How to Book a Vacation Rental

Vacation rentals are gaining popularity, not just for family vacations at the beach but among independent travelers as well. For families, a vacation rental is an easy way to get more bang for your buck and if you’re a tourist who wants to feel like a local on your next trip abroad, a rental can help you do just that. July is National Vacation Rental Month at Wyndham Vacation Rentals, who have a few pointers when it comes to booking your next rental:

1. Most people imagine beach houses when they think of vacation rentals, but these are just one segment of an ever-growing industry. You can rent an apartment in Paris, a villa in Tuscany, a brownstone in Brooklyn, or a beach house in Florida. Whatever kind of lodging you’re interested in, no matter how exotic, chances are you can rent it.

2. In most cases you’ll have more space, more privacy and more money in your pocket when you choose a vacation rental rather than a hotel. You’ll also most likely have access to a kitchen and washer/dryer. Wyndham Vacation Rentals is using this month to honor the vacation rental amenity people love most – the kitchen. Whether they’re hitting the local farmers market to whip up an authentic, local dish or using the kitchen to offset travel costs and accommodate food allergies, 61 percent of travelers choose rental homes for the kitchen. In fact, vacation rental travelers reporter saving $898 a week by using the kitchen in their vacation home rental.

3. Rent from a reputable source; search for properties on established listing sites and book with names you recognize like well- known hospitality companies or local real estate and vacation rental management companies that have been servicing their communities for years. Look for guarantees as some vacation rental sites offer guarantees that ensure your rental will meet certain standards. Wyndham offers its Vacation Rental Bill of Rights® which provides assurance that among other things all of its properties are clean, well-maintained and regularly inspected. Also watch out for fraudulent listings which often offer aggressively low prices to attract would-be renters. If something doesn’t feel right or the deal seems too good to be true, proceed with caution.

4. Avoid hijacked ads and be your own investigator; scammers often lift property descriptions and photos from legitimate rental or home sale listings and create bogus ads on other sites. Copy and paste the listing description and do an Internet search to see if it is a direct match with listings from other sites. If so do some more research. Check online maps to make sure the property address is legitimate and use the satellite view to see if the property matches the listing description. Check local tax records to verify the person you are dealing with is truly the owner of the home.

5. Ask about on-site customer service; what if your stove breaks in your rental and you just bought hundreds of dollars of food? Even worse, what if the person you booked with lives across the country and can’t be reached? Guests should ask whether there’s a local team on hand to take care of any issues that may arise.

And here’s just some of the perks!