Consider vacation rentals when booking your next family trip. Hotels can be expensive, especially if you are required to book more than one room or eat out for most meals. Vacation rentals, on the other hand, are a great way to increase your square footage, have access to a functional kitchen, and create a home-away-from-home atmosphere. Here are some companies we’ve used in the past:
Vacation rentals are increasing in popularity and the potential for scam is decreasing, but you should carefully review each company and rental policy before sending payment. We’ve rented about a dozen times and have never had a problem, but here are a few basic tips:
- Make sure you get a rental contract before you commit. The contract should include the rental dates, description of the property, method of payment, amount of payment, cancellation policies, and additional charges not included in the contract (air condition, cleaning fees, taxes, etc.)
- Make payment by credit card if you can. This method offers the most protection against fraud or wrongful charges. However, you may incur a foreign transaction fee of approximately 3%. It’s worth investigating prior to purchase.
- Wire transfers can be another good way to pay. Some rentals accept PayPal transactions, which have limited fees, but typically do not offer any protection plan.
- It is best to avoid cash and money orders like Western Union. Home rentals that only use this method of payment should be considered high risk. Look for other options.
- Check references before committing yourself to a vacation rental. Many sites include online reviews from past renters. If not, ask for references from the owner and be thorough in your questions.
- We recommend purchasing travel insurance for all kinds of reasons and a fraudulent villa rental is among them. I like Travelex because they offer a good family plan where minors are free and they make the claim process as easy as possible.