You know your way around an online sale. You get a rush from filling that shopping cart during your lunch hour. No 1 p.m. meeting can thwart you from snatching that perfect summer tunic–in seafoam green no less.
Shopping for a vacation, on the other hand, is another matter.
Sure, most of us are intimately familiar with purchasing products online, but landing that dreamy Oregon vacation rental isn’t like snatching a gorgeous pair of espadrilles. There’s time involved and family to consider.
So if you have questions to pose a property owner, it’s your right. You’re about to part with hundreds on a deposit–who could blame you for doing your homework?
Below, find 5 questions to ask beach house rental landlords. If we missed any, tweet us @checkincheckout or @vacahomerentals. We’d love to hear from you.
1. Where, exactly, is the home in relation to the beach?
Water’s edge is preferable, but if you don’t mind doing a little walking, a block or two won’t hurt you. Then again, nothing matches retiring directly to your bed after enjoying a glass of wine on the deck. Ditto for coffee at sunrise.
2. What beach supplies are available at the house?
Lugging five suitcases is a feat in itself, but toting beach balls, snowboards, beach chairs and a cooler on top of that makes vacationing hard work. A property owner who has all those supplies in storage is a property owner you want to patronize.
3. I have a boat. Do you have anywhere to dock it?
Your toy gets zero water time for nine months. A house equipped with a slip earns instant brownie points in your book, along with extra toys including jet skis, inner tubes and the like.
4. Do you have air conditioning?
Some folks love the tickle of sea breeze on their skin, but that doesn’t mean you’re comfortable sleeping with the windows open. Others also faint in the humidity so the availability of air conditioning can be a deal breaker. If you have any doubts about that dream house, just ask. You won’t be sorry when it’s 95 degrees and that ceiling fan has nothing to circulate but more hot air.
5. Where is the closest grocery store?
You don’t rent a vacation home with the intention of dining out every night. That stainless steel barbecue grill will be fired up with brats, burgers, steaks, shrimp, whatever your party of seven fancies. It’s smart to stake out the nearest grocer ahead of vacation, especially for those items that always run out, like beer and swim diapers. Don’t act like you haven’t been there.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.