What to Know Before Booking a Vacation Home

Hilton Head Island Vacation Rental

After spending countless hours looking into the perfect destination for your family’s next vacation, you’re ready to book a vacation home. As you’re putting check-marks next to desired features like multiple bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchen and a private pool, make sure to investigate other important criteria that might not be so obvious. Here are some things you should know for a surprise-free experience when booking a vacation home:

Know who you are renting from. Rentals differ when it comes to things like destination, number of bedrooms, and overall style. But many people don’t realize they differ in other important ways too, like whether they’re managed by a professional management company or the individual homeowner. If you don’t like leaving things up to chance, you might want the added peace of mind of working with a manager. Most have established service and quality standards for their properties unlike renting directly from an owner who isn’t necessarily qualified to deliver a hospitality-grade experience. In fact, a recent Wyndham Vacation Rentals survey found approximately seven in ten guests who have experience renting both ways prefer the managed option. If you're worried about losing that authentic feel, Wyndham's unique Peer-to-Peer Plus approach connects travelers looking for an authentic home stay with owners looking to rent out their homes, while providing both with a range of services to ensure a hassle-free rental experience.

Know what you can realistically expect. The last thing you probably want is to check into a home that differs from what you had in mind, and not in a good way. According to the same survey, 46 percent of vacationers are not confident they’ll get what they anticipate if renting directly from a vacation homeowner. To overcome that fear, ask the homeowner specific questions about the property, from distance to the beach to included housewares, or consider working with a professional manager who can better vet the home.

Know who to call for assistance. If the hot tub breaks or the kitchen’s missing promised appliances, know who you can contact for timely assistance. Not being able to get problems solved quickly if renting directly from an owner is a concern for 62 percent of vacationers, according to the survey. Don’t be caught off-guard. Professional managers can ensure you have 24/7 assistance. If you’re renting from the individual owner, see how available they’ll be and ask in advance what the process is for issue resolution. If they live out of state and can’t offer help, be ready for the possibility that you might run into obstacles during your stay.

Know how well-maintained the property is. Renting a home directly from an owner you don’t know can certainly cause apprehension. Nine in ten owners (88 percent) who have rented their home themselves admittedly “dread” something about doing it on their own, from cleaning to keeping up with regular inspections. Those tasks can make or break your stay, so don’t shy away from asking questions. If you don’t feel confident in the answers, consider working with a professional manager.

Headed to the beach, mountains or theme park? Start looking for a professionally managed vacation rental home.

Source: Why Professionally-Managed Matters Survey conducted for Wyndham Vacation Rentals by Kelton Global, 2015-16