If you've ever considered renting a condo or house for your beach vacation rather than staying in a hotel, congratulations! By choosing the right rental, you can save a lot of money, enjoy much more space, and find the perfect location to meet the needs of everyone in your vacation party. But how do you go about finding the right place?
First, decide whether renting a property rather than staying in a hotel is really best for your group. If one of your vacation goals is a break from cooking, or if you love returning to a spotlessly clean and made-up bedroom each day, you might be happier in a hotel room. There is something to be said for letting others do the mundane daily chores. Hotels are usually centrally located, and often have amenities such as swimming pools and exercise rooms for your enjoyment.
But if you are traveling with a large group that includes babies, small children, teenagers, and/or seniors, hotel rooms have severe limitations. There is no space to put the baby down for a nap without darkening and silencing the entire room. Teenagers may want to monopolize the TV and computer. Older folks may be on a different sleep schedule from the rest of the group. And the expense of multiple hotel rooms or suites can be staggering. A full condo or house makes much more sense in these cases!
With a rental property, you get space. Multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, a full kitchen and often a dining room, one or more living spaces, and often outdoor areas as well, such as decks, balconies, and fenced yards. The privacy a beach rental affords you is tremendous, as is the feeling of being able to spread out and get comfortable. When you're trying to meet the needs of a group, a beach rental property is unbeatable!
So now that you are convinced this is what you want, the second consideration is whether to rent directly from a homeowner or to go through a management company. A direct rental will most likely save you a bit of money, but presents several challenges. You have to be able to trust the individual you are renting from. And if something goes wrong during your stay -- as things are likely to do! -- you may not be able to get a service person out quickly, especially if you feel you should negotiate with the owner about who is paying for the repair. With the best will in the world, owners may not be able to respond quickly (they are usually gone from the area, which is why they are able to rent their property!), and you do not want your vacation marred by a broken air conditioner, downed Internet service, or leaky plumbing. Most vacationers choose the convenience of a property management company simply to know that someone will answer the phone and provide a solution when a problem arises.
In choosing a vacation rental management company, look for several things:
Once you have found a company you are pleased with, you're ready for the fun part: choosing a property! Most vacation rental property management sites arrange properties by location (city as well as view), type (condo or house), and size (many houses are available for groups of 20 or more . . . and at the other end of the spectrum, studio condos are perfect for a couples getaway!). Some also offer pet-friendly properties.
Whatever your rental needs, in choosing a property, look for certain key perks that will really enhance your vacation experience:
With a little planning, your vacation rental can not only meet the needs of everyone in your group -- it can fulfill your dreams of the perfect beach experience!