The Real Deal: Finding the Right Rental Home for Your Vacation

Many people are opting to stay in a vacation home instead of a hotel because they can save money, have more room and privacy. If you want to go this route, here’s what you need to know.

Don’t Be Shy. Negotiate
Don’t be shy about asking for discounts or negotiating the price. Sometimes, the price is the price, but often times, you can get a discount for asking about last-minute cancelations or under-booking.

Rental Home

Hotels are especially prone to booking problems during the week, and especially during the off-season.

Consider Renting Just Outside Of Town
When you’re visiting a big city, the most expensive places will almost always be the ones right in the heart of the city. Consider traveling just outside of the city limits. You might be surprised by the deals that can be had. Even if you have to rent a vehicle, it might be cheaper to book in a nearby town and drive in.

Book Online, Book Early
Booking online can save you some money, as can booking early. In general, you’ll want to book at least 6 months out if you’re going to be booking during a busy season or over a holiday. Going online and finding Park City accommodations, rather than searching through a travel agent or by using the “wet thumb method” can also cut down on the research time.

When To Book Late
Booking early can backfire on you when you’re vacationing out of season. You actually want to book late in these instances. For example, if you’re vacationing to a hot ski resort in the fall, before the first snow flies, consider waiting until you’re just a few weeks out. You could end up saving almost 50 percent off your booking.

Why? Because hotels, resorts, and rentals are losing money during this time. This industry is cyclical and seasonal. During slow economic times, prices tend to drop. During the off-season, prices drop.

If you’re willing to swim upstream and vacation when others aren’t, you’ll save money. From the perspective of the rental agency, property manager, or hotel management, they have a choice between giving you a discount or letting the room sit vacant. They’d rather have some money than no money.

Ask For Family Discounts
Many resorts offer family discounts. And, while not all of them let kids eat free, some of them do. Also, if you’re a pet owner, and bringing Fido along, as for discounts for the pets. Believe it or not, some places won’t charge extra for a dog.

For example, Motel 6 allows pets to stay for free.

Ask About Local Attractions
Locals know where all of the touristy spots are – these are the most expensive places to hang out. Instead of falling for that gimmick, ask about local attractions and save money by living like a local would. Often times, there are tons of free or low-cost things to do in the area that are “gems” that you wouldn’t otherwise find on a travel site or with a travel agent.

Seth L. Janssen is a real estate agent. He likes to share his insights online. His articles can be found mostly on vacation and travel sites.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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