7 Insider Tips to Score the Ultimate Vacation Rental

7 Insider Tips to Score the Ultimate Vacation Rental

Posted by Dave S. on 5th Apr 2024

Ready to plan the vacation of your dreams? Ditch the hotel and dive into the world of vacation rentals! With endless options, finding the perfect one can be challenging, but it can also be the difference between an awesome vacation or a lackluster one. That's why we've put together everything you need to know in order to get the vacation rental of your dreams. 

1.) Define Your Priorities 

Budget: Determine your budget early on and stick to it. Consider all costs, including rental fees, cleaning fees, and any additional charges or discounts such as extended stay discounts on certain properties. 

Location: Choose a location that is close to your planned activities and attractions. Proximity to public transportation, beaches, or city centers can make your stay more convenient. If you’re renting a car, somewhere with off-street parking can be a huge time saver, especially if you have kids. Another thing to consider is crime in the area, especially if you are staying in a city. Using a site like can help you choose a safer area to stay in. 

Size and Amenities: Decide on the size of the rental based on your group's needs. Make a list of things that matter most to you, such as fully equipped kitchens, Wi-Fi, or pools. Games and toys can also be a great addition for families. Amenity needs will vary so make a list beforehand with your top must-haves. 

2.) Start Your Search Early 

Benefits of Booking Early: Securing your rental early can lead to better deals and more options. Popular destinations and properties get booked quickly, especially during peak seasons. Other studies, such as this one by Nerd Wallet have shown that booking about a month in advance is likely to get you the best deals. 

Set Up Alerts: Many platforms offer alert features that notify you when new listings match your criteria. This can be a great way to keep an eye on the market without having to check prices daily. 

3.) Use Trusted Platforms 

Overview of Popular Platforms: Websites like Airbnb, VRBO, and are popular for finding vacation rentals. Check out our post on the best websites to score travel deals for more information on what might be best for you. 

Using Filters Effectively: Utilize filters to narrow down your search based on your priorities, such as price range, location, and amenities. Reading Reviews and Checking Ratings: Reviews from past guests can provide valuable insights into the property and the host. Look for rentals with high ratings and positive feedback, but be sure to read the reviews to make sure they are feel real. 

4.) Understand the Rental Agreement 

Importance of the Agreement: The rental agreement outlines the terms and conditions of your stay. It's crucial to read and understand it before making a reservation. 

Key Points to Look Out For: Pay attention to the cancellation policy, security deposit requirements, and any additional fees (such as cleaning fees). 

5.) Communicate with the Host 

Benefits of Communication: Getting in touch with the host before booking can provide more information about the property and the area. 

Questions to Ask: Inquire about the check-in process, any house rules, and recommendations for local attractions or dining options. 

6.) Check for Hidden Costs 

Identifying Additional Costs: Be aware of potential hidden costs, such as taxes, service fees, and parking charges in the area. These can add up and affect your overall budget. 

7.) Consider Insurance 

Pros and Cons of Travel Insurance: Travel insurance can provide peace of mind, especially for longer stays or international trips. Weigh the costs and benefits to decide if it's right for you.

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