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10 Things To Ask Your Vacation Rental Company Before Booking

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10 Things to Ask Your Vacation Rental Company Before You Book

In the past ten years, vacation rentals have become the preferred accommodation for many travelers. There are several benefits to renting a vacation home rather than booking a hotel room. Often times, renting a vacation home can help save you money, especially if you’re able to split the cost with a group of people who can all stay under one roof. If you’re traveling to a more remote location, you will likely find more vacation rental options over traditional hotels. And beyond that, staying in a vacation home allows you to live more like a local. While some travelers prefer the amenities and convenience of a large hotel, others value the opportunity to experience what it’s like to live amongst the community and observe their daily routines and traditions.

Luckily it’s now easier than ever to find vacation rental homes in even the most obscure locations. But before you cement your travel plans, it’s important to keep in mind that vacation rentals will not always offer the same level of amenities and guest bonuses as hotels, and that can present a few drawbacks depending on how you prefer to travel. Keep these questions in mind as you’re picking your next travel accommodations.

What is your cancellation policy?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Ask about the cancellation policy before you sign the rental agreement. Clarify any conditions which may alter the policy, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Always protect your vacation investment with travel insurance

 

The cancellation policies for vacation rentals in the same location can vary depending on the homeowner, so it’s good to compare a few different options before making your decision. If you’re traveling to a location the frequently experiences extreme weather conditions – such as heavy snow or rainfall, your ability to arrive and leave your destination may be affected. And if you’re not sure how unpredictable the local weather can be, that’s another great question to ask the homeowner in your initial inquiry. Be sure to look for details on the cancellation fee and the deadline to cancel before incurring those fees.

What large and small appliances, dishware and cookware are provided?

 

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Ask about small and large appliances which will make you stay the most relaxing and comfortable. Don’t forget to ask about TV and music options available for you to enjoy.

 

 

This is an especially important question if you’re traveling to a remote location. You don’t want to arrive and realize you need several utensils and cookware just to prepare and eat your food. But at the same time, you don’t want to waste luggage space by bringing items you don’t need. Ask the homeowner what common cookware is available in the home, and what items they recommend guests bring themselves. Make sure there are pictures of the kitchen available too so you can check for a coffee maker, microwave and any other appliances you might need. As you’re browsing through your options, look up the nearest grocery store just in case you need to make an emergency run when you arrive.

Are the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen stocked with basics?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Make a list of all the things not included and stock-up before you arrive.

 

Another good reason to make yourself aware of the nearest grocery store is if you find yourself needing toiletries or basic condiments. While certain items may seem essential to you, it’s important to confirm with the homeowner that these items are in fact well-stocked within the rental home. Depending on where you stay, it may not always be easy or time efficient to make a run to the store. For example, if you’re renting a cabin in the mountains, or a cottage on a remote island, your opportunity to stock up for your visit is likely only before you arrive. 

Are pets allowed on the premises?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Your furry family members love to come along too. But, ask first and include in your inquiry: size and age limitation and how many. Ask about the fee and what happens if your pet damages any property.

 

Typically vacation rental home listings will make it clear whether or not they allow pets, but it doesn’t hurt to clarify. Homeowners may have specific requirements when it comes to the age and breed of your dog. And just because a listing may state that pets are allowed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that multiple pets are allowed. Even if your pets are small, it’s important to confirm with the homeowner if there is a maximum limit to how many pets you can bring. As you are preparing for your trip, be sure to bring your pets to their vet to make sure they are up to date on their important shots and immunizations; not only for their safety, but also to meet any potential requirements of the destination you’re visiting.

 

Are enough bed linens and bath towels provided for maximum occupancy?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Most places will offer bed linen or an option to rent it. But you can’t count on that, so ask.

 

If you’re traveling with a large group, keep in mind that there will need to be enough sheets and bath towels for everyone. It helps if there is a laundry unit in the rental home, but you still want to make sure there is enough to accomodate for everyone during your stay. This is especially important if you’re staying for more than a few days.

 

Is the vacation rental professionally cleaned between visitors?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Important question to ask especially for guests with allergies and for properties which allow pets.

 

 

Vacation rental homes don’t always follow the same regulations as hotels. You can clarify with the homeowner how their property is maintained between visitors. There will often be a cleaning fee added on to your rental cost. If you notice a problem upon your arrival, it’s important to contact the homeowner as soon as possible.

 

Is parking available, and free or fee?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Where may I park? It’s important for many reasons, including unpacking and taking things to your rental home. “Will you be able to unload in front of the rental?” is another great question.

 

What are the parking options for your vacation rental? Can guests park in front of the home or is there a designated parking area? Is there a daily fee to park? These are valuable questions to ask ahead of time so that once you arrive after a presumably long car ride, you know exactly where to park and can get settled into your vacation home. Another component of this topic is to find out if this location can even be accessed by visitor’s cars. Some remote locations only allow authorized vehicles to the location, and in these situations there are typically alternative modes of transportation available such as bicycles, golf carts or public transportation. You can ask the homeowner what options are available to you and if any are included within the rental cost.

 

What entertainment items do you have – TV, Wi-Fi, cable, Netflix?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Is there a special game taking place over the time of your stay? Definitely ask about how many TVs are available in the home.

 

Most properties will list if Wi-Fi is available within the home. And if you find that Wi-Fi is not available, ask the homeowner where you can find the nearest available Wi-Fi in case you need to access the internet during your stay. Depending on cell service in the area, you may also use your personal hotspot if necessary. Some vacation rentals may also provide login information for streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, and this information can usually be found in a visitors manual upon arrival. If televisions are not in the rental home, think about whether or not you want to bring your laptop or handheld devices for entertainment.

 

What are check-in and check-out time procedures?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Before you say “hello” or “goodbye” know what’s expected for your arrival and departure.

 

Although some vacation rental homes have strict check-in and check-out times, you may be able to arrive ahead of schedule anyway. Ask the homeowner if you can arrive early, drop off your bags and explore the area before the official check-in time. This can give you a little extra time to explore during your vacation, and can also serve as an opportunity to scope out the nearest grocery store, coffee shop or any attractions you want to check out during your stay.

 

Do you offer baby items?

Things to ask Vacation Rental Company before booking
Some rentals do not allow children. Ask what age is considered old enough. Some rentals may not allow teenagers and renters younger than 25 to rent their property without a guardian.

 

If you’re traveling with an infant or small child, it can make a big difference to know you don’t have to pack a crib or highchair. Ask ahead of time if there are any special accommodations for babies so you’ll know what to pack. Additionally, pay attention to the maximum occupancy of your cottage. If the maximum occupancy is two people, it can also indicate the fire safety regulations. In a small space, adding a crib can prevent a fire hazard. This is a good conversation to have with the homeowner before renting to make sure you and your family are choosing the safest option for your stay.

 

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2 comments

  1. I like the idea to ask about what entertainment options they have. I could see how you might want to watch tv if it’s raining or something. I’ll make sure to ask about that if I get a vacation rental this summer.

  2. Thanks for explaining the importance of asking about where to find the nearest wifi network before booking a vacation rental. My family is going on vacation next month, and we need a wifi connection because I will have to work a couple of days remotely. I will be sure to reach out to whatever rental home service we decide to go with before finalizing details.

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