It's easy to become overwhelmed with the millions of vacation rental choices online, many of which from companies or individual owners that offer different strengths and weaknesses. Here, our experts address and answer the most common myths surrounding the vacation rental experience:
Vacation rentals are for the wealthy – I could never afford it, especially during today’s economy.
In fact, vacation rentals often provide a huge cost savings as compared to other lodging options for a variety of reasons. First, by allowing guests to make just one reservation rather than multiple, groups and/or families can save on the costs associated with booking multiple hotel rooms. Rates for some three-bedroom vacation homes may start at just $69 per night, but sleep up to eight travelers versus just one or two.
Next, having a fully equipped kitchen in-home offers great value to travelers who want to save on dining out for every meal. Rather than spending hard-earned vacation dollars on a full restaurant breakfast every morning, vacation rental guests have the exclusive ability to simply stock up from the supermarket on their favorite cereal, snacks, eggs, or pancake mix.
Vacation rentals aren’t secure or reliable forms of lodging – the quality of services and facilities are always a gamble.
On the contrary – When choosing a vacation rental from an established property management company, travelers can be assured that there’s a reputable business maintaining and servicing the property and its guests each day. This includes all of the proper inspections, housekeeping, landscaping, laundry, reservations and much more. Furthermore, when staying in a vacation rental that’s managed by a professional, guests often experience better guest and concierge services they’d expect with traditional forms of lodging.
Guests are encouraged to look for the AAA ratings of vacation rentals when seeking accommodations, as well as a designation of membership with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA).
If I need assistance during my trip, I’ll have to handle it myself.
When choosing a vacation rental through a professional management company, guests are offered an emergency contact to call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for any questions, maintenance issues and more. Nearly all managers staff a team of both customer care and maintenance professionals solely to assist with guests’ needs.
Someone will approach me and ask if I want to buy something, watch a two–hour presentation, or worse, pressure me if I rent from a management company.
Vacation rentals are not like timeshares, as they don’t involve any type of ownership, maintenance fees, or commitments of any sort. Travelers can simply check in and out just like they would for a hotel stay. While you are renting a property that is owned by an individual, the vacation rental company manages the entire process on their behalf, maintaining and servicing the property and its guests each day.
I’m going to have to make my bed, cook and do my own dishes through my whole trip.
While each vacation rental is thoroughly cleaned and prepared for guests’ arrivals, management companies often offer mid-stay or daily housekeeping services, upon request, for an additional fee. However, because of the convenient, comfortable and money-saving qualities provided by the vacation rental category, most guests don’t consider this privacy and freedom to be a negative element.
In fact, many travelers choose vacation rentals, in part, for the ability to dine in-home rather than out on certain days during their trip. It can be as simple as an oven-baked lasagna, breakfast cereal, sandwiches or snacks on some days, which require little to no, or even disposable, dishes and flatware.
Only large families and groups find the best value in vacation rentals.
While there are some vacation home rentals that accommodate scores of travelers under one roof, there are many options offering value for single travelers, couples and small groups of just two or three guests. Available options range from studio-size condo rentals in metro areas to one- or two-bedroom town homes and bungalows fit for any accommodations lifestyle or occasion.
I’ll have to stay for a minimum of seven nights – Weekend trips need not apply!
As the habits and preferences of travelers change, the vacation rental category has adapted, as well, to best meet the needs of today’s traveler. Guests seeking a two- or three-night getaway can often find established rental companies with little to no minimum stay requirements – especially during off-season time periods, when booking last-minute specials or even in specific rental properties.
I can’t get the same luxuries in a vacation rental as I can in a hotel.
Professional vacation rental management companies provide guests with the opportunity to experience all the benefits of traditional lodging with additional amenities and an inherent value that remain unmatched, often including a concierge, as well as options for in-home massages, spa treatments, butlers, a personal chef to cook meals, pre-arrival grocery delivery services, child care and more.
Most vacation rental management companies also boast partnerships with local vendors to offer guests discounts on area activities, shopping, restaurants, golf courses, as well as special rates on car and equipment rentals, to name a few.