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5 Questions to Ask When Booking a Vacation Rental

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RISMEDIA, February 8, 2011—From Pittsburg to Green Bay and beyond, the word is out: vacation rentals offer a travel lifestyle unlike any other, providing unmatched space, amenities, services and privacy. In fact, the customizable vacation possibilities are endless, according to experts from Discover Vacation Homes, a resource for vacation rental travel information.

For example, while many guests today find “home away from home” familiarities like bath toiletries, fresh linens, personal concierges or even options for childcare, additional perks might include free bicycles, private pools, in-home movie theatres with DVD rentals, or access to a fitness center with an indoor water park.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the millions of vacation rental choices online, many listed from companies or individual owners that offer various strengths and weaknesses. Here are five important questions to consider when planning a vacation rental trip:

1. Is there a rental agreement? Review the terms and conditions of the rental agreement carefully. If there is any doubt in your mind, check with the state and/or local municipality to confirm whether the manager or owner has a business license and is paying lodging taxes.

2. If I have questions during my stay, do I have someone I can call for assistance? Established companies will offer an emergency guest services contact that guests can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for questions, maintenance issues and more.

3. How do I know if I’m getting reliable services and facilities? Look for third-party endorsements on vacation rental websites, including membership in industry associations like the Vacation Rental Managers Association, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local tourism or property management groups. You can also request and evaluate past guest reviews, comments and references.

4. How do I make a reservation? You should be offered standardized, secure phone and/or Internet reservation systems, with the ability to accept major credit cards. Security deposits can also be expected.

5. Should I go with a professional? Choosing a professionally managed vacation rental will ensure that you get consistent hospitality services and quality assurance standards. In addition, going through a professional will guarantee that your vacation rental is professionally cleaned and managed, while at the same time assuring you that there are ongoing and objective inspections and concierge type services that provide destination expert advice.

For more information, visit www.DiscoverVacationHomes.com.

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