Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tips for Booking Vacation Rentals

The Holidays are approaching and people are making travel plans. Whether you're planning on staying in a vacation rental for the Holidays or planning a trip for next year, here are a few things to keep in mind when booking vacation rentals.

Book Now

If you're headed to a popular destination, you might want to book now. January and February are busy booking times for vacation rentals, and the best, most desirable properties get snapped up quickly

Know When High Season Is

Wherever you're going, it's going to have a high season. Try to book your rental on the fringes of the high season. For example, October in the Panhandle of Florida is a great time to visit. The humidity has cleared off, the crowds are gone, and you can sometimes have an entire beach all to yourself.

Check Out the Amenities

Before you book, make sure you get the amenities you want in your vacation rental. While all will have everything you need for daily living, you might want a game room for teenagers, a den for your spouse, and a hot tub for you! There's enough variety in vacation rentals that you can satisfy even your pickiest traveler.

Contact the Owner

The vast majority owners or property managers will be excited to share information about the rental and the community you'll be visiting. They are often advocates for their local attractions, and they'll certainly be able to give you tips on what to see and do during your stay. In addition, this will give you a chance to find out what you should and shouldn't bring. For example, many vacation rentals provide shampoo and soap, while some don't. Contacting the owner may save you a late night trip to the store for extras, or save you some weight in your luggage.

Read the Contract

Vacation rentals will have different cancellation policies when compared to hotels. In fact, they sometimes vary by whether or not it's high or low season. If you pay by credit card (recommended so you have recourse if there's a problem), you'll likely pay a deposit and then the remainder will be charged on a certain day prior to your stay. This is to protect the renters, but also helps guarantee that your spot will be there when you arrive.

Get the Insurance

If your vacation rental offers insurance for inadvertent damage to the rental, get it as long as it's reasonably priced. It can help protect you from paying too much for minor damages you might cause during your stay. The last thing you want to be doing on your vacation is looking for a glass company to replace a window that was accidentally broken.