A beginner’s guide to home rentals

  • By Mary A
  • Top Travel Tips
  • 14.08.2016

Renting a home for your vacation might sound weird at times and can be complicated. However, if done right, it can be the best experience you could ever have. People do this in order to save money and to increase their comfort during their vacation. This is a beginner’s guide to home rentals for the holiday season. Many elements are similar to old fashion hotel room booking and to renting any other place. Some things you will have to learn from experience.

Consider your destination, space and distance needs
You should know that houses that have an ocean view will cost more than those located a few streets away. If you travel with a larger group of people you will need a bigger house with more beds and baths. If you have problems when walking, you'll want to be closer to the points you're interested in the most.

You want to save money
This is great, and nobody is ever happy to pay more for something they can get at half the price. Properties found the furthest from all points of interest are cheaper as few folks want to rent those. Additionally, booking early and on shoulder season will also help in getting a lower price. This is not all, check the asking price for near-by properties to see if you can find any lower one but getting similar benefits. Lastly, consider discovering destinations where few go to: even during peak season the prices will be lower than in the well known locations.

Safety matters
You really need to book through a specialized agency to ensure the place does exist, then check out if it is listed for foreclosure. Trying to locate the place by satellite is another way of ensuring the validity of the property. Research the owner, neighborhood, and even the site you want to book with. You should always listen to your instinct if it tells you there is something wrong there.

Talk to the owner
you need to ask as many questions as possible to see if you can trust the person and if you're going to like it in their house. Ask for as many pictures as you need, about the distance to the store, restaurants, the need to drive and park your car, or stuff you should pay attention to. A noisy floor is not as disturbing as the neighbor's dog barking for 2 hours straight every night. 

Keep track of everything
Keep copies of the discussions you had, pictures you received, and of anything you're asked to pay in advance for. When reaching the place, make sure to take pictures of anything you see damaged, during the walk-through of the property. If you do cause some damage, you can avoid paying for whatever needed fixing before your arrival. Don't forget to take another tour at the end of your stay, while taking pictures of everything. Of course, recording a house video tour is also good, and maybe even better than the pictures.

You should know ahead of time that renting such a place takes time and you may not always decide or manage to rent the house you first set your eyes and heart on.