How to Book a Vacation Rental
Looking for an unforgettable getaway? Then you'll want to book a vacation rental, which offer unparalleled space, privacy and value. If it's your first time, then take a moment to review the process from the initial inquiry right down to the key pick up. Booking is simple, fast and convenient. Here's how it works:
Finding the Right Vacation Rental Property
The first step is to find a vacation rental that meets your needs. Aside from the decisions - choosing a destination and number of guests - you will want to consider some other important factors. Make sure the vacation rental property you are looking at has the right number of bedrooms. Some properties can accommodate guests in pull-outs, cribs, bunk beds or other types of accommodations that may or may not be suitable for your party. Read the property description, location description and list of amenities to make sure that the property has everything you are looking for. Most people look at the property pictures first, but we provide detailed property listings to make sure all the information you need is available. You can even view the property on the Google map to see its precise location. Most vacation rental listings will also include an availability calendar to help you narrow down the available dates. If not, then you can ask the owner directly. When you've found a property that you like, the next step is to contact the owner.
Contact the Owner of the Vacation Rental
The next step if you're going to book a vacation rental is to confirm that property will be available and appropriate for your party. This means inquiring about the travel dates and confirming the price, even if the owner updates their calendar and has clear pricing on their listing. Any additional information about your party should be provided in the initial inquiry as well, including the number of guests and their ages, as well as any special considerations your party should need (wheelchair access, beachfront property, etc.). Owners will likely reply promptly, sometimes with questions of their own, again to ensure that the vacation rental will be a good fit for both you and them, since they do generally like to screen their guests. This type of screening ensures that both parties enter into the agreement with full confidence and comfort, so guests should reply cordially and accurately.
Signing the Vacation Rental Agreement
If everything is a fit, then the owner will likely send you over a copy of their rental contract, which dictates the terms and conditions of the rental. All relevant details are found within the contract, including information regarding the security deposit, check-in/check-out, payment, key pick-up, maintenance, etc. Travelers should review the contract carefully and make sure they agree to the terms before finalizing their stay at the vacation rental property. Also note that while homeowners do generally have contracts, some do not, and use email correspondence as evidence of a booking – travelers should therefore not be concerned if this type of situation should arise. Just make sure you are clear on all the particulars.
Paying for your Vacation Rental and Picking Up the Keys
Once the contract is signed, you've successfully booked a vacation rental! All that's left now is to pay and pick up the keys. Generally, owners will ask for a percentage of the rental fee up front, and may also charge an initial booking fee and cleaning fee. Some owners may also ask for the security deposit at this point as well. All this is normal and may vary from owner to owner. The vacation rental listing will indicate the methods of payment accepted, but generally Pay Pal, personal cheque, and bank transfers are the norm, though a growing number are accepting credit card payment as well. The last step is to pick up the keys. Some homeowners will have someone meet you, either at the airport or at the rental, whereas others will leave the keys in a nearby lock box and give you the combination, but generally these directives will be indicated prior to payment. The remainder of the payment will generally be expected upon arrival.
After that, all that's left to do is to kick back, relax, and enjoy your vacation rental! If you have any questions at all, ask the homeowner – they'll be more than happy to help.
For more help on using the Travel Rental Network website, read our TravelRentalNetwork.com Beginner's Guide.
"My clients have decided on accommodation. The owner called me immediately after receiving my inquiry. He gave me more info on his property and really sold me on it. I in turn, sold my client on it. I appreciated that he pays commission on his advertised prices. Thanks again for your pro-active responses. "
- Cindy Ford, Atlas Travel