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Staying in a Vacation Rental for the Holidays

Today is October 12, 2009.  There are exactly 42 days until the week of Thanksgiving and 70 days until the week of Christmas.  Make your holiday vacation plans as soon as possible.

I am part of several online groups and forums dedicated to vacation rentals and it is becoming quite apparent that the pickins for the holidays are already getting taken.

In times like these, a friend of mine from Texas likes to say: “you gotta get to where the gettin’s gonna get got.”  So start your planning early.  The clock is ticking.  Especially for beach vacation rentals, Orlando vacation rentals, ski vacation rentals and Las Vegas vacation rentals.

And remember that you can get a complimentary copy of chapter four of The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals at  The chapter is the most commented upon and well received of all the contents in the book.  You’re not going to believe what I give away!

Make some trails!


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A few days ago the FTC made a comment about, among other things, bloggers and their statements concerning other products.  Well, since the only thing I have for sale here is The Vacationers Guide To Vacation Rentals I thought that I would disclose that if you buy my guide, I actually make money.

I wrote the guide and am the sole owner of the guide.  I am not an attorney so don’t take anything I say in the guide as legal advise, rather, common sense.  You can get all of the information in my guide for free on the internet.  That is, if you want to take time out of your life to do the reasearch.  You can.  Have fun with that.  You’ll need a vacation after doing so.

Make some trails.


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How to compare vacation rental rates.

It is easy to compare prices of one hotel versus another; that industry has it down to a science.  But when it comes to comparing rates on vacation rentals it can be tough to find one apple let alone two.  Here’s how to make sure you are comparing similar vacation rental rates.

Seasonality and vacation rental rates.

Vacation rentals prices can fluctuate wildly due to the region and season.  For example, some Aspen, Colorado vacation rentals rates can fluctuate by over 100% based solely on the time of year you are renting.  This is important if you are going to be renting during the change of season.  If you are travelling in a “transition time,” gain a solid understanding of when, exactly “high season” stops and “low season” starts.  There may be a difference of one day between two similar vacation rentals and their definition of “low season” but that one day, as in the Aspen property, could be significant.

Location, taxes, and the cost of a vacation rental.

Location, location, location.  Is the property five steps from the beach or five hundred steps from the beach?  Is it ski-in, ski-out or is it a shuttle to the parking lot then a half-mile trek to the gondola?  It matters.

Location also affects tax rates.  One side of the street may be in one county whereas the other side may be in a different county; the variance in county tax rates could be massive.  Just ask Cook county Illinois residents who live across the street from any of their other county Illinois neighbors.  Taxes may be applied to all items on the invoice or only certain items.  Where the property physically sits determines the taxes.

Number of beds, baths is very important but remember: interior layout, design, and the vintage affect.

Two condos on the same floor, with the same layout and view may be asking wildly different prices for what, at first blush, appears to be the same thing.  Why?  Ask about the interior of the vacation rental?  When was it built or last updated?  Are you going to be staying in Archie Bunker’s place, or Donald Trump’s?  Ask the owner/agent to provide you with recent pictures of the interior.

If the property sits in, or has access to, a resort, are there associated fees to use the resort?  Sometimes these are referred to as “amenity fees.”

Many vacation rentals sit on-property of resorts.  If that is the case, is there a resort fee?  What if I don’t want to use the resort?  Do I still have to pay the resort fee?  You may find an owner/agent willing to negotiate with you about those fees.  Just ask about them and get a clear understanding that, if you have to pay, what are you getting for your money.

The Cleaning and Parking fee.

In my ten plus years of staying in vacation rentals, it has been my experience, that owners and agents are most willing to negotiate on the cleaning and parking fees.  I can’t tell you how many times the owner/agent will either discount them or delete these fees completely.  But, let’s be clear here, it is good karma to always leave money behind for the cleaners even if you are paying the cleaning fee.

Once you have a perfect understanding of what you are going to be paying and what the benefit of those fees are, you now have a clear way of comparing vacation rental rates.  The inevitable ancillary benefit of this exercise is that you will learn something about the area and about the owner/agent of the vacation rental.

Remember that you can get a complimentary copy of chapter four of The Vacationers Guide To Vacation Rentals at  It’s chock full of time proven strategies to use for your next vacation rental stay.

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This is the exact reason I wrote my guide.  It’s a news report from WRAL in Raleigh – Duram – Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Durham woman warns of vacation rental scam

Good thing the discount didn’t blind her otherwise she wouldn’t have seen the thing that was out of place.

Clik here to get your complimentary copy of chapter 4 of The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals.

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Today, in a press release, gave the results of their year long vacation rental study.  Among other things, the results show that the lowest occupancy rate month was September and the highest was February.

As to where the rentals were used the most:  “Waikiki had the highest occupancy in the state at 66%, followed closely by Poipu, Kihei and East Oahu (Waimanalo and Kailua) at 65%. The two poorest performing regions were Kapalua with a rate of 46% and the Big Island’s Kohala coast and Puna regions, both averaging 49%.”

You can see the entire report here.

What this tells me is two crucial things… if you are going to go to Hawaii in February expect large
crowds (uh… duh!) so plan ahead.  And two, do your research as you may find deals in the less-
visited areas in the off season.

And remember, The Vacationers Guide To Vacation Rentals can always help you, year after year, with your tasks Before, During, and After Your Vacation.  Get chapter four on me here.

Make some trails!

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