Although hotel rentals took a dip in occupancy during 2020, across the board more people than ever are choosing them as an option to support their summer travel plans. For many, this will be their first vacation in more than two years!
Not to say we've gotten out of the swing of things (vacationing is just like riding a bike, no?) but let's talk about some things to keep in mind as you head out this season. With prices and inflation on the rise, there are higher chances of oversights by rental hosts. And we want you to be able to have the most comfortable trip possible
Be clear on what your needs are before booking. Rental sites like AirBnB can be tricky when it comes to counting beds and bedrooms. Sometimes they include things like cots or sofa beds and while this may work for you, being clear on what the sleeping arrangements may be are important to note before booking. Take some time to also think about what your travel style may be before you get there. Will you be cooking? Baking? Need extra towels? Or to refrigerate something? Often times these may not be visible in photos and you may have to check in with the host about them.
Read reviews. The devil is in the details, so to speak. People often leave reviews citing information that may be vital to know but may be unintentionally (or intentionally) left out of the description by the host. Things like wifi speed, cleanliness, location, and more can become more clear from reading through comments. This is also a reminder to leave thorough reviews when you are checking out to pass on the favor! Beyond this, be weary of listings with no reviews or few photos. Sometimes you will get a discount for booking these but at what cost?
Google the neighborhood. Walk down the street virtually. See things from the eyes of a person on the ground. This gives you more of a full picture of the location and surroundings. It's not just about judging an area for safety, which can be hit or miss, but really getting a feel for distance from activities you may have interest in. The listing says walking distance to the supermarket but do you have to hike along the freeway to get there?
Look arond before you unpack. I had to learn this one the hard way. Before bringing in my luggage, look around the ENTIRE place. Check to make sure the things you recognized you needed in #1 are there. Does the door lock sufficiently (again, this is coming from real-world experience)? That way you can figure out a plan B sooner than later if need be.
Report anything that goes awry. The one time we had an issue with an AirBnB that resulted in the inability to stay on property, we promptly reported things to AirBnB. This wasn't out of any malice towards the hostess but we needed to find an alternative accommodation and wanted a refund. AirBnB was gracious and quick in their response. This is something to note as not all companies take responsibility to the same degree. Reporting can cover your bases and help you get your money back to keep the vacation going!
Let me know if there are other steps that you may take to ensure the safest (and cleanest) stay possible?