Vacation rentals are one of the most popular ways to travel these days because of how convenient and affordable they are!Because of the huge increase in popularity, the Internet has become clogged with Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) like VRBO, TripAdvisor and Airbnb, that clamor for your travel dollars.7 brilliant reasons to rent a vacation rental & do it directly from an owner.Take a look at this vacation rentals details.
Several years ago, HomeAway, VRBO and Airbnb started allowing property managers of vacation rentals to advertise on their family of sites.
So now, instead of talking to the owner of vacation rentals, you might be dealing with a property manager that has an inventory of hundreds of properties. Any questions that you have are answered off a description sheet instead of chatting with an owner who loves their property!
You might be wondering what’s so special about booking a vacation rental directly with an owner?
Brilliant Reasons to Rent a Vacation Rental & Do it Directly from an Owner:
• NO Service Fees or Booking Fees
• You can set up a payment schedule instead of paying 100% up front
• You get to experience the area like a local
• Rent from locals and get the benefit of their experience
• Owners can describe and help you enjoy the property like no-one else
• NO middle man when it comes to customer service
• MORE and FREE amenities
In December 2016, VRBO and HomeAway were both purchased by Expedia for 4 BILLION dollars.
Now, Expedia is on a mission to earn back that money. Do you know where it’s going to come from? YOUR pockets!
Expedia introduced a Service Fee in February of 2016 that averaged 7-10%. These fees are applied to your payment when you complete the booking online on any of sites owned by Expedia.
Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Booking.com and other OTA’s charge similar fees.
Most folks are looking for one stop shopping, but is that the BEST way to book a vacation rental?
I’ll let you decide if up to a $499 Service Fee from VRBO/HomeAway and up to 14.5% from TripAdvisor/Flipkey, tacked onto your credit card is worth using their sites.
There is talk industry-wide that those fees are headed higher in 2017!
Don’t Despair! You don’t have to pay Service Fees!
If you find a vacation rental on a booking site and want to contact the owner directly so you can avoid the Service Fees, here are 5 Awesome Ways to find them!
Imagine renting a vacation rental house and getting a ski lift ticket free or being able to take your entire family out to dinner at a gourmet restaurant for free?
You CAN if you book directly with a vacation rental owner.
Here are some other things to consider when searching for the perfect Vacation Rental:
• What city or town would you like to vacation?
• Lodge, cabin, condo, house or villa?
• How many guests in your group?
• Will you bring pets?
• Are there child-friendly amenities?
• Flexible with dates of travel or do you need an exact match?
• What luxury amenities do you need?
Pull up your favorite search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) and in the search box type in something like [town, vacation rental, amenity].
Refine the search to fit your group’s needs and hopefully, you will have a list of vacation rentals that meet your needs to choose from.
Please type any questions or comments in the space below and feel free to share these tips on your social media!
PS I love to talk about North Conway and my horses so fire away!
About Teena, the Author: I have owned Four Seasons Lodge in North Conway, NH for over 20 years and have welcomed over 11,000 happy guests.
Most thank me for wonderful and fun suggestions, taking lots of family photos for them, and providing them with a spotlessly clean and meticulously maintained vacation rental!