For avid travelers or those on a budget, the cost of hotels can really add up. Vacation rental properties let you stay in a place with the comforts of home usually at a more affordable rate. Long vacations such as skiing, golfing or summers at the beach are especially conducive to this type of accommodation.
Rental prices can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a small beach house to tens of thousands of dollars for an entire island. Plus, having the benefit of a house and its amenities can be invaluable. Cooking on your own cuts down on restaurant costs and having a living room can be conducive to socializing for large groups of friends or family.
Rental agencies used to be the only place to find these properties. Now there are plenty of online services that let you see a wide range of properties without high booking charges. These sites let you browse listings by country, state and city:
If you really want to get away Holiday Rentals has listings of farmhouses for rent around the world. With VacationSpot (no relation to TripSpot) and iVacation, you put in the dates you are looking to travel. The latter site is especially useful because it lets you book online with a credit card.
Dealing with individual property owners does come with risks. Make sure you cover all details of the rental, including dates, number of people, pets and special needs, in a clearly written rental agreement or lease. Agreements for vacation rentals are more detailed than the agreements for hotels or bed and breakfasts. The Vacation Rental Manger’s Association suggests reading carefully and paying close attention to cancellation and refund policies. Great Rentals’ list of frequently asked questions covers many of the pertinent topics when dealing with vacation rentals. Many sites suggest paying with a credit card, as it provides more protection than other forms of payment.
Check it Out
Finally, whenever you travel, try to find out as much as possible ahead of time. This is especially true when you are staying in someone’s home – their quaint, quiet farmhouse could be a dilapidated mess miles away from your destination. 1st Choice has a section for property testimonials under their listings. Make sure you look at pictures for the property, get a feel for the area and request references from previous visitors.