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Elizabeth Martini

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Elizabeth works in customer care at FlipKey, specializing in Spanish support. She enjoys exploring new cities and beaches. Her favorite beach destination is Bermuda.

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One of the biggest concerns of many travelers heading on a trip is how they are going to check into the vacation rental and start enjoying their vacation. It’s important to consider the check in procedure that works best for the vacation rental. A stressful check in can set the tone for the trip and influence how the traveler feels about the property.

Coordinating check in times can be difficult when the traveler is coming from far away. A traveler with a long drive or a connecting flight may run into traffic or delays, leaving the owner or property manager waiting and wondering when the traveler will arrive. Having a keyless entry to the property can take these factors out of the equation.

Without keys, as an owner you don’t have to worry about the traveler misplacing the key or not returning it at the end of their stay.  You won’t have to make new copies or come to the rescue if a traveler locks themselves out with the key inside on the counter.

As a traveler, you can go enjoy the beach or explore the city without having to bring a key with you-it’s one less thing you have to worry about when lugging your beach chairs, towels, surfboards or wallet, passport, bus passes, etc.

Another advantage is that all members of the group can access the property without all being issued a key.  If you’re on vacation with your extended family, the whole family doesn’t have to plan to be back in time for the baby to take a nap, or synchronize your schedules so that everyone is ready to go out to dinner at the same time.

While a keyless entry can save time and help create a hassle-free check in, there are some other factors to keep in mind.  Having a keyless entry can make the check in process easier for the owner and the traveler, but communication is essential.  Make sure the traveler is aware of the code and the steps to use the keyless entry. If the traveler does not have the correct access code or does not understand how to use the system, this process can be more frustrating than simply having a traditional key. Some travelers may find it more burdensome to remember the code instead of remembering a physical key.

The negative side of not issuing a key to a group of travelers and allowing them to access the property freely is that they can easily share the code with others outside of their group. This makes is difficult to monitor who is coming and going.

Like all technology, there is always the possibility of a system error or hardware malfunction. Battery or electric powered locks prove to be useless when the power source is cut off. Keyless entry systems can also be more expensive than traditional locks and may require more maintenance.

Weigh your options to find the most efficient way to manage reservations and create the ideal experience for the guest. Some of the best keyless entry vendors in the business are: Lockatron, Kaba, Point Central, and Resort Lock.

Whether it was due to a bad reputation, a war, a natural disaster, or a corrupt government some destinations fell off the metaphorical map for tourists. While some remain in travel purgatory permanently, others claw their way back into public consciousness with smart marketing, tourism-focused public works projects, or an end to local strife. Check out these five destinations on the rise that were once written off.

Philippines

Tourism in the Philippines has fluctuated in the past 50 years, but has been increasing steadily since the dawn of the 21st century. The Philippines attracts travelers with its diverse natural beauty. Visit the rain forest in Bohol, relax on the beaches, or explore the mountains. Take advantage of the waters of Palawan for diving or island hop your way through paradise. Enjoy a shopper’s oasis in Manila. Plan your trip in January with the Sinulog Festival in mind in the historical Cebu City and take part in the local festivities. Whatever you decide to do, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

When to go: Hot season is from March through May, rainy season starts around June and continues through November, and the cold season is from December to February.

Montenegro

This region is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination. National provisions to improve Montenegro and bolster sustainable tourism have added to the appeal of this unique region. Between the coastal beauty of beaches like Velika Plaza and mountain settlements in Zabljak, there is a lot to discover in Montenegro. Thrill seekers head to the slopes in the Northern Region or down to the Tara River Gorge for rafting. Step back in time when you wander through age old towns and fortresses and stick around for the nightlife.

When to go: High season is July and August. Varies through distinct regions. The best time for skiing is generally between December and March.

Thailand

Thailand has experienced a stable atmosphere and an influx of travelers for the past half century, especially in the past 10 years. Affordable and intriguing, a trip to Thailand offers local flavor and adventure without breaking the bank. Take in the serenity observing Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai or the picturesque landscapes of Phuket. Kayak or get up close with sea life in the calm waters of Phang nga. For a change of pace, head north to visit the bustling city of Bangkok. Celebrate Songkran, the Thai New Year, in April or plan your trip in November for Loy Krathong.

When to go: High season is from October to February

Rio de Janeiro

Gaining attention with the 2014 World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games, Rio has stepped up its game to welcome travelers from all over the world. The city’s current Morar Carioca (Municipal Plan) has developed infrastructure, reduced crime, and created employment opportunities for locals. This Cidade Maravihosa boasts rain forests, mountains, beaches, and altogether spectacular views. Don’t miss Rio’s vibrant Carnival celebration in mid-February.

When to go: High season is from December through March

Japan

On the mend since the tragedy of Fukushima, Japan’s tourism has turned around and gained an increase in visitors, especially in the past year. The weakened Yen has been a major draw to tourists visiting from other countries. There has also been a strong government focus on increasing tourism, encouraging travelers to return to sites like the Himeji Castle, the ancient city of Kyoto, Tokyo, Mount Fuji, and ski resorts such as Niseko and Hokkaido. The efficient railroad system in Japan makes travel much easier. Immerse yourself in ancient tradition or modern innovation.

When to go: Japan has a diverse climate, therefore the weather varies. Many travelers prefer to visit between September and November or March through May.

 

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With over 1600 FlipKey rentals, the Outer Banks, North Carolina offers funs in the sun for all ages. Stretching 200 miles down the coast of North Carolina across 28,000 acres, the barrier islands of the Outer Banks allow for plenty of waterfront on the ocean and the sound. The wrap around decks characteristic of OBX houses cater to panoramic views. You won’t have to look too far for waterfront views!

Head over to the beach for relaxation, swimming, boogie boarding, surfing or other water sports while soaking up the sun. Need a break from the salty surf? Why not check out what else OBX has to offer?

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Set up a tee time at one  of the picturesque golf courses. Stroll through the Elizabethan gardens. Try hang gliding or climb the highest sand dune on the east coast at Jockey’s Ridge.  For those interested in history, visit the site of the first powered flight or Fort Raleigh from which some of the first American settlers disappeared in 1585.

The Outer Banks coast line is dotted with lighthouses, guiding ships through the rough waters. Currictuck Beach Lighthouse, Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, Bodie Island LighthouseCape Hatteras Lighthouse, and Ocracoke Lighthouse the mark the shores from Corolla down to Ocracoke.

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Since early voyages to the New World, ships have been challenged by the Carolina waters. In addition to the battering hurricanes, many ships faced the danger of running aground the ever-changing sandbars and shoals of the ocean floor. Snorkelers and scuba divers can explore some of the 3000 shipwrecks that rest here in what is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Early expeditions also brought horses to the Americas. Wild mustangs can still be found on the Outer Banks. You can visit them in their natural habitat in the north of Corolla on a guided tour or own your own.

You can get up close and personal with more coastal wildlife on the beach.  Keep an eye out for dolphins, playfully jumping through the waves. The seashore is also home to pelicans, loons, and other feathered friends. Observe the ghost crab hard at work, tunneling it’s way beneath the sand-venture to the sand after dark and you’ll really see this community come alive.

Plan your next vacation to the Outer Banks on FlipKey!