Every seasoned traveler knows that accommodation is what can really make or break a vacation. This is especially true if you’re planning an extended vacation rather than just a short trip.
Whether you’re looking for a warm place to spend the harsh winter months or want to feel and live like a local during your trip abroad, a vacation rental or an extended stay hotel will be the perfect accommodation for you.
In this article, we will share a few expert tips on how to choose the right accommodation for your next vacation!
Figure Out Your Needs
The first step to finding the perfect vacation rental is figuring out what you’re looking for exactly. More specifically, figuring out the features and amenities that would be essential to you during your stay.
To do that, ask yourself a simple question: what’s the purpose of your trip? Are you planning to simply lounge on the beach and not do much else, or are you more into sightseeing and urban exploration?
The answers to these questions will help you determine the exact type of vacation rental you need. In turn, this will help you narrow down the scope of your search and set a precise budget depending on what’s available to you.
For instance, the beach lovers — especially those who are traveling as a family — will probably appreciate a villa or a spacious apartment that’s just a short walk away from the beach.
Meanwhile, the urban explorers should look for something located in close proximity to all the major sights — as well as public transit or key roads (more on that later).
Read Descriptions & Reviews Carefully
After you figure out what kind of property you’re looking for, you should go ahead and explore the available options. We recommend doing that through a reputable aggregator website or platform such as Booking or Airbnb.
When you’re browsing the available options, be sure to carefully read the properties’ descriptions. These usually feature all the essential information you need to know before making a booking, such as:
- Available amenities
- Precise location
- Special policies (children, pets, parties, and so on)
- Booking and cancellation policies
Our tip: when reading about the available amenities, be sure to cross-reference the description with the pictures of the property. For instance, if the description says that the rental features a fully-equipped kitchen with all the appliances, the pictures should reflect that.
If there are any discrepancies between the description and the images, you should feel free to get in touch with the property owner to get a clear idea of the amenities you can expect.
Another section of the listing you should pay close attention to are the reviews. Our tip: even if the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, be sure to check out the negative ones to get a more objective impression of the property and the drawbacks it may have.
Consider the Location & Logistics
When it comes to vacation rentals, the location is everything — especially if you’re headed to a destination you haven’t visited before. As such, after you settle on the exact accommodation for your next trip, do some research about its location.
We’re not just talking about finding out the exact address, but also exploring the area where it’s located to make sure it’s safe, convenient, and has all the necessary infrastructure — be it public transit or a supermarket nearby.
Our tip: type the exact address of the property into Google Maps and go to Street View. Then, “walk” around the area to get a feel of what that area is like — whether it’s well-maintained, whether there is parking available, and so on.
Additionally, be sure to get familiar with the routes between your accommodation and your points of interest. If you’re not planning to rely on public transit, check whether the property is easily accessible by car.
A good example: some of the best extended stay hotels in Phoenix, Arizona are located along the major highways leading in and out of the city, which makes commuting a breeze.
Book In Advance
Whatever vacation rental you choose for your next trip, be sure to book it well in advance — at least 2-3 months before your trip, depending on your destination.
That’s because, as you can probably guess, vacation rentals usually get booked for extended periods of time, unlike regular hotels. As such, the vacation rental market essentially operates on a first-come, first served basis.