When you operate in the vacation rental space either as an employee or an owner, you hear a lot of false claims. Many of these quotes below would come from someone who simply has never tried a vacation rental (and if you haven't, see the GIF to the left.) Vacation rentals are cost effective, private, safe, and clean. Most importantly, they are EVERYWHERE so no matter where you're planning to go, you have the option of staying in one. Here are phrases that upset me the most from travelers unsure about staying in a vacation rental...
"I've heard horror stories of the pictures of a rental not matching the reality."
As with most cases in life, your expectations of a place/person/event not matching the reality is quite distressing. Even more so when booking a stay at a residence where you only have pictures to see in advance. This is another instance where reviews come into play too. Reading the reports from previous travelers can tell you a lot about the validity and honesty of the pictures and/or description you're seeing in a listing. Owners and managers have no incentive for posting pictures that are not accurate, because their ruse would be discovered almost immediately. Have peace of mind that all vacation rental companies do their best to ensure the accuracy of their listings and anyone convicted of foul play will be removed. Also, use staying in someone else's home to your advantage. Ask the rental owner about the best local places to eat, play, and party.
"I think it's weird that I'm staying in someone else's like... home."
I get the feeling - you don't know the owner, and they don't know you. Maybe you've had just a few email exchanges and a phone call to set up the booking (use our BOOK NOW feature to speed this up even more) and now you're staying in their second home. Not only that, other people may have stayed there recently too. Really though, those fears are unfounded. Owners make their rentals extremely comfortable for each and every guest, and you won't know anyone stayed their before you. This home is yours and yours alone for the time you're staying there, and the atmosphere will reflect that. Some companies in this space rent out ROOMS in a home, but that is not what happens on FlipKey and many others.
"Vacation rentals are really expensive. I'd rather just get a hotel room."
This is plain untrue, especially for large groups. Think about it, if you're traveling with a group of 3 families of 4, you'd need to purchase 3 separate hotel rooms to accommodate all of you. With a vacation rental home (that can handle 12+ people) you'd be paying a fraction of the cost. Splitting the food and avoiding all the hidden costs of a hotel stay, you're even more in the black at the end of your trip. Some hotels charge you a fee for just checking out these days (WTF?), whereas a vacation rental treats your wallet fairly. They need to compete with hotels in their local area, and generally have a more affordable cost. We've found that on average, travelers can save 40% staying in a vacation rental as opposed to a hotel.
"Vacation rentals are not safe or well maintained."
Vacation rental owners take pride in their spaces. Think about it: if a rental consistently received horrible reviews about rusty nails or leaky ceilings or doors with no locks, that listing would be repellant to travelers. (Ever heard of the hotel scene in Sochi?) There is a financial incentive for owners to keep their listings as safe as possible. What's even more realistic is an owner going above and beyond to keep their guests coming back, or to become word-of-mouth candidates. So be surprised and delighted when an owner has your favorite snack ready for your arrival or a "welcome" bottle of bubbly.
"Ew. Those not cleaned properly."
Quite the contrary. You can expect your vacation rental to be as clean or cleaner than any hotel room (have you SEEN those exposes into the hotel germ world?) Some rental owners choose to clean the unit and change the linens by themselves, while many others hire a professional cleaning service to come in after you've checked out.