Whether you’re looking for mountain cabin or a beach condo, the quality of your accommodation will have a huge impact on the overall experience of your vacation. That said, money doesn’t also buy happiness when it comes to accommodations. Do not worry though. If you do some thorough research you can get your money’s worth and still have a terrific experience.
These tips will help you find just the right vacation rental for your upcoming trip:
1. Take a look at the various neighborhoods and areas nearby your destination
Focus on safe neighborhoods and areas that are along main roads and intersections or close to public transit.
2. Check out the surrounding area with Google Maps
If you want to party, you’ll want to be near bars and restaurants. If you’re with family or small children, dance clubs might be a nuisance. Know where the nearest hospital is just in case.
3. Make a list of must-have amenities
Good WiFi is a must for just about everyone. A chef’s kitchen could help you save money on food, but if you’ll be out and about all day every day, you won’t be able to cook anyways. Always consider parking as well if you’ll have your car or a rental.
4. Online ratings and reviews are everything to the tourism business today
First, make sure there are enough reviews to form a good picture. Focus on the tone of all the reviews, not just the opinion of one person. Most of them will mention the same positives or negatives. Are the bad reviews all for the same reason or just one-off complaints because of something minor?
5. Good photographs are a must
Look carefully to ensure that every room is shown, as well as good views of the exterior. The place should appear clean with no signs of damage. If the pictures are of poor quality, move on immediately. The owners clearly don’t care enough.
6. Find out who you are renting from
Are they owner-operators, a large management company, a helpful but incompetent local? Do some background research to find out as much as you can.
7. Read the rental contract carefully
Make sure it offers protections for you, not just the owners. If anything isn’t exactly as stated in the agreement, push for a refund or discount. The threat of a bad review that includes a paper trail is a powerful bargaining chip.
Be flexible! Waterfront locations are very expensive, but a rental across the street can be hundreds of dollars less per night. Just make sure you don’t have to pay extra for beach access. It may be a good idea to have a back-up plan in case your booking doesn’t meet expectations. Know the cancellation and refund policies in detail.
Tourism lives and dies on word of mouth, so ask around. Many families stay in the same place every year for decades and know every gem and what to stay away from in the destination you’re travelling to. In any case, diligent research and persistence will find the perfect rental for your family vacation.