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Vacation Rental Information

This topic has caused an unbelievable amount of discussions around the net.  Apparently my position of “cleaning up after yourself” has a number of VR owners more than a little miffed at me.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear.  I’m not talking about a spring cleaning project on your vacation.  I’m talking about following the instructions left for you by the owner/agent.  Some instructions can be as easy as: “Hang your bath towels on the rods. Take out the kitchen garbage. Lock the door.”

If there aren’t any instructions then just be reasonable and clean up after yourself as you would in your own home.  In many cases it is just as easy to leave a vacation rental clean as it is a typical hotel room.

I’ve only once REPEAT… ONCE encountered what I would describe as an unreasonable check out to-do list and wrote about it here: http://www.vacation-rental-info.com/vrib/713/713/.  Let me further clarify this point in saying that this particular owner was nuts.

Otherwise the check out lists we’ve encountered have been super easy and since we clean up as we go the requests are done with no further attention necessary.  I think this is more the norm.

The reason I say that we, as renters, should clean up a vacation rental before we leave is, frankly, because we should.  One reason is for our own online reputation as a renter.  If the VR was great, the owner/agent interaction was perfect and the overall experience was beyond expectations then our written, and hopefully posted to a website, review will reflect the experience.  The written review is then a referencable item we can refer future VR owners/agents to during our next reservation process.

Another reason to leave it tidy is in case you want to re-rent the same property in the future.

The final reason is, well, money.  Leave it the way you found it and you’re well on your way to getting your deposit back effortlessly.

Remember to get your complimentary copy of Chapter 4 of The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals.  This particular chapter focuses on what you should do when you arrive at the rental property.

Make some (tidy) trails!

T

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Getting locked out of your vacation rental can be a drag, not only for you but the owner/agent as well. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening, so, expect the best, but prepare for the worst and here’s how.

During the process of getting your contract finalized with the vacation rental owner or agent, make sure you get the following information: If the house is accessed only via a keypad, get the code before you get to the house. Put the code into your cell phone and at least one other person’s in your party. Ask if there is a spare key somewhere on the property. Once you get to the property, find the spare key.

Make sure, absolutely, that you have a way to get in touch with the owner/agent 24/7 on your stay. One phone number doesn’t cut it. Get two or more if you can.

That’s it! Sorry for the brief post, but it’s that easy to solve this problem before it comes up! If I’m overlooking something please post here and let me know!

Make some trails!

Remember to download Chapter 4 of The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals for free. Just enter your email address and click Sign Up Now!

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Cleaning the Vacation Rental Before You Leave
I am not afraid of putting in the effort to follow the vacation rental house guide when it comes to cleaning up after myself. Usually the cleaning instruction list is straight forward, easy to understand and simple to carry out but not always.

Leave it the way you found it
With the exception of laundry or bedding, most vacation rental cleaning lists look like: remove all used bedding, put the dirty laundry in the bath tub, wipe down the counters, take your stuff out of the fridge, take the trash out, fill and run the dishwasher, (sometimes) put a load in the clothes washer and run, maybe run the vacuum. Basic stuff. Easy to follow.
These activities, if you are maintaining the rental during your stay and have responsible people with you, take up all of, maybe, an hour. Maybe.

The cleaning list from hell
However, once (and only once) was the list somewhat extensive. It included everything from above but also had the following:
Wash all non-carpeted floors using the supplied mop, bucket and cleaner. (It was a terrible mop and we had to buy one.) Wipe down inside of refrigerator. Clean out inside of microwave. Make sure all dishes are cleaned in dishwasher and put away in their proper spot (had to buy more dishwashing detergent.) Wash and dry masterbedroom linens, have them folded and put on master bedroom bed. Wipe down all toilets!

Read the housebook upon arrival
The house book said: “If any of the above items are not done you will not receive your deposit back.”
I read the house book upon arrival and was furious. I called the owner and she was direct and said something like “Well, it’s in the house book, and we told you you had to do some typical cleaning before you left. You knew this before you signed the agreement so that’s all I have to say.  A few descriptive adjectives flew into my head as she told me this but I bit my tongue. I looked at my copy of the rental agreement and she was right, it said “typical cleaning prior to leaving is required.”
I’m sure I could have pushed her on this as I had my computer with me with ALL of my previous rental agreements on it and could have given her a “real” description of “typical cleaning” requirements but that would have taken longer than actually cleaning.

How to handle a vacation rental clean freak
During our stay, we fastidiously complied with the potential cleanup list. We did as she asked, exactly. As I said, I did buy the new mop and other cleaning supplies, but we did not charge her. We followed the instructions exactly and in the end got our deposit back.  In other words: do what they ask you to do.  Remember, you have the right to post a review later.

