Renting a vacation home is becoming popular among tourists around the world because it gives flexibility and comfort rather than staying in the usual hotels. Many travelers these days would rather stay in a condo, house or apartment close to tourist attractions like a fabulous beach, theme parks or ski mountains. The benefit of vacation rentals is that they give you the space needed, especially for large groups or to accommodate several family members.
While renting your own vacation home does have its perks and benefits, it can be quite tricky and deceptive and the risk of a vacation rental nightmare is totally possible. Here are four important things to keep in mind when deciding on a vacation rental to avoid a nightmare.
- The importance of checking out your vacation rental before you arrive
Though this might be impossible to do in person when booking a vacation rental abroad, there are other effective ways to assure excellent accommodation. If you like to return to the same place each year, make sure you book your vacation rental in advance and visit the property while you are still there. Another option is to work through an agent who checks the rental on your behalf or ask the owner to give you a virtual tour via skype or some other means. Photographs can be deceiving, so it’s best to see the place live. False advertising is common, especially abroad, so don’t become a victim and face a vacation rental nightmare.
- Why agencies are a good idea
If you are looking for quality, you can make your booking through an agency which has a list of respectable vacation homes that have been checked at vetted. These agencies earn through posting advertisements and won’t ruin a good name by offering low quality accommodation. Agencies are more likely to offer superior quality accommodations and luxury compared to other rental opportunities, although you will pay for their services.
- Take note of any damages upon arrival
Don’t become a victim of a vacation rental deposit scam when you to learn that your deposit is gone and was used for payment for damages or breakages that you were not responsible for. To avoid this and to get your deposit back, be sure to make a list of any damaged items. There might be things that are broken and defective even beforehand, which the management thinks you have caused. Give them a copy of this audited list so there won’t be any hassle after ending the contract.
- Double check
You should always double check any amenities or facilities that are deal breakers for you in your vacation rental. For example, if internet is important, ask the agent or owner to check that it is working. If you really want a place with a Jacuzzi, check that it has received its regular maintenance. Once you have arrived, you do not want to be wasting time sorting out these issues.
- Use a Credit Card
If you pay upfront by cash you have no proof that you have paid and you are more at risk of a vacation rental scam. Some credit cards will also include travel insurance too. When using a credit card, you should take care that you are using a secure site for payment. PayPal is another good option.