, so confirm before you book. Although, some travelers would find that not having WiFi or phone service would be a wonderful surprise.
5. Reviews and Ratings: Before finalizing your vacation rental booking, take the time to read through reviews and ratings from previous guests. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the property, its amenities, and the overall satisfaction level. Look for reviews that mention factors important to you, such as cleanliness, responsiveness of the host, or the accuracy of the listing description. These firsthand accounts can help you make an informed decision and ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay.
6. Flexibility: Consider your flexibility in terms of dates and duration of your stay. Sometimes, adjusting your travel dates or staying for a longer or shorter period can offer more options and better rates. Keep an eye out for any flexible booking policies that may be available, allowing you to modify your reservation if needed.
7. Safety and Security: Your peace of mind is paramount during your vacation. Look for vacation rentals that prioritize safety and security measures. Check if the property has secure locks, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. Additionally, it's essential to book through reputable platforms or property management companies that prioritize guest safety and adhere to industry standards.
Remember, thorough planning and research are key to finding the perfect vacation rental that meets all your requirements and ensures a memorable experience. Take your time, ask questions, and communicate your needs with the host or property manager. By doing so, you'll be well-prepared and ready to embark on a fantastic getaway. Happy travels!