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3 Jul

Secrets For Avoiding Vacation Rental Blunders

What Should You Ask When Renting Your Next Vacation Home?

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Have you surfed the internet looking for the perfect vacation home rental for a friend gathering or family vacation?? A home right on the beach, with enough bedrooms to accompany your guests and located within walking distance to the nearby restaurants and shops? With today’s technology and social media platforms, travelers are relying more on the internet and their own research to book travel, especially vacation home rentals.

With the increased popularity of the vacation home rental market, more and more travelers are leaning towards rentals vs. hotel stays for a number of reasons – affordability, convenience, extra living space, privacy, etc. That said, it’s important for travelers to protect themselves when doing business with vacation rental property owners, just as you would when buying something off of Amazon or eBay. We’ve all heard those horror stories of people who believed they rented their dream vacation home but in reality there was no such place waiting for them.

Using a reputable website such as when searching for your vacation home rental is the first step.

To be fully prepared for our vacation rental search, we sat down with’s CEO, Tom Gilmore who shared some important tips to keep in mind when renting your next vacation home.

  • The Paper Work: Ask for everything in writing; the rental contract, payment conditions and a list of references.
  • Location, Location, Location: Check the location and be sure it matches up to the address shown on an online area map. Ask questions about the view, traffic, footpaths, and distance to main local attractions and conveniences as well as favorite restaurants.
  • Sleeping accommodations: Always ask how many bedrooms are in the house and how many beds are located in each. If a house sleeps 9 and there are only 8 beds, it’s likely the property owner is considering a couch as a sleeping configuration. Depending on the configuration will determine if the house is suitable for your group.
  • Kid and Pet Friendly: More and more homes are catering towards families and groups traveling with small kids and pets. In fact 30% of listing are pet-friendly.  Make sure to ask questions about small beds and crib availabilities and what makes the property kid and pet friend.
  • Amenities: Make sure you verify temperature control access to pools, heat and air conditioning and always ask about cable and internet options. We recommend asking about what other household items are provided such as blow dryers, dishwashing detergent, towels, linens and parking spaces.
  • Insurance – Does the property listing and your vacation home rental company/website have insurance policy in place to protect against fraud? At, we offer a “Happy Rental Guarantee” that protects customers from fraud, double-bookings and misrepresented properties. It’s highly recommended that renters do some back-ground research on the company they are doing business with.
  • Policies. Keys and extra fees to be aware of: Always confirm if a cleaning service is included upon departure and if any other surcharges apply. If a cancellation policy isn’t clear in the contract, be sure to ask about it. Make sure to inquire about how you’ll get the key and get a phone number for the owner or property manager, should you need assistance.

About The Author:   Tom Gilmore, Founder of
Tom and his family have been renting properties for 80 years, and in 2004, created to provide renters with the perfect platform to find memorable vacation homes. For more information, visit

About, based in Newburyport, MA, is the largest independent vacation rental site in North America representing more than 13,000 properties in all 50 states and in 89 countries. They are involved in over $200 million worth of rental bookings per year and received more than one million inquiries for their property owners in 2011. For more information, visit

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