It is finally the time of year. You know what I’m talking about, one or two weeks you get each year to get away from “real life” and be just you. Relax, eat and drink well, enjoy the family, make up for the necessary sleep. But before you pack up and head out, think about a completely normal hotel stay. Believe it or not, you have options, one of which is vacation rental.
Wouldn’t it be nice to leave your home, arrive in your destination city, and settle into a “home away from home” for your next vacation? It’s all about renting vacation homes. These are homes waiting for people to rent them on vacation. Each holiday home owner will have different criteria for the type of renter they are looking for, each holiday home will vary in benefits, and each price will depend on the time of year and length of stay. So, it sounds like a great idea, but how do you figure out how to make it all happen? No problem. Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding vacation rentals. Read, my friend, your next vacation home “at home” is just around the corner.
Frequently asked questions about renting vacation homes
What are the benefits of vacation rental?
Do you ever want your hotel room to have just a little more personality? Yes, that’s what I thought. Well, renting someone else’s home for your vacation may be just the thing you’re looking for. Usually offering larger living spaces than hotel rooms, these holiday homes are mostly about living as in your own home. They offer more privacy than hotel rooms, and most accommodation units have a kitchen cooking area, which will ultimately save you money if you prepare some meals yourself.
You will enjoy several rooms, and maybe even on different levels, instead of one large room where the whole family sleeps. Many owners will leave information on things to do and see in the local area. The holiday homes are clean, friendly, comfortable and attractive. This is because many of them are not only rental houses, but also act as the owner’s residence for part of the year.
Most holiday homes are usually cheaper per night than hotel hotels. By renting directly from the owner you will avoid taxes, tips and other foreign charges. However, there are large differences among costs based on a number of factors (see below how much I should expect)
What are the disadvantages of holiday homes?
Of course, there is always the other side of the coin. Since vacation rentals aren’t usually overseen by a central management company, you’ll only know what you’re getting into when you actually get to your rental. Many owners require a subscription or at least a large deposit fee before arrival. Therefore, if things do not turn out as you expected upon arrival or if you find your accommodation unacceptable and decide to head to a local hotel, you may lose the money you paid in advance. This also applies to last minute cancellations. Refunds usually do not exist. You always risk getting less than you expected, but, that’s rare.
Most often, holiday homes are cheaper than the average hotel rooms per night. But not always, so make sure you’re comfortable with the price you’ll have to pay.
Another disadvantage of holiday homes is the lack of an on-site board member who would deal with any problems you may encounter at home or during your stay in general. Most homeowners work around this by making a list of emergency numbers, utilities and other such items available to the landlord if they need them.
What benefits are included in the vacation rental?
Since each lease is owned by a different owner, each will contain different benefits. Some come with swimming pools, hot tubs, others with golf packages and stable privileges. In cities with tourist attractions, some owners include tickets for local attractions.
Most holiday homes come with the most necessary things: a TV, an equipped kitchen, towels, bed linen and daily appliances, but it never hurts to ask these questions when looking for the perfect place. Make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for before sending your payment.
What types of rentals are available?
Almost any type of apartment you would like to live in during your vacation is available somewhere. From studios in the center of Manhattan to a villa in the south of Spain, you will be able to find what you are looking for. The range of options available is astounding. In addition, every week, month and year there are new opportunities because the owners live in the houses only certain weeks or months of the year, the choices are constantly changing.
Are vacation accommodations only available in the US?
Vacation rentals are available worldwide. They can be found in all states of the United States and in almost every country in the world. Still, don’t be fooled by their different names. The holiday house is also known as a cottage, tourist house and holiday house. If you are looking for it in Europe, the Italians call them agriturismi, while the French say gites. If you’re in Germany, you’ll be looking for ferienwohnungen (yes, try saying that three times fast with a brat in your mouth!)
Whatever you call it, renting a vacation is a great option for those who are preparing for a few weeks to take a break from reality and enjoy the good life a bit.
How can I find a property?
There are several ways to find the perfect vacation accommodation for your next trip. Check with your local travel agent to find someone in your area who specializes in finding owners and renters and bringing them together. Another option is yellow pages. Finally, there is a wealth of information on the Internet. Type a search for “holiday homes” and only at http://www.google.com can you find over 13,300,000 sites. Some websites list vacation rentals in the United States only, while others specialize in renting vacation homes around the world. There are some websites that will allow a potential landlord to search for a residence according to certain search criteria, such as a specific destination, a specific number of bedrooms, and the types of facilities included in the property.
Most accommodation rental services on the Internet are just “intermediaries” or “secret” sections of newspapers. They do not take responsibility for the veracity or correctness of the ads listed on their sites. So, you do your homework by phoning, talking to the owner, and asking certain questions. Be sure to feel comfortable with the answers, if not, move on to the next rental, there are plenty of them.
If you are not comfortable with the whole thing of a landlord / owner, there is another way to rent a holiday home. There are some companies that strictly buy and rent homes for vacationers. They offer a little more security so you feel like you’re really getting what you’ve agreed to (although nothing is ever 100% nonsense). In addition, sometimes these agencies give you cancellation insurance. In other words, if you cancel before arrival, they may be able to refund part of your deposit or payment, instead of keeping it as most owners do in the event of cancellation. At some agencies you will find that you pay a higher price than going directly to the owner. This is how agencies make money. There are always pros and cons to each scenario. Make sure you know which one works best for you.
How much should I expect to pay?
This is a difficult question to answer. The amount you will pay will depend on which state or country you are visiting, the number of days of stay and the type of house you are renting. Some owners offer rental packages, including tickets or city tours, along with rentals, others include bonus days if you stay a certain amount of time. There are other owners who may offer a free or additional house cleaning service during your stay, while some try to ensure that you have everything you need, even extra items, such as cots, high wheelchairs or wheelchairs. Each holiday break will be completely different from the next. The best bet once you decide on a destination is to review more rentals to determine which one best suits your needs and overall budget.
Are there hidden fees?
Hidden fees usually only appear after you arrive. This may include an additional charge for telephone calls, a house cleaning service, an additional person charge, an excess heating and air conditioning bill, a pet deposit, computer access … etc. Again, be extremely thorough when interviewing the owner of your future vacation accommodation. Inquire about any “additional” fees or if the house is “all-inclusive”. Do you have free access to all pantries and food products? How about laundry supplies? All utilities? It never hurts to ask!
In short, cover all the basics by asking lots of questions. A written agreement is also a very smart idea. Once these basics are removed, you will be ready to take off for a vacation home apartment. Try one this year and see for yourself that renting a vacation home can be a fantastic way to really enjoy your next vacation.