What really pissed me off was that we had some friends with us. They were aghast at what they had to do during their vacation to keep track of their “filth.” I felt sorry for them and for that matter those future vacation rental owners due to the owner’s onerous demands.

Our friends travel a lot and I thought they would appreciate seeing what it’s like in a rental as opposed to a hotel. The mom was miffed and I mean way mad at what she had to tend to with her kids during the stay. She said she would never rent a house again if this is what she had to do each time.

How it turned out
After I got back my deposit I posted a scathing review of the owner, not her house, on her site. Which, surprise, never got posted to her site. I have the posting on my computer and will post it to a site for reviews soon, probably on www.flipkey.com.  (You’re welcome Flip.)

Bottom line to cleaning Vacation Rentals
When renting a home, know what you’re in for on every front. Make sure you understand what your responsiblities are from entrance to exit.

The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals
The best way to get the full spectrum of things you need to cover is to buy The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals, What to do Before, During and After your next Vacation.
Make some trails! (But keep them clean!)

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Vacation Rentals For Charities

Last week I came across VacationHomesForCharity.org and was really impressed with what they are doing to help charities using vacation rental homes.  It’s about a 12 minute interview and I hope we cover everything but I’m sure we left a few things out. If you have any comments post them here.
To learn more about how you can help a charity of your choice or to learn more about vacationhomesforcharity.org you can reach them at: http://www.vacationhomesforcharity.org

Michael McFadded of VacationHomesForCharity.org Interview
“Thank you” to Michael and all the best!
Make some trails!
Terry
p.s. remember to get a complimentary copy of chapter four The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals.

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The Vacationers Guide To Vacation Rentals Guarantee Extended

I’ve extended my guarantee.   It use to be an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee.  NOT ANYMORE!

WHY?  Not because people asked for their money back, NO-ONE HAS EVER ASKED FOR THEIR MONEY BACK, but, because I know this guide will help you beyond any expectation you have.

WHY ELSE? Because I know that planning is a key to having a great vacation and giving a 30 day guarantee, well, you may not even be back from your vacation in 30 days.

SO HERE IT IS… THE NEW GUARANTEE…

I will give you six months… that’s 180 DAYS to use the guide.

If there is anything that doesn’t meet your expectations just email me and I will promptly refund your money.

No questions asked and you can keep The Guide.

YOU CAN GET A FREE COPY OF CHAPTER FOUR OF THE GUIDE BY JUST ENTERING YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE FORM AT htttp://www.vacation-rental-info.com/vrib

The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals, What to do Before, During and After Your Vacation

Table of Contents

* INTRODUCTION
* DISCLAIMER
* WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR VACATION
* Start Your Search
* Vacation Rental Sites
* Retail Locater Guides
* Reservation Procedure
* Reviewing pictures of Vacation Rental
* What to look for in reviews
* Email inquiry
* Questions to ask the VR Owner/Agent ( VR O/A)
* Things that need to be in a Rental Agreement
* Sample Rental Agreement
* Vacation Packing List
* Sample House Rules
* Getting the Keys
* WHAT IF YOU GET LOCKED OUT?
* What to do during your vacation
* WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR VACATION RENTAL
* WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE LEAVING THE YOUR VACATION RENTAL
* WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR VACATION
* Things to remember when you get home.
* Writing Reviews
* The Bad Review
* EXPERT INTERVIEWS
* Vacation Rental Insurance Interview with Lee Hughes of CSA Travel Protection
* A View from the other side.  An interview with Bill Hubbard, Vacation Rental Home Owner
* The Big Dog in the fight.  An interview with John Romano of VRWD.com and VRWD.org.  Our watchdog!
* Letter From Eileen Barish – author of VACATIONING WITH YOUR PET
* Final, err, ALMOST final thoughts.
* Thank Yous

REMEMBER:

YOU CAN GET A FREE COPY OF CHAPTER FOUR OF THE GUIDE BY JUST ENTERING YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE FORM AT htttp://www.vacation-rental-info.com/vrib

THERE IS A DISCOUNT CODE IN THE FOOTER OF EACH OF THE PAGES OF THE DOWNLOAD.  SO DOWNLOAD THE CHAPTER FIRST THEN COME BACK vacation-rental-info.com/vrib ADD TO CART, THEN ENTER THE DISCOUNT CODE ON THE NEXT PAGE!

Make some trails!

Terry

Here’s the video of this post:

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