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History of Vacation Rentals

Long a way Europeans have vacationed, vacation rentals are now becoming more popular in the United States.

It wasn’t that long ago when vacation rentals were an option only the rich and famous could afford. However, as we moved into the twenty-first century, the real estate boom (and bust) has brought an ever increasing inventory of vacation rental properties available for the rest of us.

The upside benefit to you and me (the renter) is that there is a ton of competition in the vacation rental world that wasn’t there a few short years ago. This competition, while not the best thing for the home owner (but not necessarily the worst thing either,) is a very good thing to people like you and me who want a spectacular place to stay but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it.

The downside for everyone: no centralized portal available to do a comprehensive vacation rental search to easily find what we desire, when and where we want it.

My first experience with vacation rentals was in 1999 and it was terribly difficult just to find the “perfect property.” After deciding on something more than the typical hotel could offer my family of five, the search for a vacation rental, actually a cabin, was afoot.

Specifically we wanted a vacation rental property in the south east region of the United States (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee) with at least three bedrooms and a Jacuzzi. Pretty easy right? Wrong!

At the time I was working, on average, 60 hours a week so my time was limited to do this search but nevertheless, I made time.

As my frustration levels increased and the tedium took over, I finally gave up after about a cumulative six hours into the exercise. I remember telling my wife to “screw it; let’s just stay at a hotel.”

Thankfully my wife is never one to back away from a challenge. She took the file from me and ran with it. But her zeal and determination were met with the same issues: inaccurate listings; partial listings; un-responsive home (cabin) owners; the property wasn’t “perfect”… ahh heck, I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

Finally, she called me and told me she found the perfect cabin. I looked at it on the internet and agreed… “book it.” We did and THAT’S when it began to get even more curious.

We were met with all kinds of requirements that were not associated with renting a hotel room: deposits, vacation rental agreements, damage waivers, renter’s responsibilities, and much, much more. But we weren’t deterred; we’d come this far and we weren’t about to turn back now. We did what we were asked and stuck to our end of the bargain.

The result: an incredible experience!

The cabin was exactly as described (not a SNAD – more on this later), the view was majestic, the Jacuzzi was huge and hot, there was a ton of room for the kids and, the best part, after everything was said and done, the vacation rental was cheaper than a hotel room.

My life and the lives of many of my family and friends has never been the same since.

More on the way.

Make some trails!


P.S. – it’s a lot easier to do now!

P.P.S. – Subscribe to my RSS feeds or sign up for my Vacation Rental Info Insights

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