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Vacation Rental

A vacation rental can be anything from a tent to a castle. But it’s not, by my definition, a hotel room.

Staying at a beach vacation rental provides you with a series of new issues different from staying in a mountain vacation rental. On our last trip, which we just returned from, we rented both. This post shows the differences between the two (at least in our experience.)

The first thing that separates the two is the critters. In our North Carolina mountain vacation rental we shared the property with deer and various un-named furry animals. At the Florida beach vacation rental we met up with dozens of lizards, a few snakes, and a ton of song birds. So the setting will determine what you’ll run into on the property. And depending on your viewpoint of wildlife, the deer may get your heart pumping faster than the snake. It doesn’t matter, it’s just part-and-parcel to the geography so be ready for anything.
The second thing I’ll point out is the neighbors. The mountain setting should provide you with more privacy than the beach, depending upon the kind of accommodations you get. If you rent condos at both places you’ll be near your neighbors and really shouldn’t have any expectations beyond your typical hotel experience when it comes to privacy. If you rent a condo face it, you’re going to run into your neighbors. Embrace the opportunity to make some new friends!
The down stroke to both, in my mind, is that sitting in a hot tub in the dark, in the mountains can be a bit spooky! And trying to relax in a smallish backyard at the beach surrounded by on-top-of-you neighbors can be bit maddening. Luckily, on this trip the beach vacation rental’s neighbors were awesome. No loudness at off-hours in the least. But we stayed in a quiet neighborhood and we knew what we were in for.
The last thing I’ll point out is travel times. Depending upon the time of year and the time of day you travel, both the beach and the mountain vacation settings can be a long drive from your destination, even if it’s only a few miles away.
Roads in the mountains are sinuous which adds to your travel time. Streets at the beach, while typically straight, can be mobbed with beach goers. So the upside is to just manage your expectations and ask your vacation rental owner or agent about the roads, traffic, and the wildlife you should be aware of when driving. And if I have to write out the differences between the mountain wildlife and the beach wildlife to you then you need to read a different blog!
In closing, I think the biggest impact you can have with your stay at either the mountain or the beach is to do your research. Ask questions about these points to the owner or agent. Look at the local websites catering to that area and ask questions there as well. The more you know going in the better, I think, your opinion of your stay will be coming out.
I’m sure I’m missing a ton of other issues about the differences between a mountain vacation rental and a beach vacation rental. If so, please point them out to me. I’m happy to oblige.
Remember to get your free copy of chapter four of The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals by simply providing us an email address to send it to. You can find the form on the home page of our blog at
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There are few things more nasty than the smell of stale cigarette smoke. If you want to get an additional fee or be “fined” go ahead and smoke. But remember: Smoking can be hazardous to your health and it can can be hazardous to your bank account if you smoke in a vacation rental.
I’ve been known to have a cigarette or two and a cigar now and again on vacation. However, when that happens I only do it if it’s okay with the vacation rental owner or agent and I never do it inside. That’s stupid.
Vacation rental owners don’t like it when someone smokes in their house; I don’t blame them at all. If you think about it, even if you are a smoker, take a moment to remember the last time you went into a room where a smoker was previous to you… IT STINKS!
Many owners are writing in “Smoking Fees” or “Smoking Fines” into their contracts. It only makes sense. As long as it is written in the contract that you can’t smoke and you do so anyway, you are doing so at
your own financial peril.
Some owners are even charging per butt they pick up on the property.
If you smoke you are probably not aware of the stench that comes with it. Kind of like pig farmer not knowing that his nickname around town is “B.O. Plenty.” You’re probably so accustomed to your own “odor” that you don’t notice it. Well… I’m sure you’re not stunned by hearing someone say that it is rather mal-odorous.
If you’re a smoker you have to be sensitive to things that you otherwise wouldn’t be at home. Stuff like the residual odor that is on your clothes. It’s there and it stays there for a long time. It will waft up into the nostrils of any non-smoker when they open a closet door. They’ll smell it quicker than a hound dog on a prison escapee.
If you are allowed to smoke on the property your clothes may indicate that you were smoking inside the property even if you hadn’t. I must tell you that you should probably keep the smoking jacket hanging somewhere other than inside the vacation rental.
But, with all that being said, I have to say there really are fewer joys in life than sitting on the lanai or balcony watching the sunset with a fine glass of wine, some great conversation, a little Gypsy Kings playing, and the smell of a hand rolled Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature dancing upon the salt splashed air!
What do you think? Comment here!
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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!

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My family and I just spent a week in a fantastic vacation rental in North Carolina.  The view was awesome, the kitchen was spectacular, the beds comfy, and the neighborhood perfect.  Couldn’t have asked for anything more, well, maybe an instruction manual on how to run the hot tub.

One of the main criteria we have for a perfect vacation rental is that it has to have a hot tub.  On an apples to apples basis we’ll go with the one with a hot tub over the one without a hot tub 100% of the time, even if it’s more expensive.  It’s a no brainer.  But, what can put me in a mood to take another tub is when the tub has no instructions.  I know, I know, call be a baby, but it’s enough to prune my skin when I can’t figure out how to get the damn thing running properly.

Each time we jumped in the tub it turned into another experiment on “what does this button do?”  And each time I told myself to get out of the tub, go online and find the answer.  Well, I didn’t do it.  I should have and I didn’t.  I’m sure 15 minutes on the net and I could have saved myself time and frustration but when I set my mind to going to the hot tub the last thing I want to do is surf the net for answers.

The simple answer is to have the instructions either at the tub itself or in the house book.

How would you have solved the problem?

Remember to get your free copy of chapter 9 of The Vacationers Guide to Vacation Rentals by simply entering in your name and email address.

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