A condo or house can be a great option for a family vacation. Try these tips to avoid rental anguish.
Even when they're away, American travelers are opting to stay at home—just not at their homes.
On the heels of the 2008 recession, the vacation rental market is exploding. One service, HomeAway (homeaway.com), has grown to 335,000 listings worldwide since it was founded in 2006, and last year alone, it reported a 44 percent increase in inquiries. It's not hard to see why. Staying in a residence rather than a hotel can be more spacious and comfortable, can offer a more "local" experience, and can yield unexpected savings. For example, not eating out at every meal can be a windfall for families. Still, going the vacation rental route can be daunting.
Studies show that just 1 in 10 Americans have rented at all, and again, it's not hard to see why. Hotels are easy. A rental takes work. Where to start? Will the house be hotel-level clean? What if something breaks? Your entire vacation is riding on this decision, so you need to know what you're getting into before you book a rental.
Here are five tips to help you know what to look for, avoid common mistakes, and enjoy that well-earned vacation.