Vacation rentals can be a great alternative to a hotel — they’re often cheaper and more comfortable. But finding a good one is tricky, and there are dozens of sites out there that want your business.
- Number of bedrooms. The more bedrooms the better (although this could get expensive). If you’re traveling with more than two people, the two-bedroom house makes sense because it’s cheaper than having two separate rentals. But if you’re traveling alone, the house with four bedrooms is likely more economical.
- Location. Ideally, your vacation rental will be in a quiet location so that you can sleep soundly without spending hours on airplanes or trains. It should also be within a reasonable distance of your final destination.
- Amenities. You want to find somewhere that has everything you need — from Wi-Fi and cable TV to kitchen appliances and even a washer and dryer.
- Price. Make sure you compare apples with apples — meaning, look at both units side by side and try to find similar accommodations in the same area for around the same price.
- Do you need to rent a car? Some vacation rentals are in the middle of nowhere and require you to have your own transportation. Make sure you know what the area is like before you arrive.
- Look into the cancellation policy. Some rentals allow you to cancel at any time, others don’t allow refunds on cancellations at all. Find out how much flexibility you’ll have if plans change.
- Is it kid-friendly? If you’re traveling with young children, make sure the property has safety gates for stairs, window locks and other features that ensure their safety.
- What’s included? Is breakfast provided every morning? Do beach towels come with the rental? Are there cooking utensils? Make sure everything you need will be provided by the rental company.