Eight Steps for Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental Home

| July 16, 2012

How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental HomeFinding the perfect place to stay is an important component to any vacation. Follow these eight easy steps to find the vacation rental that’s right for you.

Decide on an ideal location for you rental.

Would you rather be on the beach, in the downtown area or on a relaxing piece of land on the outskirts of the city? Narrow your search to a certain radius.

Set a budget.

Determining how much you can afford to spend on your vacation is important because financially over-committing on a vacation rental can cut into your spending money for the trip. Come up with the maximum amount you’re willing to pay and have that figure firmly in your mind when searching for a rental and negotiating.

Set priorities.

Is a pool on the property essential, or is being in walking distance to restaurants and nightlife your preference? You may not find a rental in your budget with every last item on your wishlist, so determine what’s most important upfront.

Complete a thorough search.

There’s a big world out there and a lot of vacation rentals available, so take your time choosing the rental that’s right for your circumstances. Complete the online tours and read the fine print. Be sure to read any reviews that former vacationers have written about the property. If there aren’t any, ask property managers for references. Also, consult with a travel agent and let the person know what you’re looking for in a vacation rental.

Get the specifics.

Knowing whether linens and towels are provided or the kitchen comes fully stocked — does it have pots and pans, paper towels, and that all-important coffee maker? — helps you make the right decisions when it comes to your vacation rental home. If you’ll be flying into a destination, then such items are a necessity, whereas you can always bring your own if you’re driving there. You don’t want to have to buy expensive essentials when you arrive, nor waste precious vacation time on errands, so it pays to ask.

Discover the true price.

The amount of the rental can seem deceiving if the owners only list the base price. Inquire about whether there is a security deposit, fees for laundry and parking, or a required end-of-stay cleaning service fee. In some countries, you may also be responsible for heating and cooling costs. Inquire about when the deposit is required and how to make the payments.

Negotiate an agreement.

If a written agreement isn’t offered, insist on such a document, which should clearly spell out all of the financial details, the length of the stay, allowed and forbidden activities and behaviors when using the property, cancellation policies and how you’ll get and hand off the keys.

Research the surrounding area.

Before traveling, do some research on the community in which you’ll be staying. Discover where to find nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and local entertainment and attractions when you arrive, and if traveling abroad, make yourself aware of any potential safety issues.

Finding the perfect vacation rental home helps make your travel dreams a reality.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Real Estate, Rental Property -- Homes

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.