Renting a vacation home can be an exciting adventure but if you’ve never done it before you might want to avoid these mistakes that others have made.
7 Mistakes to Avoid When Renting a Vacation Home
Misunderstanding the Location
When renting a vacation rental, it’s important to avoid mistakes that could lead to disappointment or inconvenience during your trip. One common mistake is misunderstanding the location of the rental. To avoid this, it’s important to check the description of the rental’s location and its proximity to the attractions you want to experience. Some rental platforms don’t provide the exact address until after you book for privacy reasons, but if you have specific expectations or concerns, it’s important to inquire about the exact address before booking.
Another mistake is assuming that a beach location means the rental is beachfront. It’s important to clarify whether the rental is beachfront or simply close to the beach, as this can make a big difference in terms of convenience and enjoyment. Additionally, using local landmarks like a grocery store or restaurant can be helpful in pinpointing the location of your vacation rental and getting a better sense of the surrounding area. By being diligent in your research and avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that the location of your vacation rental is a good fit for your needs and preferences.
Judging the Photos Only
It’s important not to judge a vacation rental by its photos alone. Although tempting, taking the extra time to read through all the details the rental has to offer can help manage expectations and make an informed decision before booking.
Initial photos that draw you in may not necessarily be the view from the room, but of the local area. While it’s not necessary to distrust the photos, doing some extra research and asking questions can provide clarity and ensure that the rental meets your expectations. By avoiding the mistake of judging a place by photos alone and being diligent in your research, you can make a well-informed decision and have a more enjoyable vacation.
Not Reading Reviews
When booking a vacation rental, it’s important to consider recent reviews. Many rental platforms provide two-way reviews, where both guests and hosts can review each other. This community feedback, particularly the more recent reviews, can provide valuable insights into what your stay will be like.
It’s common for travelers not to read reviews carefully, which can lead to the wrong choice of rental property. With the added stress of COVID-19 guidelines, regulations, and safety recommendations, it’s now more critical than ever to be cautious in selecting an accommodation. By reading through the reviews, you can obtain the most up-to-date and relevant information and ensure that your expectations match your experience.
Booking.com, for instance, has 176 million verified reviews on its platform, encouraging guests to go through the reviews for informed decisions. By taking the time to read recent reviews and feedback from both guests and hosts, you can make a wise decision and select a vacation rental that suits your needs and preferences.
Expecting Hotel Amenities
When renting a vacation property, it’s important to avoid expecting hotel-like services. Vacation rentals vary widely in quality and amenities, from basic trailers and tree houses to lavish mansions and villas. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what you’ve signed up for before booking a rental property.
According to some rental experts, first-time vacation rental guests often seem like they would be more comfortable in a hotel. As such, it may be a good idea to start with a simpler rental property to ease into the vacation rental experience. It’s essential to set expectations for everyone in the party since there are no daily housekeeping or turndown services available.
While vacation rentals may not offer the same level of service as hotels, they offer unique experiences. Rental hosts can create a dialogue and share local insights that guests might not get in a hotel. It’s essential to be open-minded and embrace new possibilities when trying vacation rentals for the first time. In conclusion, understanding what you’re getting into, setting realistic expectations, and being open-minded can help you make the most of your vacation rental experience.
Not Discussing Issues
Experts recommend raising any issues during your stay to prevent them from escalating. While it may be tempting to deal with problems on your own, waiting until after the trip to complain or raise issues is a common mistake. If you encounter any issues during check-in or your stay, it’s essential to contact the owner right away and see if they can resolve them for you.
Many rental platforms offer customer support to help guests with any issues. For instance, Vrbo has a Book With Confidence Guarantee, which ensures that any misrepresented information will be taken care of. Additionally, their 24/7 customer support can help immediately with any issues. Booking.com provides instant confirmation with set rates for every stay, which reduces back and forth with hosts and makes the process more seamless. They also offer live chats with customer service and direct messaging with the property to quickly get answers.
By addressing any issues during your stay and utilizing the support provided by rental platforms, you can ensure a happy and stress-free vacation rental experience
Not Following the Rules
It’s essential to follow the rules when renting a vacation property, as hosts are opening up their homes in communities with rules that must be adhered to. These rules can include homeowner association regulations or current COVID-19 measures. Before booking, it’s important to understand what you’re agreeing to and to avoid incurring any extra fees or losing your deposit.
Vacation rental properties have various house rules about occupancy, minimum age requirements, or pet policies, among others. Therefore, it’s important to read and understand the house rules before making a booking. Some rental platforms, such as Booking.com, have a Health & Safety Measures tab in listings that make local regulations clear, ensuring that guests can comply with the restrictions in the area where they are staying.
Special attention should be paid to any restrictions in the surrounding area and within the specific property, as safety and security are of utmost concern. By following the rules and adhering to local regulations, you can have a safe and enjoyable vacation rental experience without incurring any additional fees.
Not Following Checking Out Procedures
Proper checkout is crucial when renting a vacation property, and it’s important to communicate with the owner or host to understand their specific house rules. Each rental property can have different requirements, so it’s crucial to read the rules carefully to avoid any issues.
For instance, you may not be required to wash the sheets and make the bed, but you may need to load and run the dishwasher or return any furniture to its original spot. It’s important to be mindful of how you use the kitchen and grocery shop, as you’re expected to clear the fridge and pantry when you check out.
When shopping for groceries, it’s important to consider the number of guests and meals planned during your stay. Avoid buying too much food that may go to waste. By communicating with the owner or host and following their house rules for checkout, you can leave the property in good condition and avoid any potential issues.