6 Important Questions to Ask Before Booking a Vacation Rental

Taking a vacation can be a great way to relax with family and friends. When taking a vacation, one of the biggest decisions that you need to make is picking where you will stay. With the increased amount of vacation properties available through companies such as Airbnb, there are more available vacation rentals than ever before. Prior to booking your vacation rental, there are six important questions that you must ask.

1- What is the Cancellation Policy?
One of the most important questions to ask prior to booking a hotel or other vacation property is how the cancellation policy works. “Cancellation policies can vary considerably from one property to the next and can include having to pay a one nights fee, having to forfeit your entire initial deposit, and even having to pay additional fees,” said Sky Harbor Resort. You should be sure to fully understand what the cancellation charges will be and if they can be waived based on weather or other issues requiring you to cancel your trip.

2- How do I Check-in and Receive the Key?
If you are staying at a traditional hotel or resort it will usually be very easy and clear where you need to check in. However, if you are staying at a vacation property through an individual property owner, it can be a more complicated process. You should spend time talking with the owner of the property to understand where you need to pick up the keys, where the property is located, and when you can check into your stay.

3- What are My Responsibilities?
When renting a vacation property, all tenants could be required to complete certain responsibilities. These responsibilities can include requirements in regards to cleaning, completing some maintenance, and returning the keys to the vacation rental. It is important that you are fully aware of what the responsibilities are, what the penalty will be if you do not complete the requirements correctly, and whether you can have some of the responsibilities waived.

4- What Additional Costs are Not Included?
When you are searching for a hotel or other rental property, you will normally see just the base rate advertised. However, there are many other costs that could be incurred that you need to be aware of. Some of the most common additional costs include cleaning fees, booking fees, resort fees, and local entertainment taxes. The taxes that are charged can vary considerably from one city to the next and could easily add hundreds of dollars to a week-long vacation. Be sure you have a full breakdown of the additional taxes before you book.

5- What Amenities are Included?
When you are staying at a vacation rental that is located near many other amenities, you should also clearly understand what amenities are included in your rental. Some common amenities that will be included can be pool access, golf course access, use of a boat or other water equipment, or even use of a car. You should spend time carefully reviewing which amenities are included and what amenities may require an additional cost.

6- What Happens if there is Damage?
When staying at a vacation property, most people intend on taking good care of the property. However, mistakes can happen and damage can occur. Since there is always this risk, it would be a good idea to understand what the repercussions would be if the property is damaged. Most vacation rental providers should have some level of insurance that you may be able to take advantage of as well. While you will have to pay a deductible or premium to take advantage of this, it may be a good idea to protect yourself in the event of an accident that causes damage.