Avoid Vacation Rental Risk With These 4 Steps


Everybody loves a vacation. Whether you’re headed across the state or across the globe, there are plenty of sights to see, beaches to walk, and cultures to experience. Vacation rentals, either in the form of vacation houses or condo rentals, offer an opportunity to fully settle into your time off; because you’re not in a hotel, you get a truly authentic and much more relaxing experience.

However, the road to oceanfront vacation rentals can be fraught with peril: since 53% of all travel is booked online, it is solely up to you to determine if your final decision is everything it claims to be. Here are four steps to take that ensure you’ll end up in the rental of your dreams.

  1. Read the reviews. It isn’t uncommon to become enamored of the apartment or home’s beautiful images, but be sure to read all of the reviews very carefully. Because they’ve actually spent time and lived in the space, previous tenants are often a good source of honest information.
  2. Trust in Google. Neighborhoods are important. No matter how gorgeous the interior is, you want to make sure that the general area of town you’re in is also satisfactory. Use Google Earth to scope out the situation: note any nearby bars that may be loud, or the level of cleanliness on the streets.
  3. Study scrupulously. When looking at photos, look beyond the beauty. Check that there is a stove, microwave, oven — anything you would struggle to live without for an extended period of time.
  4. Consider distances. If you’re renting a place for a month, you’re not going to be eating out every night. Research local public transportation routes, or check the distance between your rental and the local grocery store.

From oceanfront vacation rentals to cabins in the woods, the best way to guarantee you get the exact experience desired — and therefore a perfect vacation — is to put the work in ahead of time. Search around, call and talk with the owners or companies, and trust your gut. It’ll save you time and money in the long run.