Eight questions to ask before booking a vacation rental

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Mans with legs up using phone (Photo: Index Open)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on March 14, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: booking strategy, Sarah Pascarella, vacation rental.

As my friends and family will attest, I'm a big fan of vacation rentals: It's my first-choice accommodations type whenever I take a trip. But before I book, I always research the property thoroughly. This gives me peace of mind because I know the place I'm renting is clean and comfortable, and also ensures I won't get any surprise charges after checking out.

Before any money changes hands, be sure to ask the property owner the following questions:

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  • Are there any additional charges beyond what is posted on the site?
  • Will you need to sign a rental contract or submit a security deposit?
  • Do you pay in advance or on arrival?
  • If you pay in advance and your plans change, can your money be refunded?
  • Are there surcharges per guest if you have more than the typical two or four people in your party?

The following are usually covered on each property's website, but just in case they're not, find out:

  • Will you be charged a cleaning fee or be expected to clean up yourself?
  • Are linens, towels, and toiletries provided?
  • Are pets allowed?

Once you have these items answered (and in a manner to your liking), you can book with confidence.

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

 
 
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