10 things you need to know before you rent a holiday home
If you're looking to rent a vacation home and don't quite know where to start, one thing's for sure: you're not the only one.
Whether you're fancying with the idea of renting a holiday home at the beach, or a villa in the mountains, an apartment in Spain or a bungalow near water in the Netherlands, you need to know a few things before you dot the "i" and cross the "t":
1. Start searching for you holiday home in time
You've surely heard of the terms "Early booking", or more so "Early booking discount". If you book your holiday accommodation with at least a few months in advance you have lots to gain, my friend. First of all, you avoid the stress of not knowing if you will have a place to stay on your holiday.
Also, as we all know, good accommodations get rented fast, and during the high season for example, you have little chances of finding something good.
Try to think of a destination and an approximate theme for your holiday this year and get started: you can look up online a holiday home on the Coast of Zeeland, or a villa in Tuscany, a group accommodation in the mountains in France , or a winter sports holiday park in the Black Forest.
2. Is there a grocery store in the area?
Here's a question you may want to ask, especially if you're not planning on spending all that much on your holiday. A grocery store near your holiday accommodation can save you a lot of money on food, as well as a well-equipped kitchen at your vacation house. Renting a holiday home on the Costa Brava for example for two people, that also has a dishwasher maybe to help you out, and allows you to cook your own meals, may take some research.
3. Do you need to rent a car and is there parking?
If you've already found your holiday destination, then that's just fantastic. Now you have to think about how you're gonna get there. You can go by plane, but then you need to look for an airport nearby and also for a means of transportation from the airport to the accommodation and back.
Or maybe it's easier to rent a car, but then you need to know if your vacation house has parking, and if you have to pay extra for it, or more so... how many parking places does it have to offer.
When we traveled with a group of friends to the Netherlands, we went by car and rented a holiday home in Zeeland with parking for a week... it was amazing!
4. Are you looking for a family holiday?
We all know that traveling with kids changes everything. A family holiday is a most wonderful experience, yet you need to be ready for it.
Whether you choose a vacation house at the beach in Spain , or you choose a holiday home in the Ardennes in Belgium you are to make sure that the accommodation is child friendly, that it maybe even has a playground, that it is smoke free and preferably close to the beach if that is the case, or to the nature parks and trails you may wish to explore.
5. Is there a good Internet connection?
Let's face it: we live in an era of technology, and though we may be on vacation, we're still curious to see what Facebook has to say, or maybe we want to do a little research online and find the best restaurant near our holiday accommodation, or the best things to see and do and so on.
For all this we need what may out-evolve humanity one day... yes... the "Holy" Internet. So when you're looking for your vacation house at Lake Balaton , or for a holiday villa at the beach with a pool on the Cote d'Azur , make sure you have proper Internet connection... if you wish to, of course.
6. Read the entire rental Contract
This is a rather important piece of advice. Don't just take a leap of faith when it comes to your holiday rental contract, as it may cost you more than you expect and feel comfortable with.
This document will tell you exactly what you're on the hook for and what benefits you have at your vacation house. For example, you may want to ask if you rent a holiday home at the beach in Croatia if beach chairs are included in the price. Also you will wish to know if your holiday villa on the Costa Blanca also includes utility bills, cleaning, Internet and so on. These are all costs that may vary, as are the air conditioning costs and the heating costs of a vacation rental if that's the case. You need to know exactly who will have to pay for these expenses in order to avoid being unpleasantly surprised at the end of your stay.
7. Are there any special policies that the owner of the house may have?
This will also refer to pets for example, or to subleasing, or any other aspects of this sort. The owner of your vacation rental may have specific rules regarding noise or cleaning and so on. All of these you need to know before you decide upon "sealing the deal" on your vacation accommodation.
Especially if we're talking pets, this is a pretty important aspect, as everyone loves their Fido, and nobody will want to have their pet "on the outside looking in". If you decide to have a holiday with your pet this year, check out the online accommodations that are pet-friendly.
8. You may have to pay a deposit
Many of the vacation houses owners may require a deposit, especially if we're talking about a seasonal rental. To this effect, make sure you know exactly how it all works. Make sure you know what you have to do in order to get your deposit back at the end of your stay, and be sure to understand what are the terms according to which you will not get the entire sum back. This way you can truly relax on your vacation and not have to practice your "debating" skills.
9. Will you have the privacy you desire?
Whether we're talking about the neighbors or the owners themselves, if you're a person that specifically cares about their privacy, you will want to learn more about this aspect regarding your vacation rental.
For example, if the owners just stop by a few times you can ask them things and maybe even set grounds for any future rental intentions... this is a good thing. But if they're gonna be hovering there, then that might be more on the awkward side. Nobody wants to feel like they're under surveillance, the "I'll be watching you" feeling is not all that great on a holiday.
10. Check everything upon arrival
It's the best way to secure your deposit. The things that renters use a lot, such as the doorknobs, or the faucets, the showers, the air conditioning, the toilets, phone or various appliances have a better "chance" of being broken or of not functioning correctly. The owner may sometimes not be aware of such issues, thus it is best if you check these things upon arrival and announce any issues you encounter.
Renting a vacation house doesn't have to be unpleasant or stressful. If you plan ahead carefully, everything will fall into place exactly as it has to. Get the best value for your money and enjoy your well-deserved vacation!
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