Using vacation rentals by owners can be a great way to book your next trip, just be extra cautious. You should be fine if you follow these tips.
1. Before you check out the private vacation rentals make sure that you really want a self catering rental. Some people really do better with a hotel room.
Ask yourself if you need maid service, do you hate picking up after yourself, do you want to be pampered? Do you use the concierge, need someone nearby to help to book tours and get tickets? Want to have the extra security. Will you really cook for yourself or do you always go out to eat. Will your stay be shorter than a week? Maybe it is just a place to sleep. Are you a solo traveler, if so a hotel room maybe enough space and actually turn out to be less expensive.
Apartment or house rentals can be very economical for couples and especially if you travel with friends or children. Snacks and cooking some of your own meals are great if you have dietary issues or if you have a family. In some places like Europe for instance groceries purchased at markets can be priced very well.
Do you like privacy and more space than a hotel room has to offer? Hate being awakened by the maid and tipping every time you turn around? Do you like doing your own thing may even want to do laundry instead of sending it out? Do you love cooking with local ingredients and generally like the feel of “a home away from home”? Booking through vacation rentals by owners may be just the ticket.
2. Decide what you want. Do you take taxis or is it important to be near public transportation. What district, urban or rural, do you want a house or a high-rise. Will you need an elevator? Do you want a view? What about shops and services maybe a park, river or ocean. How large a space do you need, how many square meters are enough.
Be careful as apartments in Europe are usually very small by North American standards. Do you need a fully equipped kitchen or will a partial kitchenette be good enough. What size bed do you need? Do you need it to be quiet?
Make sure you list everything you can think of and decide what you must have, what would be nice and what you could live without. Then go on the internet and Google what you want. Maybe a friend or relative has used a vacation rentals by owners and can give you some recommendations.
3. Check out the company or individual you will be dealing with if it is a vacation rental by owner. Make sure you feel comfortable proceeding.If you don’t want to take the time or you feel safer go with one of the popular organizations like Trip Advisor, or homeaway.
4. Do you trust the person you’re dealing with? Check them out. Do they answer emails in a timely manner? Are they answering your questions to your satisfaction?
5. Google Street map the area and make sure this is what you want.
6. Make sure that there are no hidden costs. Sometimes they will add on for utilities, cleaning service, telephone or internet. Will you get some of your deposit back if you cancel…what are the terms?
7.Don’t ever send a cash deposit. Make sure it is traceable and reasonable.
8.How will you receive the keys, will someone meet you and what time is check in and out. Will there be someone to contact nearby if an emergency arises in regard to the apartment.
9.The balance should be paid in full on arrival if possible or as close to the arrival date as can be arranged.
10.Get a contract but make sure it is not complicated. Check to make sure the dates are correct and it is everything that was agreed upon.
I have health issues and so try not to have every meal out. Also, I find it more economical, love the privacy and space. I like "living like a local", the markets and neighborhood shops. Vacation apartment rentals are becoming very popular with travelers and you may like to try it on your next trip.Find Great Vacation Rental Deals at TripAdvisor