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How to snag a waterfront vacation rental

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Sea birds on Anna Maria Island, Florida (Photo: iStockPhoto.com/Jim Harrington)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 17, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: beach, Sarah Pascarella, summer, vacation rental.

"Most popular destinations and desirable homes often sell out a year in advance. It's never too early to look, especially if having a waterfront location is really important to you," says Felix Lin, CEO of PickPackGo, a vacation rental booking site. Lin cites the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, and Florida as destinations where vacation homes, especially those right on the water, tend to get booked early.

If you have your heart set on a house with water views, consider:

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  • Postponing your trip for a year and booking now for next spring, summer, or fall.
  • Inquiring about last-minute offers. "Roughly one-third of our inventory in popular destinations is still available a week before a major travel event," says Lin. "[That's] not to say every single property is available, but a lot of time you can get [pretty] close" to your desired location. If your trip is within a month of booking, Lin says it never hurts to ask about a deal. "[The inventory] might have gone unsold and you can very well wind up with a great discount." Additionally, that dream house might not be available for your first-choice travel dates—but might be for this weekend (at a cheap rate).
  • Changing your expectations and being open to compromise. "We have tools on our site so you can see exactly where the property is physically located in relation to where you want to be," says Lin. "A lot of times being in the area is the most important, more than the water views."

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

 
 
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