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How to find the best vacation rentals

So you’ve decided to rent a house or apartment for your next trip or family vacation. Great! But where do you begin? The increasing popularity of vacation rentals has led to an explosion of resources on the Web, which can be more overwhelming than useful. With hundreds of thousands of properties listed online and in real estate offices all over the world, how can you find the one that’s right for you?

To make the process easier, we’ve pulled together our most useful tips for finding and getting a great deal on your next vacation rental.

Getting Started

Start by visiting the many useful vacation rental sites on the Web. Many sites will allow you to save your favorite properties to a wish list for easy comparison, and to communicate directly with homeowners, who are usually eager to share first-hand knowledge of the areas where they have properties.

For a specialist on Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, you will, of course, find the best offers on ABC Villa Rentals.

Your best bet is to compare rates, amenities, views, and conditions before entering into a rental agreement. Keep in mind that certain sites are simply a forum for owners to list their properties, while other sites serve as rental agents and take a more active role in the process. You may pay slightly more when booking through an agent site, but they may also be more willing to step in if something goes wrong with your rental.

Tips for Finding a Rental

Start Early
Many people begin planning their summer vacations right after New Years. Also, in many popular vacation destinations, you’ll find loyalists — people who rent the same house for the same block of time year after year. For the largest selection, start early and ask about early booking discounts. Sometimes you’ll find that in exchange for the security of having their property rented, an owner and agent will offer a discount, sometimes as much as 10 percent.

Know What You Want
Have small children? Ask about baby gates for the stairs. Vacationing with an older family member who isn’t very mobile? Try to find a property without many steps. Plan on having cookouts? Ask if the grill is in good shape. Get the details in writing and bring them with you to be sure everything is as promised. Also, be sure you have the name and phone number of someone you can call if anything goes wrong during your stay.

Wait It Out
In the most popular vacation destinations, supply outweighs demand. For this reason, the closer the high season gets, the more agents and owners are scrambling to fill houses. If you are flexible with your dates and amenities, you can find significant savings on your vacation rental by searching at the last minute. Just don’t get your heart set on a particular property and remember that this is a game of risk vs. reward. Last minute is not always cheaper, you may end up paying more than you had bargained for though.

Read the Fine Print
Before making a rental commitment, be sure you understand what it involves. Start looking as far in advance of departure as possible so that you can absorb all the nitty-gritty about terms and rules, physical layout, furnishings, cleaning and repair services (if any), local transportation, proximity to services that you need, financial arrangements and obligations, deposits, liability and property insurance, and whatever other details come to mind. Minimize your risk of unpleasant surprises when you arrive and when it’s far too late to back out.

Many vacation rental sites now offer reviews and feedback from past guests; read these carefully and reach out to the homeowner about any questions that might arise.

Keep in mind that renting a house or apartment is not like booking a hotel room — it’s a binding contract between you and the homeowner. In the event you need to cancel, you may have to do so within a week or even 30 days for a full refund.

Head on over to ABC Villa Rentals now, to find our best offers for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.


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