You are here

Five Tips for Choosing the Perfect Vacation Rental

9 May 2016
Related Items: 
Tahoe Vacation Planning

We've all been there. At least any of us who have taken the lead on planning a couples getaway or family vacation. Your major listing site search results in over 100 matches. You click on one with a cover photo showing a gorgeous beach...only to find out that the beach is a fifteen minute drive from the home. After much debate, you find the perfect property and email the listed contact to book...only to find that the calendar hadn't been updated in a week and the home isn't even available. It's enough to drive anyone to frustration. Here's a secret, though. Booking a Tahoe vacation rental can be easy. Just follows these simple tips and you're on your way to securing your families dream home.

Start Early. 

Most property management companies accept bookings as far as one year in advance. The average traveler books approximately four to six months in advance. By the time the week you hope to travel is less than 90 days away, particularly if you're looking to travel during the peak season, much of the prime inventory will be booked. Starting your vacation rental search early means you can get the home with a view and a hot tub at the most competitive rate.

Avoid Booking Fees. Book Direct.

We've come to expect that there will be costs associated with vacation rentals other than a nightly rate. Homes must be cleaned and taxes must be collected. But recently, HomeAway and VRBO, two of the largest listing sites, have begun charging a booking fee. AirBNB has been charging this fee since its inception. And why pay a fee for which you receive...nothing? Always visit the property management's website or call them when you find a property you like, and book direct rather than booking through the listing sites. At Tahoe Getaways, you won't pay a booking fee, making booking direct the most affordable option, every time.

Enlist an Expert.

One of the biggest disappointments that can happen when renting a home is arriving to find that the beach you thought was "just across the street" is actually across a busy four lane highway without traffic lights. If you're visiting a new area, call the property management company and ask about the home's location, size, and amenity access. If you work with a local company, the staff will be able to give you the inside scoop on the home, and make sure you find a property that fits your specific needs. And if you see a home you love but the price isn't right? Calling the property management company or viewing the specials page online may lead to discovering current discounts, or a very similar, but more affordable option.

Find Hidden Deals.

Maybe you started your search too late, or maybe you're looking for the unicorn of vacation rentals (a lake front property over 4th of July that sleeps 10 and doesn't break the bank). You've searched all the major listing sites and are ready to give up hope. Not so fast! In general, listing sites are unable to find exceptions to the rules, like a three night opening at a home that usually requires a week long stay. Picking up the phone and calling a local property manager can open up great options you wouldn't find elsewhere.

And if it Seems too Good to be True... 

It's easy to fall in love with a gorgeous master bedroom or panoramic view. But make sure to ask about the logistics of the rental as well, because like always, with vacation rentals you get what you pay for. A great deal on a cabin might not be so great once you find out you have to bring your own linens and provide propane for the grill. Or if you were planning on driving in late after work, and check-in is only available until 6:00pm. Tahoe Getaways, for example, provides 24 hour check-in, free wireless internet, a full kitchen, washer and dryer, gas grill with propane provided, and a staff available 7 days a week, 365 days a year to assist with anything you may need. If your search results in a deal that seems almost too good to be true, chances are it probably is.

Now that you have these insider tips, finding your perfect vacation rental should be a breeze. But if you want to make the process even easier, call one of the dedicated reservation agents at Tahoe Getaways and let us do the leg work for you. You'll speak to a local expert and have access to our portfolio of over 200 professionally managed homes. Now that sounds like the way to vacation!

Contact Us: 530-583-0220 or

Or Start Your Search Online Today!