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Booking now may net you the best vacation rental

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Couple relaxing at a ski lodge (Photo: IndexOpen)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on January 2, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: booking strategy, Sarah Pascarella, seasonality, vacation rental.

Getting the right vacation rental for your trip is truly a case of the early bird getting the worm. Unlike hotel inventory, where you may have multiple oceanfront, mountainside, or other desirable rooms to choose from in any given destination and/or season, the most appealing vacation rentals (often limited in size and number) are simply gone once they're booked.

January is typically the time with the most booking activity, as many travelers start thinking about summer and holiday vacations and snap up the most desirable properties early.

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According to the bloggers at PickPackGo, a site following the vacation rental industry, today is traditionally the busiest day of the year for vacation rental bookings (based on past industry booking stats). The lesson here is that you should be prepared to book in the very near future, if not today.

Personally, I prefer vacation rentals over hotels and find early booking to be very sound advice. You get the greatest variety of properties, locations, and prices. I tend to book as soon as I choose my destination, typically a few months in advance. For a popular destination in peak season, sometimes I'll even book up to a year early, as I did for an upcoming summer vacation on Cape Cod.

To browse listings and book, check the offerings on VRBO, HomeAway, CyberRentals, and PickPackGo.

Have a great travel tip you'd like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

 
 
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