11 Things You Need To Know Before Staying At A Vacation Rental
Summer is fast approaching and you know what that means? VACATION!!!! It's time to book your vacation. One great way to save money is to book a Vacation Rental. When traveling with your family a hotel room can become expensive and not to mention cramped if you are staying somewhere for more than a few days, or if you travel with a family of five like we do. We love staying in a vacation rental and they are becoming very popular. We've been able to find some fantastic deals online. There are some things to know and consider before you you book a vacation rental.
Here are 11 things that you need to know before staying at a Vacation Rental.
1. How do you “Check In” and “Check Out”? This may seem like a silly question, but there isn't a front desk with the light on waiting for you. Ask about late check ins and what time do have to be out of the house.
2. What attractions and amenities are close by? Is there beach access? Are there a lot of restaurant options and grocery stores within 20 minutes? Sometimes the advertisements can be a bit misleading. Make sure to do your research.
3. What is really in the kitchen? There may be a stove, oven, fridge, and microwave in the kitchen… But are there any pots, pans, dishes and silverware? One of the great ways to save money on vacation is by preparing your own meals. You may need to pack a few pans and buy some paper plates and plastic cups. And don't forget to ask about the Coffee Maker!
4. Do they have additional equipment for use? Some rentals keep a few things on hand for renters use such as portable cribs, strollers, snorkel gear and beach toys.
5. How does cleaning work? Some rentals require you to do some cleaning. Such as loading the dishwasher and putting dirty linens in the washing machine. Find out as well if there is an extra fee for what they would consider “extra dirty”
6. Is there an emergency or “on call” number for problems. What if a toilet breaks or you accidentally lock yourself out of the rental. You need to know someone will answer when you call to report a problem or need help.
7. What items are NOT provided? If you are used to hotel vacations, you don't have to think about toilet paper, towels, paper towels, and even coffee. Ask for a list of supplies provided so you can pack what is not on that list. Keep in mind that some tourist spots can have stores with marked up prices on basic need items. Avoid that extra cost by bringing things from home.
8. What is the room configuration? Some vacation rentals advertise that they sleep 10. You get there and expect 4-5 rooms and it is a 2 bedroom! Find out if half your guests will have to sleep on pull-out couches and air mattresses before you book your rental. You don't want to be tripping over one another your whole vacation.
9. You can negotiate! Most rentals are negotiable. From the deposit to the weekly rate. Doesn't hurt to ask!
10. Photograph on Day One. Take out your camera and snap pictures of the rooms in the house. This will secure that you cannot be blamed for broken or missing items that you did not break or remove.
11. Read the WHOLE Contract! Sometimes the fine print can really bite you in the rear! Carefully read the contract before signing. Ask for clarification on anything you don't understand or feel comfortable with. You want this to be a memorable and relaxing vacation!
*Tip* We always bring a keychain with something large attached to it and put the provided key on that. The key that they provide is just that, a key and it can get misplaced. Having it on something larger really helps with being able to find it.