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Vacation Rentals at the last minute

Tell me this has never happened to you.

It’s late in the work week, say 10:00 AM Monday morning, and YOU JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!  If you get asked “do ya got a minute?” (which turns into 35 minutes that nothing comes from) one more time, somebody is going to be enjoying the business end of your Swingline?  Nooo… never!  Yah! Right.

Then you start thinking about the weekend and it gnaws and saws at you so much that the feeling of “getting away from it all” is already there.  You’ve got the frequent flier points so travel will cost you next to nothing or, if you don’t, you can drive a piece and “be away.”

Okay, you don’t fight it and you jump over to your favorite mega-travel site (I have one but I ain’t tellin’.)

You drill down into those “last micro-nano second deals” only to realize the room they want you to stay in for $99.99 a night was decorated when last night’s episode of Leave It To Beaver was today’s water cooler fodder or the view is “colorful” because it looks out over the city dump… aargh!

Or you start looking at $99.99 a night but quickly realize it’s going to be more in-line with $299.00.

Your desire continues to burn and you keep on surfing and sleuthing and then all of a sudden you find yourself on a page looking at a vacation rental.  How you found yourself there you couldn’t tell an interrogator if your life depended on it but there you are, and there IT is, and IT is PERFECT!

Perfect number of bedrooms, awesome view, an HDTV bigger than yours, it has a Jacuzzi, a huge kitchen, it’s less than a three hour drive away, it’s available, the reviews are all five out of five AND it’s cheaper than your more in-line hotel room cost.  It’s more expensive than the last-nano-second-deal but it has way more to offer.

Then you start thinking… “this has got to be a scam.  How can someone rent out THAT for THAT cost?”   This is where, I think, most of the vacation rental property owners really go wrong.

In my example this is a vacation rental with positive reviews.  Many vacation rentals (if not most) don’t.  However, many posted reviews are old.  And, let’s face it, since it’s so darn easy to sit down and write a quick review these days, even an old raving review might be perceived erroneously.

“The most recent review of this place is 18 months old.  Why aren’t there any new ones?”  Good review… BAD perception.

Back to the working day…
The Marco Polo in you raises his “let’s go!” head and you forge on.

Then something terrible happens… fear of the unknown sets in.  However, in an attempt to clear that lingering fear you “consult” with a friend… “hey, have you ever stayed in one of these vacation rental things before?”… “nope.”

“Your friend” looks at the vacation rental listing with you but the result is exactly the intended opposite.  Your friend not only adds fuel to your fears but adds her own fears to yours and the next thing you know you’re confused about rental deposits (I don’t need a deposit when I stay in a hotel.. do I?) and rental agreements (I don’t have to sign a rental agreement when I stay at a hotel… do I?), and pet policies (I don’t even have a pet!) and how to get the key (key? isn’t there a front desk?,) and blah, blah, blah.

Suddenly you hear “hey! You got a minute?”… “(sigh…) Yup.  Hang on… (sigh…)”

You jump back over to the mega-travel site window that you left open, and in less than a minute (probably quicker than that cuz the mega-travel site already has all of your personal information including your credit card number) you book the “room with a view”  and “click click” your confirmation email is in your in-box.

Your all set for your weekender in a “been there done that” room somewhere.

YEAH!  Have fun!  But, wait up a sec before you go….

don’t forget your Swingline!



Reserving a vacation rental is easy.  It may take you a little more time to do than the mega-travel site but it can be worth every moment.

You HAVE to do your research (and that’s why I’m here… I’ve done weeks worth already.)

You HAVE to know what you are obligating yourself to (again, I can help you with that…I’ve read tons of rental agreements and signed dozens.)

And you HAVE to take the step and make a vacation rental reservation.  It’s a small step and as one sage old man told me a long time ago…

“That ain’t no step… for a Stepper… TERRY.”

More to come.

Make some trails!


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One Response to “ Vacation Rentals At The Last Minute ”

  1. Margaret Leach
    February 25, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I think this website is brilliant – and I am a vacation rental owner! We spend most of our waking hours trying to think of ways to improve our properties and our service so that they meet as many needs and wishes as possible. But there is nothing like hearing about it all from the renters’ side to really give you a wake up call – some things are so simple and obvious, it can keep you awake at night worrying about how you needed somebody else to point it out to you! But we are also renters and so fed up with owners who don’t reply, give the wrong information, supply broken glasses and torn towels….

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