9 Mistakes to Avoid When Renting Your First Vacation Home

The ease of getting vacation rentals has changed the lodging industry in ways we never thought possible, but the process and experience is miles apart from booking into a hotel where all due diligence has been done for you.

Here’s how you can prevent making rookie mistakes when it comes to finding your dream vacation home:

1. Location Location Location

Be sure to check the overview of the location of your holiday rental and how close it is to the attractions you want to experience, Because many rental sites do not include the exact address until you book for privacy reasons, be sure to ask if you have clear requirements, It is especially important when you are in a beach location because that may be the difference between being on the beach or the back of beyond

2. Judging a Place through Alone Images

Do not judge a rental by its pictures, much like not judging a book by its cover. While booking based on the pictures alone can be enticing, take the extra time to read through what the holiday home has to offer. It will help manage expectations and make an educated decision before making your booking. Often the initial pictures that pull you in may not be, say, the view from the bed, but may be from the local area. You can’t trust the pictures alone so do a little extra research and ask some questions.

3. Using Trusted Sites

While a wide variety of holiday rental services are available, try sticking to those with a good track record. On sites such as Craigslist and other community-driven forums, there have been many cases of vacation rental fraud and scams, if something looks too good to be true, chances are it is a scam. Look for a trusted property management company’s website, or established travel sites with a process to verify homes and hosts, such as Airbnb and always treat  money transfer requests as a red flag.

4. Not Looking At Reviews

There are two-way reviews on most websites, with visitors reviewing their stays and hosts reviewing the guests. That community feedback can be the most insightful source of what your stay would be like, particularly recent reviews. It’s a common mistake not to carefully read the reviews to ensure that the property is the right fit… particularly now with the stress of COVID-19 rules, legislation, and safety recommendations requiring travelers to be more mindful of choosing an accommodation than ever,” Arjan Dijk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Booking.com, tells T+L, noting that they have 176 million verified.” “We always encourage visitors to read through the reviews as they bring the most relevant, up-to-date data to ensure that their experiences meet their expectations.”

5. Expecting facilities to Resemble Hotels

Vacation rentals range from trailers and tree houses to mansions and villas, so know what you have signed up for.  First-timers tend to expect hotel like services only to be disappointed. You’re not going to have housekeeping every day and there’s no turndown service, so it’s super important to set expectations for everyone. One should be open to the possibilities of a new form of experience and to be open-minded

6. Not reading on Amenities available 

Before you arrive, find out what your home and location offer. Some hosts and property managers have restricted the amenities they give in a holiday rental, such as extra bedding, linen, condiments, coffee, etc., especially in response to COVID-19. This information will help you set out on your holiday, knowing what to expect and this will help you better prepare, work out your schedule, and not have to deal with the hassle of buying supplies when you arrive.

7.  Not Raising Issues as they come

A common mistake is waiting to complain or raise issues until after the trip. Contact the owner immediately if you check-in and come across any problems. This helps to eliminate a lot of back and forth, making the process more smooth, and guarantees a happy host and happy guest

8. Not following the laws

Vacation homes have different occupancy laws, minimum age standards for the primary renter, or whether pets are permitted. To avoid potentially incurring any additional fees or losing your deposit, understand what you agree to before booking. This covers everything from arrival and departure times to local government legislation. As a guest you are advised to read the rules of the building

9. Ignoring cancelation policies

Before booking a vacation home, we cannot adequately stress the importance of reading and understanding the cancellation policies particularly as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, In order to give travellers more flexibility if they need to change their plans, many owners have adopted flexible cancellation policies.