With the rise of Vrbo (formerly HomeAway) booking as a mode of securing accommodation for vacations comes the dilemma of choosing the right property that fits your wants and needs. Renting a vacation home has become popular worldwide, giving you more options than you can count. A rental provides a broader space to move around at a less expensive rate than the typical hotel stay.
If you wish to travel but are confused by the plethora of options, below slides give a few quick tips to pick out your perfect vacation rental:
Choose the best location
When making a Vrbo booking, the location is one of the critical elements in the decision-making process because it will significantly affect your itinerary and planned activities. If you tend to easily get lost in the city, pick a property that is a stone’s throw away from landmarks so that it is easier to go back after a tiring day. You should also choose the vacation rental accessible by public transport to make commuting to places more leisurely and less of a chore.
Alternatively, if you are up for a refreshing retreat, selecting a property set on private grounds and away from the noise is ideal. However, it should also be within driving distance to destinations you might want to check out while you are in the area.
Whether you want a rural or urban setting for a vacation rental, make sure that you study the map carefully before deciding if it is a location that works with your plans.
Stick to your budget
Before choosing a vacation rental, set a budget that you can handle. It is one of the best ways to narrow down the selection so you can arrive at a decision faster. Remember, accommodation is just a cut of your expenses for the trip—you still must set aside money for food, transportation, shopping, and other services you might need.
Set your budget for your booking based on the destination. Where you are heading will largely determine whether you can afford a rental near the city or if you should opt for a more rural location. It is crucial to note that apartments located close to tourist attractions will be more expensive than accommodations further away.
Check the amenities
Most travelers would agree that an ideal rental should have these amenities:
- Heating or Air conditioning
- TVs available
- Clean kitchen with basics such as utensils and salt and pepper in stock
- Working appliances like refrigerators, fans, and more
- Extra beddings and towels
- Recreation rooms with entertainment and game selections
- Chairs and tables for the patio and deck area
If you are choosing a property that best fits the winter holiday, it is essential to check if the rental is adequately insulated and has a working heating system. Keeping warm while it is cold outside is necessary so that you could enjoy your vacation despite the weather.
Evaluate the kitchen
The idea of selecting alternative accommodation for your Vrbo booking will help you save a significant amount of money that you can use for other aspects of your trip. Therefore, the vacation rental should have an orderly kitchen where you can prepare meals at your leisure. It should be stocked with the tools and appliances you would expect from a rental so you can whip up a dish conveniently.
For some vacationers, the kitchen is a deciding point because it sets the tone of your stay. You can enjoy homecooked breakfast and pack picnics without having to shell out a fortune buying from restaurants for every meal.
Depending on the nature of your trip, you will be needing a specific amenity more than the others, but a cozy bedroom is a must in every vacation rental. It is going to be your home for a few days or weeks and where you will be resting after a long and eventful day. Therefore, always check the listing for the bedroom details such as the size and availability of beds.
You can also reach out to the host to iron out the sleeping arrangement of the property. You need to make sure that the vacation rental can accommodate your group and provide the comfort you need for a good night’s sleep.
Check the policies
Much like staying at a friend’s house for a few days, you must respect the rules set by the homeowner when renting a property. They might not allow pets or have no facilities for children, so take note of what you can and cannot bring on the trip, and what you must provide on your own. It is crucial to review their policies before booking that rental, or you risk forfeiting the deposit if you find that you need different accommodations at the last minute.
It is easy to inspect the policies of a vacation rental. For instance, there is a separate tab on the Rental Trader platform dedicated to these matters. You can click on it and see what is allowed on the property, which could help you decide whether it is the right rental for you.
Know the terms
If you are scouring through the website for your Vrbo (HomeAway) booking, know how to differentiate the terms that owners use when listing their property. You might encounter phrases like “Oceanfront” and “Beachfront”, which are different even if they seem to refer to the same thing. Only the latter implies that the property is on the ground floor with beach access.
There is also the term “Direct Ski Access”, which means that the slopes are a shuttle ride away. On the other hand, a property indicating “Ski In/Ski Out” would mean you will be able to ski to the property directly. A “Garden View” can mean anything, so it is ideal to ask the owner for photos if the descriptions are not clear.
Inspect guest reviews
A great way to know whether a rental matches your expectation is through reviewing guest reviews. They usually contain some of the most real snapshots of the property, even the details you do not see in photos. If the praises are consistent, it is an excellent indicator that the vacation rental will meet your expectations.
Also, take notice of bad reviews. If a similar complaint recurs multiple times, it could be a sign that you should think twice before booking or maybe even drop the idea of renting it all together. While you cannot base your decision solely on guest reviews, they help identify which problems you might encounter once you decide to push through with your plans.
Know your priorities
When choosing a property type, you must know about important facilities and amenities for vacation rental property. If you have kids traveling with you, a Vrbo booking with a swimming pool or recreation room would be ideal for keeping them entertained. If you and a big group of friends plan a staycation, having enough rooms and a large kitchen are suitable for you.
Knowing what your priorities are can help you make a shortlist of properties that match your requirements. These details are often overlooked when selecting a vacation rental, but they ultimately determine how comfortable your stay will be, so make sure to choose wisely.
Safety and security
Most of the vacation rental properties listed online are legitimate since experts scrutinize them before posting. However, you cannot rule out the possibility of fraud. Ensure you are not getting ripped off by contacting the property manager before booking and learning everything you need to know about the rental. If something seems to be amiss, it would be safer to walk away as soon as possible.
Experts agree that booking with a credit card is safer than a debit card because the former has built-in anti-fraud systems in place. Be careful with handing out your information and do a quick check of the owner before making a deal.
It is also essential to go on a website that you can trust. Rental Trader has a robust security system to make sure that there are no phony listers on the platform. We verify our listings to ensure that our customers can always have a hassle-free transaction.
Make a Vrbo (HomeAway) booking ahead of time
If you are after the best deals on a property that has everything you are looking for, you should consider booking ahead of time to reserve it before anyone else does. Some properties offer much lower rates when you book deals weeks or months early. It is especially true if you are planning to travel during peak seasons like the holidays.
Additionally, be flexible with your dates since unexpected situations might arise at any time before your booked dates. It is crucial to learn refund policies as well in case you are met with an emergency.
When choosing an alternative accommodation, reach out to our experts at Rental Trader and let us help you select the property that fit your needs and budget. We have a great list of vacation rental properties that you can choose from—do not hesitate to ask us questions!