Vacation rentals increasingly replacing hotel stays

Lysa Allman-Badwin | 5/7/2015, 1:24 p.m.
When I was growing up, vacation accommodations encompassed a handful of options: a hotel or motel, camping or staying at ...

TRIP TIPS

For those who may be new to vacation rentals, here are a few vacation rental planning tips:

Do your homework

Check numerous sites to not only find the rental you desire, but also to compare prices to assure that you are paying what may be the standard industry price for the location and time of year you are traveling. Sites that offer traveler reviews (and social media links where you can read unfiltered reviews) can also provide you with more insight into what you may be getting.

Stay off the beaten path

Even though you may want to be right in the thick of things, you can save a lot of money by searching for a rental property a bit further from the center of town.

Get it in writing

Besides the usual check-in and checkout times, the number of guests allowed, where smoking is acceptable, etc., the rental agreement will provide you with more of the particulars of your rental, including any special house rules.

Ask lots of questions

Once you’ve narrowed down or selected your vacation rental, contact the property management company or individual homeowner to get the skivvy on anything that may not generally be mentioned on the website or rental agreement, such as the amount of parking available (and where), if the rental is wheelchair accessible, if it has a full oven with stovetop or just a microwave or hotplate, if there are any child/animal security gates, and so forth. You want to know anything that specifically pertains to your particular needs.

Be flexible

You may want to go the best beach in destination “X” in July, but that may also be the most expensive time of year. Consider making your trip during what is called the “Shoulder Season,” which varies, when the weather will be just as nice but there won’t be as many people and the prices will be a lot lower. On the other hand, if you want to get away at the last minute, instead of maybe searching for a specific location, check various sites for great last-minute deals. You just may find a location you never heard of that turns out to be the best vacation you ever had!

Lysa Allman is the publisher and editor of Amazing Escapades. offering “Adventures for the Mind, Bod and Belly” (www.amazingescapades.com). She can be reached at editor@amazingescapades.com.