Published : Monday, April 27, 2009 | 7:20 PM
Finding the best vacation rentals is all about knowing what you want, being willing to put in the search time, tapping your resources and booking early. Keep reading for some tips and hints that will show you how to find the best vacation rentals for your next vacation away from home.
Location is Key
If you have your heart set on a summer spent fishing on the lake, then a mountainside ski chalet 50 miles from a body of water isn’t going to cut it. Alternatively, if you’re dreaming of a holiday spent traversing the canals of Venice, you’re not going to be too happy in a cabin in Montana. When it comes to vacation planning, settling for something less than a fulfilling location can put a damper on the entire experience.
Before you start shopping for vacation rentals, make a list of your preferred destinations and the nearby or on-site amenities you and your family are looking for. Once you’ve narrowed down the location, you’re halfway there. You’ll be able to track down property owners and rental management firms while you increasingly focus your search.
Know Where to Look
If you’re not searching through an estate agent or travel rental company, try renting directly from property owners. Websites like RedWeek.com or VRBO (vrbo.com) list vacation properties and even time shares that are rented and advertised by individual property owners.
While you may not find quite the professional service that a managed property comes with, you’ll often obtain a discounted price and a stronger personal relationship with your prospective landlord. The personal touch you receive can enhance your overall enjoyment.
If you’re trying to save money, consider sharing a vacation rental with another family. Either rent it for a month and split the time or share the rental simultaneously. Just be certain that you don’t put a great friendship at risk by spending so much time together!
Tap Your Personal Resources
Finding the best vacation rentals is about more than searching online or checking the newspaper for listings. Try your personal connections to find a great property this summer.
Send out an email to family, friends and neighbors outlining what you’re looking for. Someone might know of a great property that fits your description and is going unused that week, month, or even for an entire season.
However, before you engage in a business transaction with friends and family, make sure you’ve both thought through the arrangement and have a clear, written agreement. Again, back to preserving that friendship as a high priority.
Admittedly, last minute deals can be found. However, if you have your heart set on a particular list of amenities in a popular vacation spot, you should book early to help ensure you are able to lock it in. Many returning tenants reserve their rentals a year or more in advance, leaving new guests competing for space.
Consider that if you keep returning to the same vacation rental, you’ll eventually move up in the rental hierarchy – able to secure the best weeks and even negotiate better rates with owners who have gotten to know and trust you.
About The Author: For info on vacation rentals, see http://www.rentalpropertytips.com, a popular site about vacation
destinations, such as South Florida rentals- http://www.rentalpropertytips.com/south-florida-rentals.shtml,
Maui house rentals-http://www.rentalpropertytips.com/maui-house-rentals.shtml and many more!