When it comes to booking a place for your next vacation, deciding what kind of property is best suited for you can be overwhelming. Once we’ve filtered our search by availability and budget, here are 9 things we always look for when booking a vacation home. Are they at the top of your list, too?
1. Location, Location, Location
Your vacation home should give you the solitude you need, but still be close enough to amenities such as restaurants, nightlife, and attractions you plan to visit. Ideally, your rental should be near public transportation or ride-share accessible so you can avoid renting a car if driving isn’t preferable.
2. The Perfect View
Vacations are all about finding peace of mind and serenity. For that, nothing beats admiring natural beauty. Whether you love being surrounded by rolling hills, hearing the sound of the ocean, or just watching the sunset, choose a vacation rental with a breathtaking view. Don’t forget, waterfront properties and other homes near natural features book fast. So if gorgeous scenery is a priority, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
3. Comfy Beds with Soft Linens
No one likes to feel like they need a vacation from their vacation. A good night’s sleep is important for real relaxation, so you’ll want to make sure your rental has comfortable bedding. Look for a vacation home with mattresses that are in good condition and bed linens that are clean and soft. You may also want to bring your own pillows if you have specific preferences.
4. Stocked Kitchen and Pantry
A rental should have all the kitchen appliances, cookware, and pantry staples you need to make meals. Plus, it should have some basic amenities like soap, paper towels, and garbage bags. You don’t want to be stuck in a rental with no way to make food! Your favorite go-to foods should also be available. What’s more, your rental host can give you information on whether or not your food sensitivities will be accommodated at the rental property or its nearby stores. Find out what’s available ahead of time so that you know what groceries to be prepared to buy before getting settled in.
5. Reliable Wi-Fi & Streaming Services
If you’re planning on spending any amount of time in your vacation rental, you’re going to want to make sure it has WiFi. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are also great to have on hand for rainy days or evenings. Even if you’re planning on being “unplugged” for your vacation, having an internet connection and TV capabilities is helpful in case of an emergency, or to stay informed about inclement weather.
6. Your Own Personal Spa
After a long day of exploring, you should be able to relax in your rental home. Look for a rental with spa-like bathroom amenities like a rainfall shower head, deep soaker tub, and luxurious toiletries. Some rentals include bathrobes, skin care products, and lotions, just like you’d find in a high-end hotel. Check out pictures of your rental before your stay. Does the bathroom look clean? Does it have soft lighting and fluffy towels? Can you spot scented candles or a diffuser? Look for perks and amenities in your vacation home that will truly make it feel like a private retreat.
7. Cleaning Products and Appliances
Most people don’t want to spend their time hand-washing and air-drying their clothes or dishes. It’s a good idea to find a vacation rental with cleaning appliances, products, and supplies that will take the stress out of your away-from-home routine. Some things to ask your host about might include:
- Drying Racks
- Cleaning Products on Hand
- Garbage/Recycling Bins
- Trash/Recycling Pick-Up info
Make sure you clarify cleaning expectations with your host before booking your stay, so you don’t get charged additional cleaning fees.
8. Easy Storage and Organization
When you’re on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is where to put all of your stuff. A rental with plenty of storage space will help you feel more relaxed and organized during your stay. Plus, it’ll make unpacking easier, so you can get right to relaxing. You might look for:
- Space-Saving Furniture: It’s great if there are plenty of drawers and closets in the bedrooms, but that doesn’t do you much good when you spend time in other rooms. We recommend renting a home that has at least some furniture with compartments underneath or alongside for extra storage space – like sofas that have hidden cupboards or beds that can double as dressers!
- Shelving and Closets: Putting your clothes and other essentials on a shelf, on a countertop, or in a closet feels much cozier than living out of a suitcase for your entire vacation. Ask your host what kind of storage and organization solutions they offer before booking your stay.
- Bins and Labels: What if you arrived at your destination and knew exactly where everything was? A well-organized vacation home with bins and containers carefully labeled can make getting acclimated that much easier, so you can truly relax and unwind.
9. Games and Entertainment
A perfect vacation rental should have plenty of games, movies, and books on hand to keep everyone in the family entertained. There should be something for everyone to enjoy, whether it’s playing cornhole in the yard, or having your very own casino night in the living room. Plus, having your favorite games and activities on hand means there’s less to pack, and nothing fun to risk leaving behind.
Focus on What Matters
Every vacation has its ups and downs, that’s part of the adventure. But the less stress and uncertainty you can have during your much-deserved R&R, the better. Take the time to find a vacation home that features what matters most to you and your family. Double-check reviews to make sure you choose a courteous, attentive host, whose home is known for its many perks and benefits. With any luck, you’ll find somewhere to make memories for years to come.