Vacation rentals are online at your fingertips and the best way to plan your vacation.
My Aunt June called me from Georgia and asked if I would find them a nice rental around the Clearwater Florida area where I lived. She and my uncle were planning a vacation and didn’t want to stay in a motel.
They didn’t have a computer and probably wouldn’t know what to do with it if they had one so I said I would be happy to do that for them.
Going to my computer, I typed “vacation rentals” into the search box. I was surprised to see so many sites featuring vacation rentals and the prices were actually very reasonable. Most of the sites were fairly easy to maneuver with pictures of the homes, price and contact information.
When I called the number on one of the ads, a man told me the house was being renovated and wouldn’t be available for a few months. But there was no mention of availability on the site. I started looking for other sites posting availability and found a nice house right on the beach, but the only contact info was an email address. The ad said the house was ready and available so I sent an email with my phone number requesting to rent it.
It was the perfect house, reasonably priced. My aunt wouldn’t be here for another three weeks and there was plenty of time so I didn’t search any further.
Two days later, I still hadn’t heard back so I went online again. This time, I not only avoided sites that didn’t show availability, but responded only to those with phone contact info. The sites listing homes with no pictures I was leery of and skipped them. I can’t imagine anyone renting something without some idea of what it looked like.
Finally, I found a nice home about a mile and a half from the beach, but there were no pictures. I was getting desperate at this point so I called. It was a real-estate company. Instead of me asking the questions, she formally rattled off her questions to me as if reading them off a form.
“Have you ever rented from us before? Do you have any pets or children? How many automobiles will you be parking there? Are you a Florida resident?”
I finally got tired of the questions and began asking my own. “Does the house have central air?” And I heard her huff.
“Just a moment . . . yes, it has central heat and air.”
“When can I see it?”
“Hold on and let me check.” Moments later she said, “I can meet you there at three o’clock a week from today.”
“A week? But I really wanted to make the arrangements sooner. Can I just get the location and go peek inside the windows?”
“Yes, but there’s a locked fence around the house.”
I made the appointment, but went back online and searched for another site. I found a home near the beach not far from me and called the number. The lady was very nice and said she could meet me there in less than an hour.
They had a very nice vacation and just loved the house. Since it turned out so well for my aunt, I decided I would go online for my own vacation and rent a house in the Carolina mountains. I knew at that point what sites to look for.
They had to display pictures, availability, phone numbers and prices. I found a beautiful home near a big trout stream and called the number. It was a real-estate company. I rolled my eyes and prepared myself for the barrage of questions, but she listened to MY questions first and her answers were prompt and friendly.
When I said I wanted to reserve it, she asked her questions and since she was kind enough to answer mine, I answered hers. Less than two weeks later, I was opening the door to the house and it was even nicer than the online pictures.
Getting a vacation rental online is quick and easy if you avoid sites with no pictures, phone contact and availability info. Many of the sites give detailed information about the area fun spots, proximity to restaurants and other useful information. There are several different accommodations to choose from and in my opinion, it’s the best way to plan your vacation.