5 Tips for Finding a Vacation Rental

Posted 3/04/10

Cape May, NJ — In the chill of early Spring, the thought of a vacation rental at the New Jersey shore is an intoxicating image - sitting on a porch in your bare feet, enjoying a gentle sea breeze and all the comforts of home.

There are many online places (including Cape May Times ) to find a vacation getaway. But how do you plow through the vast array of possibilities?

1. Know Yourself

First and foremost - list your priorities. Know what you're looking for before you start the search.

If you absolutely, positively MUST have a vacation rental with some outdoor space or wireless internet or room for your loving dog Fido, don't even LOOK at alluring rentals that don't match your needs. It's an exercise in frustration.

Fuhgedaboutit. Stay focused.

2. One Size Doesn't Fit All

Start your search by looking at houses (or condos) with the number of bedrooms you think you need.

But don't stop there.

Thanks to sofa beds and various bed configurations, a four bedroom rental might sleep more people than a five bedroom vacation rental. So check out houses with one less bedroom as well. You might be surprised.

3. Location, Location??

Not every rental is close to the beach. If you're willing to walk a bit to get to the ocean, you could save hundreds of dollars in the weekly fee.

Don't forget to check out Delaware Bay rentals.

On the other hand, if you want to be as close to the ocean as possible, make sure that "close to the beach" doesn't translate into a 20 minute walk carrying beach chairs, umbrellas and kids' sand pails.

4. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It's amazing how much you can tell about a place just by the online photos. Pay close attention. Conscientious owners know the importance of good photos.

Stay far way from rentals that post tons of pretty beach pictures, but no photos of the bedrooms or other living spaces.

5. Available...When??

Online availability calendars help you find out fast whether the sweet little cottage or condo you're hankering for is available for your vacation week.

But beware. Not all owners update the calendars at the same speed. Some NEVER update their calendars. Look for calendars where at least some of the weeks have been blocked out for bookings. Pass by the wide open calendars.

After You've Found it

In these days of vacation rentals by owners, you might be getting the keys to your vacation rental in a number of different ways.

The owner might Fed Ex the keys to you. You might get a combination to a lock box on the door. Or you might be heading to the local realtor's office to pick up the keys. Whatever works.

Once you have keys in hand, open that door, head for the porch with your glass of lemonade and start inhaling those sea breezes.

You made it. Vacation time.

To Start Your Search:


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