- Where exactly is your vacation rental cabin, condo, or cottage located? Can I see a map and or have the address? You want to ask details about location, not generalities.
- Look at all the photos online and then ask (if it isn't clear) When was this rental last renovated or updated? With this question you are trying to find out if the owner has taken good care of their property. Renovations are not as important as a continual investment.
- What are all the fees associated with this vacation rental? Be sure that you know how much you'll be paying for cleaning, tax, security deposit and anything else. Agencies often add on booking fees. Also find out when payments are due and what the refund policy is. Purchase trip insurance if need be.
- Do you have an online guest book for your vacation rental (these may be on their website, on TripAdvisor/FlipKey/HomeAway/VRBO - check them all)? Or Do you have any references I can call or email?
- Do you have a list of furnishings and amenities in the vacation rental? This will help you plan what you need to bring.
- Do you clean or have the place cleaned between guests, or is this something the guests do? What kind of departure cleaning is expected? How do you ensure your place is clean?
- Does the rental include parking passes, private beach passes, private country club membership? Or any other pass you might need.
- Do you accept PayPal or Credit Cards? These payment methods offer the guest more security if after all your research, the place is fraudulent. Keep in mind that it is up to you, the guest, to make sure your vacation rental by owner or via a property manager is what you expect. Individual owners cannot offer refunds just because you don't like the weather, decor, or the area. Property managers may not be able to move you to an alternative property.
- What time can I arrive and what time will I need to depart? What should I bring when I check in?
- Last but not least: make sure that you and the owner or property manager complete a clear contract and/or that you read the terms and conditions when you make the reservation online. It is in everyone's best interest to have a record of expectations and the contract.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
10 Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Vacation Rental
10 Questions to Consider Before Renting Vacation Accommodations Direct from an Owner or Property Manager: