Life is great, especially when it comes to booking vacation accommodations. Why, because travelers now have more options than ever. However, most travelers are unaware of just how much power they have to negotiate accommodation rates. That’s right. With a little patience and flexibility you can truly set the rate terms of your travel lodging. Below we have listed some of our top keys for finding that amazing deal.
1. Be Patient -
The key to finding and negotiating that wonderful vacation accommodation rate is truly patience. Do not fall in love with a property before you are comfortable with the rate. Once you fall in love with a property you have given up your ability to negotiate without emotion.
2. Inquire on multiple properties -
Lets get as many property owners and property managers working for your travel dollars as we can. More importantly, let it all happen at the same time. Do not negotiate one property and then move on to the next after the first does not work out. Lets get everything out on the table all at once. This will reinforce how many options you truly have, which will no doubt affect how you negotiate.
3. Be Reasonable -
I know you want an ocean front property and you feel that the owner would rather have someone in the property for $10 a night than to have it sit empty. Well, this is simply not the case. The owner has a number of fees and payments that he is trying to cover, not to mention wear and tear on the home. So, negotiate without moving outside of what is reasonable. You will have to use your best judgement on what reasonable means and if your judgement is poor you will find out in a hurry.
4. Procrastinate -
Now, this breaks every law that your teachers ever tried to preach. However, the more you procrastinate, the more deals you are going to find. However, you are also going to have fewer choices for accommodations. You need to determine if where you stay is more important than what you pay.
Bottom line, if you are looking for travel deals they are out there. Always ask for a better rate. You will be pleasantly surprised how much money you can save.
This month our featured property is a McCall vacation rental home. First of all, where in the hell is McCall. McCall, Idaho is what I like to call an Idaho secret. Well, it was an Idaho secret. McCall, Idaho is now home to year round traffic, all seeking adventure and relaxation in front of a beautiful backdrop.
McCall sits on the banks of one of Idaho’s most beautiful lakes, Payette Lake. This town is certainly a favorite with native Idahoans, as Boise, the state capital, is only 100 miles down the road. It should also be noted that McCall is not a simple place to get to. If you are going to travel to this destination resort town, chances are you are going to come through Boise. Whether you are flying in or driving you will have to touch down in Boise before heading north to McCall. However, don’t let that stop you. If you do make the trip, the drive from Boise is one of the most beautiful stretches of road around.
Featured: McCall Vacation Rental
Once in McCall you are in for the time of your life no matter what time of year you arrive. Our featured property this month may be a little more suited towards these summer days. The summer in McCall is usually a very comfortable 80 degrees (give or take a few) and if you are lucky enough to experience a McCall mountain storm, it is absolutely unforgettable. The property that I have picked for this month sits right on the banks of Payette Lake and has it all. This is a spectacular lake front home. Here you will be able to enjoy your very own private beach and personal boat dock. The home is a three bedroom 2 bath. The is beautifully furnished and can accomodate up to 10 guests. Incredible views in all directions and the rest of McCall is right outside the door. See more information on this home by clicking here.
Okay, so we are all very aware that HomeAway, Inc. is known as the largest vacation rental company around. There are also a number of other reputations that come with being the largest. However, I was shocked today to learn that HomeAway is tapping into services provided by Priceline.com. Yes, Priceline.com, known for “name your own prices” on HOTELS.
However, HomeAway is only going to utilize their airline and rental car services. Essentially they have taken a giant step toward becoming like Expedia, Travelocity, and a host of other web based business that provide exactly the same servicez. Well played HomeAway. They will hide behind a vale claiming that this step was taken in an effort to provide consumers with a convenient place to book all of their vacation needs. In other words, we would really like to make more money because our obnoxiously high listing rates are not making us nearly enough.
Forgive me if I sound annoyed by this “vacation rental company” that has been dragging Hotels and the services they provide through the mud for years. I find it a little transparent their willingness to utilize services from one of the most reputable Hotel booking services in the world. By the way, I love Priceline.com and have in deed used their services many times. However, I have never ran Superbowl ads depicting Hotels as a bad travel option either.
Anyway, that is my sound off. I have no problem with a vacation rental company that provides a clear, consistent message. The same way I have no problem with a pizza company that also offers a salad bar. However, I become slightly annoyed when a pizza company decides they are going to offer burgers in an attempt to make more money. My message. Stick with what you know. Airlines and rental cars?…how original.
Are you looking for Hawaii vacation rental homes? Well you have come to the right spot. Here you will find plenty of wonderful Hawaiian vacation rental accommodations. With hundreds of properties to choose from on the Big Island, Kauai, Maui (my personal favorite), Oahu, or Molokai. There is no doubt that you will find plenty of Hawaii vacation rental homes to choose from that will meet your travel requirements.
I know travel to Hawaii can be very expensive. For this very reason I have included the following link. Here you will find plenty of vacation rental properties at outstanding prices. Be sure to explore the many last minute deals if you are in the mood to get away soon.
Cheap Hawaii Vacations! – Save up to 50%
Hawaii has always been a favorite of mine and according to Trip Advisor I am not the only one that feels this way. According to Trip Advisor these 3 Hawaiian locations made it into the top 25 domestic vacations for 2012.
- Honolulu, Oahu – The capitol city of Hawaii and infamous travel destination ranked 5th overall in top destinations in the United States. This wonderful city certainly has something for everyone including short drives to amazing beaches, activities, and don’t forget Pearl Harbor.
- Lahaina, Maui – I will take this opportunity to mention that this might be one of my top 5 favorite places in the world. Lahaina is a source of peace, fun, relaxation and energy. If you ask me Lahaina coupled with Hawaii vacation rental homes make the perfect vacation.
- Kailua-Kona, Big Island – This historic Big Island location is your perfect Hawaiian vacation packed with plenty of options for adventure and activities.
Bottom line….Hawaii vacation rental homes are the perfect way to experience Hawaii. To be honest, I could experience Hawaii in a tent and not complain. Enjoy!
Hawaii Vacation Rentals
Available at TheVacationBug.com
To summarize a resent survey conducted by Trip Advisor, a travel review site, there are 5 trends that should be noted to prepare for what lies ahead in 2011 for the vacation rental industry. Keep in mind that this survey has a relatively small sample group but it is deemed sufficient to indicated trends for the coming year. Their survey included over 1,400 travelers.
1. Good reviews for vacation rentals – The survey reported that in the year 2010, 33% of the sample group had stayed in a vacation rental home. Better yet was the report on the survey that 40% of the sample group actually plan in staying in a vacation rental home in 2011. If these modest survey results hold true we should be able to expect a year of expansion in the vacation rental home industry. Currently the US vacation rental home industry is estimated at $24 billion annually. Good news.
2. What makes vacation rental homes so appealing? The results of the survey indicated to us that comfort and space may still be the driving force behind the decision to choose a vacation rental home. The results offered by this group indicated that almost 30% of the respondents cited space as the main reason for choosing vacation rental homes. This is compared to a significant but much lower 13% who thought vacation rentals were priced better than hotels. We believe these results to be a bit of a surprise in lue of the economic conditions. Travelers still like comfort and may be tired of feeling like a sardine.
3. Photos tell the story for renters – Over 40% of those in the survey indicated that they chose a particular vacation rental because of the vacation rental photos. It is the pictures that give the renter the confidence to move forward with the vacation rental. While reviews seem to be important is was only about half as important as the imagery displayed to the traveler. Surprisingly enough, price was the determining factor to just over 10% of those surveyed.
4. Web presence matters most – Where are travelers looking to find their vacation rentals? Well I believe we are all confident that they are looking on the internet but we were even surprised to hear this report of about 70% of travelers finding their vacation rentals online. However, still impressive is the importance of referrals as about 25% made the decision based on feedback from a friend or family member.
5. Still Growing – The survey indicated one very important statistic. There is a huge portion of the travel demographic that simply have not thought to rent a vacation rental home. Whether it is life long habit or simply a lack of education, there is still a lot of consumer awareness that can positively impact the vacation rental industry. This should come a wonderful news to anyone associated with the vacation rental industry.
This may have been a small sample group but the results of this survey are certainly positive and a strong indicator of where the consumer is focusing their attention when it comes to travel accommodations.
This weeks featured property is located right on the beautiful Oregon Coast. This property is represented by Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals and is called the Heart of Haystack Rock! This spacious home has the world’s third largest monolith located directly outside the back door. The spectacular views captivate you even before you arrive as the setting in this area is priceless. This truly is the only way to experience the Oregon Coast with countless activities all within walking distance. At the same time you are in constant paradise as this vacation rental homes has panoramic views of the ocean framed by the many windows in this home. This home showcases 2 wonderful master suites with king beds in each. They also include full private bathrooms and spectacular ocean-view decks which are the perfect way to start any day on the Oregon Coast.
Additional features and amenities include:
- a comfortable living room with fireplace
- fully-equipped kitchen
- a laundry room
- 2-car garage
- a cozy den with a sofa-bed
- dining area seats 8
- huge views of the ocean and the monoliths
- and much, much more.
This vacation rental home is truly a compliment to any trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon. This wonderful seaside town is a popular coastal destination. With plenty of daytime recreation and numerous wonderful shopping and dining opportunities it is no wonderful thousands flock to this area annually. To find a vacation rental like this you will have to plan ahead as many travelers plan early and often for their Oregon Coast retreats. So contact the property manager now to secure your vacation rental for your desired travel dates.
At the same time look at all of the other vacation rental homes offered through TheVacationBug.com and find that home that fits your vacation rental needs. We look forward to helping you find the perfect travel accommodations.
Don’t judge the book by the cover. Nothing could be more true than when you are selecting your travel accommodations. Sure, it is nice to look at the pictures and read some reviews but asking the right questions will truly tell the whole story. The truth is, people are only going to put out their best pictures and their best reviews. Try to dig for the whole story and then make a decision.
Questions to ask:
Location: How close are you to those things that you are looking forward to doing. Are you headed out golfing? Make sure that all of those beautiful golf courses you have been dreaming about are truly close to your vacation rental. Get detailed information about the homes that sit right next to your vacation rental as well. Are you planning on being a little loud with your travel group? Well remember, a lot of vacation rentals are situated right in residential areas and this may be a problem.
Floor Plan: So you are taking a large group and getting a vacation rental so the kids can go to bed early and the adults can have a little “adult time”. Your plan is not going to work out so well if all of the kids rooms are located right off of the gathering room. This is obviously just one example, but make sure that you are aware of the home configuration so you are comfortable in your vacation rental home.
Area Activities: You are going on vacation in a vacation rental home that sits in a part of the country you are completely unfamiliar with, get some input from the property owner. This is your very own built in travel agent. The property owner can tell you about local parks, restaurants, and featured attractions that you would have never known about. Trust me, property owners love to make the renter’s experience wonderful. Anything they can do to enhance your experience will be their pleasure. However, you need to ask the questions or it may never come out.
Home Furnishings: Make sure you are well aware of how the furnishing and amenities in the homes operate. You may want to use the fireplace, the hot tub, or the hide-a-bed. Make sure that you are aware of any little tips or secrets that the owner has to make these function properly. It is so much easier to ask up front instead of discussing problems later. Most property owners will outline these items in writing for you but it never hurts to ask.
Parking: Make sure there are enough parking spaces for your vehicles. Especially if you are going to have multiple cars in a residential neighborhood.
Owner’s Cancellation Policy: Although we all hope that your vacation goes off without a hitch, the truth is that sometimes things come up. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the cancellation policy. Even though this is probably outlined in the rental agreement, you should always have a short conversation to make sure both parties are clear.
Other than that, just get to know the property owner through conversation and make sure you are comfortable with all of the information you receive.
Highlighted Trail: Glacier Gorge, Colorado
Nearest Colorado City: Estes Park
Trail Length: 9.6 total miles
Total Elevation Gain:1,600 feet
Trail Skill Requirement: Moderate +
Trail Season: June through October
Trailhead Elevation: 9,200 feet
Top Elevation: 10,600 feet
For Trail Information: Rocky Mountain National Park
Not all trails are created equal and that is certainly the case with Glacier Gorge near Estes Park, Colorado. Many people believe this trail travels through the most beautiful part of Rocky Mountain National Park. Highlighted by amazing scenery, gorgeous landscape, breathtaking waterfalls, and fabulous high mountain lakes, there are very few hikes and wonderful as the hike into Glacier Gorge. This hike is especially rewarding for photographers and avid fishermen who will have an abundance of opportunities to capture photographs and throw a line in the water.
