Travel: 11 Questions to Ask Before You Book A Rental Home

A popular idea is to rent a home for the holidays. 
Airbnb has made it very easy...for individuals.

But what about families?
There are still plenty of options!
Whether you take your family to a cozy cabin in the mountains or to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean, a family vacation during the holiday season can be the stage for life-long memories.

But it can also be a huge investment -between 5-10% of your income. 
So, of course you want to be smart and do your research...
avoid scams. 
Here's some important questions to ask the property owner BEFORE you book your next vacation house.

  • Is this image a picture of the actual rental or part of the resort's amenities?
Some vacation rentals are part of a larger condo or resort community, so make sure that picture of the "relaxing hot tub" or “slide park” is actually on site of the rental itself and not part of the community's feature. Similar issues can come up for game rooms, pools, BBQ pit, etc.

  • What is the cancellation and refund policy?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what the cancellation policy is. Every location and vacation rental may have its own unique guidelines.
  • How far away is this property from top attractions? Are the miles calculated as aerial distance vs. driving distance?
Certain sites use aerial distance to measure the distance between a location and a vacation rental (i.e. 'How far away is this home from downtown Myrtle Beach or Disney World?"). Sometimes, the driving distance is much more than the aerial distance. Be sure to know the difference. Aerial distances can be confusing and misleading as they make things seem closer than they actually are. Sites like VaycayHero use driving distance to show how far away something is, as most people are not rappelling down from a helicopter to their vacation home.
  • Pet-friendly? Is there a pet fee for the family dog?
Enough said.
  • Confirm that it is a private home or a shared space?
Don't feel like waking up to share the bathroom with a complete stranger on your family vacation? Then make sure to ask if the rental you are booking is a private house/condo.
  • Can I actually book this rental or do I have to wait for the owner to respond to me?
Many sites state 'book now' but the majority of them force consumers to email the owner and then wait to hear back.
  • Does this rental have central A/C?
It may seem obvious and expected in 2015, but some areas and rentals do not have central A/C. If you are traveling during a peak hot season, check on the air situation or bring a bunch of ice packs.
  • Is this total actually the total?
Traveling with families can be expensive. Some booking sites place hidden fees. Double check to ensure everything is included in the price.
  • Is there an onsite manager?
Crap happens, even on vacation. Make sure you know who will be around to help you out in case you need immediate assistance. Nothing ruins a family vacation like a pipe bursting!
  • Are medical facilities close by?
Accidents and illnesses often come up on a family vacation. Good to know your options and proximity to the rental property.
  • What are the dimensions of the mattress?
Most professionally managed rentals come with linens, but if it doesn't and you need to bring your own, know what mattress sizes are there, so you can know what size sheets to bring.

*Thanks to VaycayHero for providing us with this story.

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  1. great tips, as per usual

  2. Great short list. There are so many things to consider when booking a vacation rental. Take a moment to look over our pages pertaining to this process here:

  3. Brilliant job you did Dayvee. I often love to make my quick journey to your beautiful world to enjoy the juicy and life healing contents produced by you. The different taste of variety of topic generate an mix impression that supply me fuel to lead my day. Yeah, today renting home or house on holiday tour is really getting popular. But at the same time it's hard to find the perfect space from so many property offers around. So, no doubt the things you explained in this post to consider, I think it bear super quality and importance especially resort location, amenities and the refund policy. However love your ideas and consideration. I am sure all of your readers and fans find this post interesting. BTW, for property management especially in Portland, Utopia Management Portland can be the affordable service for maintaining any property or rental job. Maybe vacation lovers and property owners find this useful.


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