You've found the perfect vacation rental and now you're ready to book it. Overall, the process should be easy. Hopefully, the owner has attached a calendar showing the property's availability. Most will do this as it makes no sense to pursue a vacation rental property if it's not available at the time you want to travel. If you've never physically seen the property, you might be nervous about booking it.
Whether it's several hundred dollars a week or several thousand, you want proof that you're getting your money's worth. Unfortunately, you won't get your "proof" until you actually put the key in the door and open it. But before you change your mind and book a room at a major hotel chain, just slow down and do your research. When reserving a vacation rental, you should go through the same steps as you would before making any type of major purchase. And the beauty of the Internet is that you have all the information you need, right at your fingertips.
Begin by analyzing the information that the owner has put together. You'll be able to tell just from reading the description whether the vacation rental property is one you'd consider. Oftentimes vacation rental owners include pictures of various parts of the property to give you a better idea of what you can expect so look closely. Also gather information about the property's location then use the Internet to research the location itself.
Once you're satisfied with your selection, contact the property owner using the information provided. Be sure you discuss beforehand ALL costs, including the down payment, security deposit, and cleaning fee. Inquire about the cancellation policy too, just in case.
If you're not satisfied after this discussion, repeat the above steps to search for another vacation rental. When you're ready to strike a deal, the vacation rental property owner will provide you with payment instructions. Get everything in writing and follow the instructions you're given precisely. That way, you'll avoid unpleasant surprises upon your arrival.
By: Kent Krueger