Spring is finally here! Time to get out of town and try something new! Vacation rentals are a great alternative to a hotel - literally your home away from home while exploring a new city and living like a local. Check out Professor Pig’s tips for finding the best vacation rental!
As always, savvy savers start planning their vacation around a realistic budget. Next, sign up for discounts and special offers via email, follow your favorite vendors on social media, and check the websites regularly to be aware and take advantage of their promotions.
Consider searching for newly listed properties. They often include discounts for the first few months to increase awareness and obtain reviews. Keep an eye out for hidden fees. While the nightly rate may be economical, the bill may be more than expected after booking and cleaning fees. You’ll also want to note the cancellation policy on each listing, as they are not all the same. Finally, some credit cards offer point programs for all forms of travel, including lodging, so be sure to check with your card provider before booking your stay.
When researching your getaway and carefully reading the reviews, think about what is most important about your vacation before finalizing the rental. If you plan to spend most of your time out and about, the kitchen and views may not be your top priority. However, if you plan to stay in and relax, you may want to seek options with an accommodating kitchen and nice views. Set up inspiration boards to track and compare the properties and cities you’re interested in visiting!
Book your rental as early as possible, ideally at least 30 days in advance. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, choosing weekdays instead of weekends or extending your stay to an entire week, you’ll likely find better deals.
Renting during off-peak times can also mean substantial discounts on the standard rate! Off-season generally starts around Labor Day and continues through March, except for mountain destinations that typically consider April to October their off-season. Avoid holiday weekends that tend to be more expensive, as are dates surrounding local festivals and major events.
Some hosts are open to negotiation, so it doesn’t hurt to reach out. Ask if they offer a special rate or discount. Some hosts are willing to complete transactions privately, off the typical platform, which saves fees for both parties.
You’ve got all the tools to find a terrific vacation rental, so get busy finding the apartment, condo, or beach house that fits your needs! Hopefully, you’ll rest easy knowing you found a great deal and can maintain your savings goals.