Summer Rental: Tips for Finding a Great Vacation Home on a Budget

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Posted on 06/10/2014

Summer vacation is all about enjoying some "r and r", but that's hard to do when you're stressing out about your budget. One way to keep spending in check this summer is by opting for a vacation rental. Renting a vacation home instead of sinking big bucks into a hotel stay can be a great way to save money.

Contact the Owner
Renting a property directly from the person who owns it means you won't be paying extra to handle fees tacked on by a middle man. Some websites are designed specifically for property owners to list their homes. Some to check out include airbnb.com, VRBO.com and Vacationhomerentals.com.


Book Early
There's a lot of competition for the best priced properties. Those often get snatched up first so book early to snag the nicest property for the money-- especially if you're traveling during peak times.


Try Procrastinating
Another strategy is to take advantage of last minute deals. Cancellations happen and in order to keep a vacation rental from sitting empty a property owner may be more willing to haggle with you on the price. If you're looking for a room in San Francisco or LA, check out Airbnb's app which just released a last minute deals feature. VacationHomeRentals.com also offers a list of last minute deals.


Stay Longer Than a Week
Many vacation rentals offer lower per night rates to those who are staying a little longer. You'll get the best nightly rate when you book the place for a week or more.


Don't Get Scammed
Scammers target vacation hunters. Avoid wasting money by being smart. Never wire money and try to talk to the owner over the phone rather than relying solely on email. Search the property's address online to make sure you don't come across any red flags. Stick to reputable websites that offer guarantees against foreclosure or fraud. For instance when you book through VRBO.com payments up to $10,000 are insured through the Carefree Rental Guarantee.


Compare Deals
Just like shopping for a car or cleaning supplies, you can comparison shop to find the best vacation rental deal. Use a site like BookingBuddy.com to compare vacation rentals at five of the most popular listing sites. Plug in your destination and dates to see all of your options within seconds.


By Alison Storm


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* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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