10 Mistakes To Avoid When Renting a Vacation Home


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Traveling by vacation rental is becoming increasingly popular and easier to book. When booking a vacation rental, keep in mind that the process differs significantly from that of reserving a room at a hotel. Unlike chain hotels, vacation rentals are as unique as those renting them out.

These differences can show up in many ways. Such as excellent properties with comprehensive listings that the owners operate almost like a B&B and help you have a great time from start to finish to almost empty shells of buildings with misleading photos posted by absentee or even shady owners.

Here are some common blunders travelers make when looking for and booking a vacation rental and how to avoid them in the future.

Don’t Rely on The Images

There is a striking resemblance between home-sharing and vacation rental websites and dating applications. When homes are photographed in their best light, with the best angles and filters, they appear immaculate. 

With just a few swipes, you can reserve your dream vacation home. Later, you may discover that the hotel you booked was terrible and had nothing to do with the pictures you had seen. Before embarking on your next trip, take a look at all available room photos and inquire if there have been any upgrades since the last photos were taken.

Mistakenly Assuming The Wrong Place

Make sure to investigate if you have clear objectives because many rental platforms don’t provide the exact address until you book. This is due to some privacy reasons.

In a beach location, it’s imperative because it could mean the difference between being right on the sand or just a few feet from a freeway. Local landmarks, such as a grocery store or restaurant, can help hosts pinpoint the event’s location.

Neglecting Your Personal Safety

Despite the importance of features and aesthetics, don’t overlook the necessity of security. Go online and see how safe your neighborhood is. Take the kids to a local park or walk home from a restaurant knowing that you and your family are in safe hands. 

Lock your car at night and store your bicycles in a secure location, even if the neighborhood appears safe. Most people in the area will know that you’re renting out your home, but this could put you at risk for theft or other crimes.

Scanning The Feedback

In the same way, even the most glowing reviews may contain some necessary disclaimers if you dig a little deeper. “Enjoyed our stay” and “could have used more seating, as there was only a couch” are quick responses to a property’s four- and five-star ratings. But deeper reading reveals comments like “the water heater is tiny, although it was fine if we only delayed our showers.” The importance of information like this cannot be overstated, but it’s often hidden.

Avoiding The Use of a Big Platform

Experts recommend sticking to vacation rental services with a proven track record, despite the wide variety of options. Vacation rental fraud and scams have been reported on a number of significant websites and other community-based forums. 

Check out the website of a reputable property management company or developed travel sites like Airbnb and other dependable platforms. Paying with your credit card is the safest option when you receive requests for money transfers.

Relying on a Calendar That is Accessible Online

Regarding online calendars for many properties, some owners treat them as an afterthought. For instance, you might be able to secure a fantastic room due to an owner who neglected to update the calendar after a late cancellation.

There’s no harm in reaching out even if the calendar is up-to-date; at least the owner will have your contact information on file in case an opening arises.

Getting Around The Rules

You’ve just reserved the perfect vacation rental, but when you get there, you discover that you can only have registered guests on the property if they booked directly with you! 

Some hosts have very detailed rules. If guests break a rule, they may find themselves in an awkward situation. After reading the rules in detail, you can tell if this is the right place for you.

Expecting To be Treated Like a Hotel Guest

It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into when you find vacation rentals with Underthedoormat and book them, as they can vary significantly in quality and amenities. Setting expectations for everybody in the party is critical because you won’t have daily housekeeping, and there won’t be turndown service. So don’t be afraid to try new things and see what happens.

Ignoring Supplementary Charges

It’s a big one, so pay attention. A starting point can be shown as “from $XXX per night,” with the “from” in unobtrusive font color on the main search page of a hotel. You won’t see a final nightly rate until you select your travel dates.

A “cleaning fee” is a non-negotiable requirement for most vacation rentals, and some even require renters to pay for utilities, cable, and Internet. Before confirming your reservation, ensure you understand all of the current and future costs.

Faking Your Hotel Stay’s Specifics

You will want to disclose several things about yourself when renting a property: how many people will be at your party, whether or not there is a pet in tow, and so on. If you fudge the facts, you’re going to get caught. Many landlords greet their renters and stop by to ensure everything is going well.

Bringing the Final Chapter to a Close

Keep in mind that your correlation with the host has the potential to be more private and fruitful than it would be with other types of accommodations. Ask as many questions as possible so that the host is satisfied with your level of responsibility and wants you back again and again!

Do you have any vacation rental advice or perspectives to share with fellow vacationers? Please share them below!


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