Find Cheap Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rentals

Posted 05.09.2012 in Articles by Caitlin

Many people think about hotels or resorts when they go on vacation. They are the standard for living when traveling. However, they do not have to be the standard. Vacation rentals are a better option for most travelers who are on vacation. It is not difficult to find a cheap vacation rental that suits all of the traveler's needs. The benefits of a hotel stay, such as a pool or gym, can be met with a vacation rental, without the downside of having to share these personal items with others. 

Vacation home rentals have numerous benefits over hotels for certain types of vacation. When on a ski trip, it is nice to have space to get out of soaking wet gear without having to trudge to a hotel room or strip out of the clothes in a public lobby. It is also nice to have a private place to lock up ski equipment. Longer trips are also better in cheap vacation rentals. A hotel might be okay for a few days, but the typical lack of a kitchen, open living area and outdoor area can get old fast. Of course, there is also the fact that many people like to feel at home on vacation. Most hotels are the antithesis of the at home feel.

Renting a vacation home is a bit more complicated than renting a hotel room, though it is worth it. It requires sifting through the rental candidates and finding a home with all the amenities necessary for a comfortable vacation. Many owners also require payment, or at least partial payment, at the time of booking and there must be enough time for a rental contract to be signed, in most cases. Therefore, travelers should give themselves at least several weeks to hash out all of the rental details. 

The first thing a potential renter needs to look for is location. That is the easy part. Simply search for cheap vacation rentals in the area in which the vacation is taking place. The size of a vacation rental is also very important. How many rooms are necessary? Will some of the vacationers be able to share a room or want to share a room? Is a large yard, pool, beach access, mountain access or anything along those lines necessary? Make a list of needs first, and then sort through options. 

With cheap vacation rentals, they can seem cheap at first and then the fees pile up. It is very important to go over contracts before giving owners money. It is also important to demand frankness about amenities. Ask questions like is housekeeping, phone, utilities and other amenities included in the rental price? Is there a security deposit? Is there a trash pickup and if so, when is the trash picked up?

There are many good reasons to weigh all of the options before committing to a rental home. Sometimes it is possible to eliminate fees when renting straight from an owner. It is also nice to be able to speak to someone who has personal knowledge of the property. However, sometimes it is nice to deal with a professional who can act as an unbiased intermediary in the event of a disagreement or contract problem. In addition, there is disparity of cost in vacation rentals. The range is typically less than 1,000 dollars to more than 2,000 dollars per week. This will depend on luxuries, size and location.

There may be a few things travelers need that go beyond the run of the mill rental contract. If travelers need the bill split between the vacationing parties, require a different payment option, such as credit or anything else involving payment and amenities, this should be discussed with the owner or agent before the contract is signed. Once it is signed, the owner is not obligated to change anything, but may be kind enough to do so.

It is necessary to review a rental contract thoroughly before signing it. It could have fine print that is a deal breaker. It is also a good idea to take some pictures of the rental the day of arrival, taking special care to document existing damage. This is to protect the security deposit and ensure that there will be no later charges for issues that were already there. If any damage does occur during the vacation, it is prudent to capture images of that as well, to prevent the charges for damage from being inflated by the owner. 

Aside from taking pictures, check the house upon arrival for issues that can affect the vacation. Check the electricity and the plumbing by using them and making sure they are in working order. Make sure the rental is livable and does not have bugs or potentially dangerous damage. Write the owner's phone number down on a piece of paper and leave it in the common room so that all of the renters can reach the owner in the event that there is an emergent problem. 

Before leaving the rental, make a plan about how it has to be left. If there is housekeeping, do not worry too much about cleaning up the house. If not, be sure to allot some time before checkout to thoroughly clean the home. Whether or not the house needs cleaning, check everything for belongings. It is easy to leave a phone charger or camera behind. It can be a lot harder to get it back. 

In short, before renting a vacation home, write down a list of the location, size and amenities necessary for the vacation. It does not hurt to have a price range ready as well. Search all of the available vacation rentals and then choose whether to go with an agent or an owner. Once the rental is decided upon, discuss any needs with the owner and review the contract before signing. Take pictures upon arrival and if any damage occurs. Most of all just enjoy a home away from home instead of a room with room service that knocks at the most untoward moments.

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