More and more people are considering vacation rentals rather than traditional hotel options when planning their vacations. Vacation rentals offer many advantages over hotels – not only can you usually find more affordable vacation homes suitable for larger families, but you can also work with vacation rental specialists like Elan Vacations
to arrange a vacation in the most luxurious homes in the area. At the same time, vacations spent in private vacation homes may require a bit more planning than a stay at a hotel, where restaurants, concierges and shops are close at hand. For this reason, if you are considering staying in a vacation home, be sure to speak with the owner or manager in advance so that you understand what will be easily available to you and what might be more difficult. Here are some key questions to ask.
Where is the vacation rental located relative to the area’s attractions?
Whereas hotels are likely to be located in central areas close to shopping, theater, dining and cultural sites, private vacation homes will more likely be removed from the downtown area. Being a bit removed from the touristy areas of town may be exactly what you are after, but do remember that those areas are popular with tourists because they are easily accessible. If you are staying outside of the main areas, be sure that you check with owner or manager about available transportation options to the main attractions, and also to local restaurants and shops. If you have rented a vehicle, be sure to confirm that there is available parking, and enquire about average driving times both with and without traffic.
Can I buy milk without a car?
Related to the point above, it is important not only to understand how you are located relative to the area’s attractions but also how you are located to the very mundane things that we nevertheless may need while on vacation – a grocery store or mini-grocer, a bank machine, a drug store, etc.. If you are staying in a very residential area, these things may be difficult to find without some assistance.
What will the home be stocked with?
Most vacation homes will provide basic supplies like bathroom items, and there will generally be kitchen staples on the shelves. Things that we tend not to realize we need are the things that you should be sure to ask about. For example, are cleaning supplies easily available? Even if there is a maid service provided, you may find yourself in need of mopping up a spill or splash. If there is a dishwasher or washing machine but no detergent that can pose a challenge. Are there garbage bags? Are there batteries in a drawer somewhere in case a remote or fire detector needs to be changed? Be sure that you also ask about the numbers of towels and pillows to ensure that you don’t find yourselves short.
Are there special instructions for appliances or other things?
Especially if you are travelling in another country, you may find yourself staring at an appliance that you have no idea how to operate – anyone who has ever tried to figure out an induction stovetop with no instructions will understand the importance of getting clarification in advance. Other things that we may not think about include schedules for garbage collection, recycling protocols, how to turn on the Jacuzzi or outdoor lighting system. Don’t forget to ask where the internet router is in case it needs to be reset!
These are just a few of the most important things you should be sure to speak to the owner or manager of your rental vacation to avoid frustration or disappointment.