If you plan for your next getaway to include a stay at a vacation rental, there are several factors that you should consider before plunking down your hard-earned cash on the deposit. Every traveler is different, which means one person’s ideal retreat could be another family’s worst nightmare. While researching options in your destination may require some extra time and effort, it will definitely be worth it when you find yourself in a dreamy rental that is so wonderful that it makes it hard to go back home. Here are some tips on how to navigate the sometimes overwhelming task of booking a vacation rental:
Identify Your Must-Haves
We all have priorities, and it is important to figure out what yours are before you commit to a rental. Do you want to avoid the stairs by staying somewhere on the ground floor? Are you looking for a spectacular view? Would you like a quiet retreat where you can recharge and unwind? Are nearby amenities important to you, and would you like to be within walking distance of restaurants, shops, etc.? Do you want a waterfront escape by the beach or lake? Nailing down the answers to these questions will help you narrow your search in an efficient manner.
Choose Your Destination
Is there a certain country you’ve been dying to visit? Have you dreamt of seeing a specific city as long as you can remember? Is there a particular event you are traveling for? Once you decide where you are headed, you can start to pinpoint specific neighborhoods within your destination based on your personal criteria.
Rely on Help from the Internet
While we all know that you can’t believe everything you see or read on the internet, it can still be an extremely helpful tool when planning a trip. Websites from TripAdvisor to AirBnB can help you visualize what you’re after and pinpoint what you would like to do in your destination.
DIY or Agent?
Decide whether you would like to do all of the research yourself, which can add up to several hours, or give a general idea of what you are after to an agent and let them handle gathering the necessary information about rental availability.
Narrow Your Choices
Once you have found some interesting potential properties, compile a shortlist of your top choices. From there, make sure you read several reviews to give you an idea of what previous travelers have experienced, good or bad. This is a crucial step that you won’t regret!
Don’t just skim the paperwork and sign on the dotted line. Pay close attention to the fine print so you have a thorough understanding of all of the policies before you agree to renting any place, no matter how amazing it may seem.