Before setting out for a relaxing holiday, one of the first things you must consider properly is, of course, accommodation. Going with a management company or the travel agency can be, in some cases, too pricey an option to consider. At the same time, tourists can find a rental (home or apartment) much more private and comfy as opposed to a hotel room. The bottom line is that, for whichever reason you decide to go with a rental for the holiday, there are a few things you should bear in mind, as pointed out by USA Today
For starters, deciding whether you wish to have the contract signed through a management company or a real estate agency, or privately, is of the essence. Should you opt for the latter, you’re probably making the most financially wise decision, since property owners pay these agencies up to a 40% commission, which means this is money that comes from your pocket, that is, a higher rent. On the other hand, the second option is also the riskiest, since there are chances you could end up in a “disaster area” with a leaky roof and dysfunctional cables.
In order to prevent this, experts say, you must not rush into making up your mind. Set out to do this task thinking that it will take you some time before you find just the perfect pad, and do your research properly. Ask around, make phone calls, talk to as many people as you have to, maybe you can run into someone who’s been to the area you’re visiting before and, who knows, could even provide you with a contact number.
Surf the web for hours in a row if you have to, and make sure that the place you’re about to rent is how you want it. Look for pictures – the more the better, because they can help you get an idea of both pros and cons of your place of abode for the following week (or how long your stay there might be). Look for reviews and references of the place to see what other people have also thought of it. The Internet is a never-ending source of information in this sense and, with a little patience and some time to spare on your hands, you can separate the useless chit-chat from what really interests you.
Once you do decide on a vacation rental, talk to the owner and even meet, if possible. Keep in regular contact and make sure you get all the specifics on the place, including guarantees and the most accurate description of it as possible. Last but not least, see that everything is put on paper and do not leave home before having some form of understanding or agreement signed – and cover all the bases here.
On a final note, once all this work is done and you finally are about to enter the rental, remember this: don’t get your hopes too high. As Pauline Kenny of SlowEurope says, as quoted by USA Today, “If there are serious complaints, you have to speak up immediately. But you also need to roll with the punches – and remember that you’re renting someone’s home, not a hotel.”