Flickr / Jesse Wagstaff
Hotel rooms are nice, but there’s nothing quite like renting a whole house with your friends.
Whether you’re looking for a vacation rental that gives you more privacy than a hotel, enough space to house your entire family, or simply want to feel like you’re home away from home, sites like Airbnb and VRBO are the answer.
While the many, many options online might seem daunting, there are several tips and tricks that will make the process much smoother.
Here are nine easy steps that will help you land an amazing beach rental.
Do your research.
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There are hundreds of websites devoted to helping people rent beach houses, but some are more reputable than others. Many are area specific, while others have no search filters. To be safe, it’s wise to stick to the more well-known sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and TripAdvisor’s FlipKey.
To be even safer, make sure you’re on the real website with the right url — not a scammy copycat site.
While smaller sites will be more tailored and personal, know that a few hiccups could arise if they don’t have established rules, regulations, and guidelines.
Pick a time.
Deciding when you want to take your beach vacation is the first step. Picking a window of time will help you narrow down the many options immensely.
Also, be aware that certain times of the year are peak season, so prices will be much higher. In popular places like Florida the winter and summer months are prime time for tourists, so if you can swing a springtime trip you’ll score some awesome deals.
When it comes to deciding how long you’ll stay, keep an eye out for places that don’t allow half-weeks or long weekends. Several rentals only want guests that book a whole week and stay the whole week. For more flexibility, consider booking a trip during an off-season when owners are itching to fill their rentals.
Choose a destination.
There’s a reason that certain areas have peak season. When choosing a destination make sure you know the area’s weather patterns, climate, and surf conditions. Places in the Caribbean have pretty good weather year-round, but have a notorious hurricane season at the end of summer and early fall.
If you’re traveling with children, it’s also important to think of surf conditions. Rip tides and strong currents are common in places like Hawaii.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider