Finding the best vacation rental: Timing is everything!

You’ve got all of your vacation days approved. You’ve saved all of your money, your bags are packed, your schedule is clear and now you and the family are ready to head out of town, off to the vacation destination you have been daydreaming about all year. Perhaps you have already decided that this year, you and the family will be staying at a vacation rental property. With so many vacation rental properties being advertised, you should be able to book exactly what you want just before you’re ready to turn off the lights and lock the door, right? Not so. Selecting your destination as far in advance as possible and booking it early is the best way to insure you get the rental you want, when you want it, and at the best price available. Here are a few simple tips to help you get the rental you want, and saving money at the same time.

Rent early!

Rent early, but plan even earlier. Book your reservations as far in advance as possible. A week in advance just won’t cut it. A month in advance might cut it, but that’s still cutting it close! A year in advance is never too early, and is really the best way to guarantee that your rental will be reserved and ready for you when you go on vacation. Many locations, such as Rocky Point Mexico, are so popular that a one-year advance is considered the minimum time needed to adequately reserve the vacation rental you want the most. If you have previously vacationed in the area you want, do some research. Pick the rental you want the most and list (in descending order) other rentals you feel will accommodate you if your first choice has already been reserved. The earlier you rent, the better the deals that are being offered.

…or, rent late.

We all like to roll the dice sometimes, live on the edge and leave good fortune to slim chance once in a while. Although you may get lucky enough to be offered a last-minute cancellation at a huge savings, the enticing opportunity for a big discount is really quite rare, especially during major holidays. In order to book a vacation rental at the last minute, you’ll need to have lots of rental company phone numbers and spend a lot more time on the phone. Your preferred rental company may simply not have anything available for you, forcing you to venture outside of your comfort zone to do business with a company that has yet to prove themselves as reliable, trustworthy and professional. Travel time to your last minute destination has to be considered as well. When it comes to your vacation rental, this is not the time to throw caution to the wind and hope for the best. While there are minor benefits to making your reservation at the last minute, they are far outweighed by the numerous disadvantages.

Rent during the off-season.

If peace and quiet, relaxing and meditating, far from people or crowds is your idea of the dream vacation, then this is probably an ideal option for you. Renting off-season has several advantages, and provides a very unique vacation experience. You will have less competition for premium properties, and the property owners are usually more than willing to add various incentives to keep their rental property occupied, instead of having it sit empty and not generating any revenue during non-peak times of the year.

Rent in a less popular location.

Where does everyone go during that particular weekend or holiday? Find out what the most popular vacation destinations are for the time of year you are planning to take your vacation, and then head in the opposite direction. Going against the norm and not doing what everyone else does can help you get the rental you really want, often at a discounted rate. Again, this is where research is vital. Maybe the area you have selected for your vacation looks quaint, quiet and perfect. But a closer examination reveals that due to regional events, traditions or holidays, this is one of the most popular destinations on the weekend that you have selected to reserve your vacation rental. Stay up to date on all of the information available for the area you desire.

Rent during the week, not the weekend.

While not always the most popular option, renting during the week can provide a great opportunity for savings while also opening the door to a wider array of rental choices. Because most people take their vacations over the weekend, the rental property owners usually charge a premium for those days. By choosing to rent during the week, you can often take advantage of lower, mid-week rates.

Rent for the long term/extended stay.

Booking for a long-term vacation is a good way to make the offer of discounts and incentives more enticing to a property manager or owner. The knowledge that their home will be rented out by someone who wants to stay longer than just a weekend provides a stronger sense of security and trust to vacation rental property owners. When planning a trip that is longer than a week, check with the property owner first to see if a discount is available. It may be an option they haven’t considered before, but will extend to you.

Finding the vacation rental that is best for you and making sure you get it when you want it is really very simple. With some easy preparation and a little planning and research, you can find exactly what you are looking for while saving a lot of money in the process. The money you save just by planning ahead means more money for you and the entire family to spend on the things you want to do during your vacation.