The Vacation Home Renters Rulebook

The Vacation Home Renters Rulebook

Are you looking for a great vacation that won’t wreck your budget? In today’s economy, many people are finding that they can make great vacations more affordable by opting to rent a cabin, vacation home, condo or villa as opposed to traditional hotel accommodations. Vacation homes can add up to real savings of up to 50% over hotel stays. Vacation home rentals also make it easier to include friends or family members in your vacation plans.

It may be a little overwhelming trying to find a vacation home rental, but it doesn’t have to be. Over 200,000 vacation rental properties can be found using our site, It is important that the renter know exactly what they is looking for and what to expect from the rental. By following these few simple rules, you can find a vacation home rental that will meet your needs exactly.

1. Be flexible. If you have some flexibility in your vacation dates, you may be able to save a significant amount of money. Most vacation home rentals have off-season rates which may be up to 50% less expensive than rentals during peak season. Avoid major holidays as these often come with premium rates. When staying for less than a week, check for mid-week specials.

2. Rent only as much house as you need. Sure, it’s tempting to rent the most beautiful house on the website, but be realistic. Select a rental property with the amenities you need, but keep in mind that it is not a good idea to rent a much bigger house than you actually need. Consider several rental properties before you make your final decision.

3. Stick to your budget. There are a couple of ways to find more affordable rentals. In addition to the flexible seasonal rates, consider a property that may be a block or two farther away from the main attraction. The idea of opening your door and stepping onto a sandy beach is appealing, but would walking a block to the beach really be so bad? Consider the advantages to being on a road less traveled. You will most likely enjoy a quieter and more peaceful stay.

4. Pick a popular location if possible. The more popular the destination, the more rentals are likely to be available. When rentals are flooding the marketplace, the renter wins! Property owners will often compete with other area rentals. The beach, mountains, lakes and popular attractions usually abound with vacation rental properties. Even the most popular vacation spots like Hawaii, Florida and California can offer some very competitive rates. Fewer available properties mean higher rental rates.

5. Know the details of the rental agreement. Read the agreement carefully before you sign. Understand exactly what the rental includes. Look for hidden charges. If the property comes with cable television and internet, make sure there are no additional charges for usage. It is important to understand what supplies are in the home and what you will need to supply. Most vacation rentals have an additional cleaning fee. Be sure that you check that out and get the amount in writing. Bringing Fido? Make certain that the renters allow pets before you arrive.

6. Look out for ambiguous language. Most rental agreements are straightforward, but renters should look for any gray areas in the contract’s language. “Walking distance” might mean a short stroll to one person and could mean something entirely different to another. “Recent upgrades” may be misleading. It is best to find out exactly what the ad means before you plunk down a deposit.

7. Ask about that security deposit. It is rare that a rental does not require a security deposit. Many property owners will apply this deposit to the total rental fee, but that is not always the case. Be sure to find out what happens to that security deposit if you have to cancel for any reason.

8. Book early. Owners want to keep their properties occupied. That is the only way they can stay in business. Booking early not only ensures that you will get the dates you want, but rentals made well in advance often earn discounts.

9. Make sure there is a local emergency contact. You absolutely must know who to call in case of problems with the rental. These people can often take care of everything from providing an extra key to arranging for emergency repairs.

10. Retain a copy of the contract. Take your copy with you when you go. This eliminates any chance of a misunderstanding.

Follow these rules to find the perfect vacation house, cabin, villa or condo. Not only will you find more room and privacy in one of these vacation rentals, but you will usually find something more money in your pocket to spend on what you really want to do.

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