Renting a vacation rental home is not as easy as it sounds. Not only are there endless vacation rentals on the beach, in the mountains, in the woods, and in any other environment you could possibly imagine, but plans can go easily awry.
It’s a commonly told story, and one that we all hope won’t be ours: the tale of the uninvited guests. One renter relates his own experience on Frommers.com. “This summer, for example, I told my mother that I had planned to rent a condo on the beach. Within two days, my sister and brother had invited themselves over, boosting our numbers from five to more than 30.” It can be difficult to turn away family, and though homes for vacation rental can save you plenty of money, that feature fades into the distance when you’re looking at housing a small crowd.
Here, we’ll provide a few handy vacation rental tips for those who aren’t sure what to expect when renting a vacation rental home for a group.
- Know what you want. Certain features and amenities will add to your costs. Figure out what is important for you to have before you get there. If your family loves the ocean, it might be worth forgoing some of the cheapest vacation rentals located blocks from the beach and paying a little extra for a waterfront place. Still, be certain to stay in your budget. A spot on the beach might not be worth it if you won’t have grocery money.
- It’s never too soon to book a vacation rental home, but it’s also never too late. If you need to be around for a specific event like a tournament, festival, or event, book as far in advance as possible. Otherwise, though, you might be able to save a little money by bidding on last-minute vacation rental homes.
- Find out as much as possible about what you renting and who you’re renting from. Look at every piece of information available to you about a property including the owner’s website, the vacation rental site, online reviews, and social networking. Confirm that it’s in good shape and not in foreclosure. Also do plenty of research about the owner. If the owner seems elusive and difficult to find information about, it might be a red flag.
- Know the risks of renting from private owners. If something breaks, you’ll have to find a way to deal with it. If you rent from an association, however, you’ll be able to get help with any issues.
- Divide up big groups. If you find yourself in an uninvited-guest type situation, consider renting smaller units, like adjoining condos. Trying to squeeze too many people into one vacation rental home is a recipe for little privacy, lots of cost, and an argument over the bill when it’s all over.
- Read the contract. It isn’t a hotel room, and you’re going to have to accept some responsibilities. Cleaning up is probably going to be required by most owners who will typically keep your deposit if you don’t.
- Be flexible. Again, vacation rental homes aren’t hotels, and you might not love everything. The couch isn’t your favorite color? Tough luck. The kitchen stove is out of gas? Sorry. The parking space is tight? Bummer. Do your research ahead of time to try and avoid those situations, but if you find yourself with a minor surprise, handle it gracefully.
Vacation rental homes might not be for everyone, but if you think it might be a good option for your family, be sure to do your research first. There are some amazing deals, amazing homes, and amazing memories to be made. For more, read this link.