…Or, how are vacation rentals different from hotels and motels, and what does it mean to me?
If you haven’t been staying in vacation rental properties up till now, you probably aren’t familiar with all the ways vacation rental properties are different from Hotels and Motels. If you’ve come this far, you have probably already decided vacation rentals are a better deal for you. When a family or large group is traveling together, vacation rentals are usually more cost effective, offer a lot more room, are more comfortable, and allow you NOT to have to dine out for every meal.
But, there are other differences as well. Most vacation rental properties are operated by their owners. There is seldom any kind of staff available to handle check-in and check-out for you, and you are there on your own. Property owners have generally gone to great effort to make the accommodations better than hotels, they are very proud of them. Vacation rental property owners seldom get to meet their guests, and so have to assess prospective guest via e-mail and phone conversations.
In addition to trying to make sure the accommodations will be right for you, they are also trying to make sure they are renting to people who are responsible and won’t damage, or over-occupy the properties. No vacation rental owner wants their guests to find themselves uncomfortable because they brought 12 people to a property that only sleeps 6 comfortably. Nor do they want to hear from their cleaning staff they will be charged twice as much because too many people were in the property.
So, when you contact a property owner, it makes everything go much smoother if you have an accurate count of who is traveling. If you call or email and say you have “about 6” people, the owner is going to wonder about how real your request is. If you then change it to “about 5” adults and “about 3” children they aren’t going to know how to find a property that fits you. If they only have one property, and it sleeps 6, now they don’t know if you will, or won’t fit into it.
Not being accurate about your needs means when somebody else calls about the property who IS sure about how many people they have, that party is probably going to get to stay there, and you won’t.
The other thing which is important when you contact the owner, is your time frame. The owner needs to know the date you want to check-in, and check-out. And, you should always try to check the availability calendar for the property before you make your request. It’s okay, if you are flexible, to say so, and give a range of possible dates. But, when you have dates you need because that’s when you are traveling, you should be specific, and you should check first. We get request after request for dates which are already taken and marked off the calendar. Sometimes that turns out okay because we have more than one cabin to rent. But all too often, it just means we have to reply the dates aren’t available.
Some property owners have systems on-line which prevent you from requesting dates which aren’t available, but the large majority don’t. All the professional websites will assume you have checked the dates on the calendar before you made your request.
We’re eager to share our beautiful properties with travelers from all over, so check the calendar, set your dates, and let us you know you want to stay with us when you travel.