There’s nothing better than finding the right vacation rental that meets all your criteria for an upcoming trip. Vacation rentals have exploded in popularity due to the warmth and home-like feeling they provide travelers, but finding that perfect rental can be kind of confusing at times.
So what should you look for to save time and promise yourself the best vacation rental experience? Here’s a list of four tips that are guaranteed to streamline your search and put you in the best rental for you and your traveling party.
1) Research, Research, Research
The most time-consuming step on your search for a great vacation rental will be narrowing down the thousands of options that are available to you. Let’s assume that you’ve decided what city you want to visit.
The first thing to do is to get to know the location. If it is a small city or destination, then you won’t have to look long for where you want to stay but for a larger metropolitan area, taking some time to know the surrounding area can be a goldmine of great and less expensive places to visit. Like for example, you want a destination with a golf course nearby, where you can practice your swing using your best training aid.
After you’ve decided on a location, then you’ll want to visit the most popular vacation rental sites and compare rates. Always use the filters on the websites to narrow down your search as there is no bigger waste of time than to find the rental of your dreams and discover that it has two fewer bedrooms than you need. OwnerDirect.com offers a filter to find homes close to nearby golf courses too.
2) Starting Early Saves Money and Time
Another terrific way to cut down on expenses is by knowing your date months in advance. The earlier you book travel, the less you’ll spend as airlines, and vacation rental owners love booking that money for their services far in advance of your travel date. Make sure to also book other things you might need such as your golf bag, some airlines charge for it, and some don’t allow it.
3) Get All the Details So There Are No Surprises
One of the biggest disappointments that staying at a vacation rental property can provide is by surprising you with an unexpected rule or policy. For example, I’ve known pet owners that have taken their beloved animal on vacation, only to find out that there are no pets allowed or the owner is now charging them hundreds of dollars in fees for bringing their dog or cat.
If you find a house that you love, then make sure that it fits your travel needs. Read all the fine print that the owner has provided and if something is missing, then ask away. If the owner is dodgy with their answers, then it may be best to step away and look for something else.
4) If the Trip is Last Minute, Don’t Panic
Yes, it is preferable to know all the details of your trip months in advance, but that doesn’t mean that great vacation rentals can’t be found at the last minute for a small price. Unless you are looking for an off-the-cuff trip in a popular destination at peak season, then chances are there are deals to be had for your journey.
Now, there will be accommodations that you need to make when you are doing your research. By going last minute, realize that most of the best properties available are already rented. So do your searching with an open mind. The best deals are found in the outskirts of the destination, and while that may force you to drive a little longer to the city or spend more in ride-shares, you may save hundreds on your stay.
One Last Thing
If you follow our four steps, you can expect to cut hours off your research time, find the best place for your stay and chances are you’ll save a ton of cash by avoiding potential problems. Always double and triple check everything with the rental owner before booking and then relax once you are booked and focus on having the best trip ever in your vacation home!
Guest post written by Jordan Fuller, Golf Expert / Editor-in-Chief at Golfinfluence.com