Down the road, about 1.5 hours away is the wonderful city of Grand Lake, Colorado. Here you will find fabulous vacation rental homes waiting for you at the end of your hiking experience. You will also find that this area is abundant in other outdoor recreation opportunities including a number of trail heads waiting you challenge you. The best part is there are trails that will accommodate hikers of all levels. Take the time to contact the Rocky Mountain National Park to get some guidance on the best trails to match your skill level.
These parts of Colorado offer unparalleled beauty and activity. If you are interested in hiking through the Colorado Rockies take some time to contact some of our property owners. They would love to hear from you and you will find their accommodations a perfect front row seat to some of the most scenic country anywhere in the world. We look forward to seeing you and your travel party in the back country of Colorado this year. So get out there and experience some of the best hiking around.
Well here it is. We have been so successful bringing property owners and renters together that we do not feel there is a need to charge a costly listing fee just to put your property in front of renters. So we have decided to give it another shot. We are going to offer a free listing opportunity to all property owners. However, a couple of things should be noted.
1. While we like to offer free listings, we are also going to be more selective with the properties that we will advertise for. We are in the business of helping renters find the perfect travel accommodations for their vacation. It does not help you or our renters if we offer listings without pictures, rate information, and very descriptive information on your vacation rental. We will only approve vacation rentals if they include all of the information that most of our renters are looking for. Remember, just because it is free does not mean you should treat your vacation rental reputation like it is. Treat your listing like your nightly rental rate. If you are charging $500 / night give the renter a $500 / night description.
2. Updating your listing is required. Take the time to stop back by your listing every now and again and make sure the renter has correct information. Is it really that hard to take 5 minutes to capitalize on an effective free advertising option. When you advertise at TheVacationBug.com we will reward those who are diligent about providing renters with what they are looking for…accurate descriptions with accurate pictures.
Other than that, list your property and fill out your renter reports. This is a super easy way to make a marketing decision. How cool is it to work with an advertising company that offers a free platform and only asks for payment when a renter actually books? I know….why would you not work with TheVacationBug.com, right.
Mention Colorado vacations and most people instantly have images of heavenly power days followed by night life in wonderful resort towns. These images are absolutely correct, but don’t forget what Colorado has to offer in the rest of the year. Underneath all of the deep power is a spectacular playground. People from all over the world recognize Colorado as one of the best vacation destinations in the dry season as well.
Lets take Telluride, Colorado for example. Get a load of this agenda for summer activity. Lets start with world class mountain biking. Here mountain bikers of all levels and abilities can test the steep vertical terrain or opt for the relaxing route through the absolutely breathtaking landscape of the Uncompahgre National Forest. There is plenty of single-tracks in the region that climb over 9,000 feet to incredible historic sites and unmatched mountain splendor. There is also the San Juan Hut System which connects Telluride to Moab, Utah with over 200 miles of varied terrain for all skill levels. Believe me, an mountain biker will enjoy and find challenge in this area.
Not a mountain biker, how about some of the best golf anywhere in the country. And any golfer will enjoy hitting a golf ball at 9,500+ feet above sea level at the Telluride Golf Club which claims that the ball will fly about 15% further at this altitude (nice). This beautiful course stretches more than 6,500 yards through Mountain Village, Colorado. Surrounded by 360 degrees of pure beauty makes a day on the golf course both challenging and visually rewarding. Here there are wonderful views of Wilson Peak and Mount Wilson which you truly have to see to appreciate.
If you are still not convinced, lets try climbing, hiking, horseback riding, fishing or even a gondola ride into some of the most beautiful country on earth. The point is this, Colorado is open 365 days a year and there is simply not a bad time to visit. Telluride is only one example of many fabulous vacation destinations. Take a look at the hundreds of vacation rental homes that we have to offer at www.TheVacationBug.com. You will find great accommodations with great benefits over hotels. The first benefit being savings. We look forward to seeing you in Colorado.