There are a lot of reasons to consider renting an Orlando vacation home, or vacation home in whatever destination you’re headed off to. However, you want to make sure you’re getting the best home you can for your money. Check out these five rules for renting a vacation home that will help you get just what you’re looking for – without any surprises.

1.         Rent a home from a reliable source

First of all, make sure you’re renting from a verifiable company. There are plenty of people online who are trying to rent their homes directly to vacationers. While this may result in a slight decrease in what you pay, you’ll have little recourse if something goes wrong. Instead, choose a company that rents this homes as their primary business model. They’ll have the resources and experience to ensure you’re getting a home that’s in great shape, and to handle any unexpected issues that may arise.


2.         Start the planning process early

The most popular rental homes will be booked months in advance. Does this mean you can’t get a great deal at the last minute? Of course not! People cancel all the time so it’s never too late to look, but if you know your dates well in advance then it’s best to book well in advance.

3.         Choose a home that has reviews

The company you’re renting from is in the business of renting homes – and so it stands to reason that they’re going to highlight the good things about their homes. Take the time to find a company like that publishes reviews from guests who’ve actually stayed in the homes. That will give you an idea of what to expect and allow you to decide if any drawbacks are worth the advantages.

4.         Make sure you understand the terms before making a commitment

Renting a vacation home isn’t like renting a hotel. There are additional terms and conditions you must be aware of. For example, there may be a fee for cleaning, you may need to bring some of your own things, like laundry detergent for the washing machine, and there may be available extras, like heat for the pool in the winter. Read the terms carefully before signing anything.


5.         Plan ahead for emergencies

Of course you want your trip to go off without a hitch, but unexpected emergencies may arise. While you can’t avoid them entirely, make sure you’re renting through a company that allows you to cancel your reservation without having to pay it in full. You should expect to pay a non-refundable deposit – after all, they’re taking the home off the market and reserving it for you – but you shouldn’t be responsible for the entire fee unless you cancel within a few days of the reservation.