Choosing to rent a vacation property is fun and can come with a lot of perks! Typically they are less expensive than hotels, offer more living space, and often come with more amenities (such as a full kitchen or private pool). However, these properties may not offer the same physical and financial securities that a traditional hotel can provide. Here are some tips on how to choose a safe vacation rental:
Research the area you will be staying.
It may be tempting to book a property that is significantly less money with the same amenities, but location can be everything! Make sure you do some research ahead of time about the area you will be staying. Websites like Spotcrime.com and Crimereports.com can help you assess what neighborhoods are the safest in the area you’re looking to travel.
Consider renting from a rental agency or managed property.
The best way to minimize the risk of being scammed is to rent your vacation home through a rental company or property management company (condo complexes/ hotels with rental units), rather than from an online bulletin board. These companies manage a list of rental properties that they have vetted, and offer you the protection of a contract.
Ask if there is a fire/ CO system installed.
You may be surprised to learn that many home rental websites do not require hosts to show proof of installed smoke and CO detectors. Read listings carefully to learn if the rental property you’re considering has these important, life saving systems. Reach out to the homeowner to find out when they were installed/ last tested (typically smoke detectors should be replaced every 8-10 years).
Read the reviews written by previous guests.
One of the best ways to learn about the property is to read other guest reviews. These will let you know about the condition of the property, their perception of safety of the neighborhood, as well as the professionalism of the homeowner.
Ask about the security measures they have in place.
If you do your research, a vacation rental can be a great and affordable option for your next vacation!