5 Tips To Choose A Rented Vacation Home Location

Do you plan to rent a condo or home for your next vacation? If so, the right location is key to the best experience. With so many locations to choose from — often much more variety than with standard hotels in tourist areas — how can you pick the best spot? Here are five tips to apply when you look for a vacation rental.

1. Don't Stay Far Away. 

The temptation to save money by opting for a vacation rental farther away can be strong. But if you must spend an hour every day driving to and from the beach, that's an hour you don't get to spend enjoying yourself. Sometimes, maximizing the impact of your vacation is worth putting away some extra lodging dollars. 

2. Decide What to Sacrifice.

You may not be able to score the perfect rental with all the amenities you want, a sweet location, and a budget-friendly price. So decide now what you're willing to sacrifice to get the location you want. Willing to give up the hot tub? What about extra space or free parking? By prioritizing, you can narrow in on what you need most by giving up what's less important. 

3. Understand the Lingo.

When perusing rental listings, you'll come across some occasionally misleading terms that are important to distinguish. For instance, "direct ski access" likely means you'll need to take a shuttle to the slopes, whereas "ski in/ski out" means you can ski right to the front door. Similarly, oceanfront and beachfront can mean very different locations. Be sure you know what to look for and what to avoid. 

4. Keep It Safe.

The right vacation spot is one in which you feel safe and comfortable. If you can walk to and from your destination but you don't feel safe coming home alone in this neighborhood after midnight, it may not be much of a bargain. You could be better off taking a short ride-share trip and feeling less stressed about your personal safety. 

5. Look Around the Neighborhood.

What's available around your rental unit? Are there restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores, equipment rental shops, and places to browse? An accessible, well-equipped neighborhood can be a big part of a good rental location. But if you want solitude, you'll need to avoid many of these features since they draw in other visitors. 

The key to finding the best spot for a rental in your destination area is to learn more about what's available. As you shop for places to stay, pay attention to these elements so you can find the perfect balance between them. While it may take a little more time, your vacation will be that much better for it.