Tag Archives: holiday villa

vacation rental

Vacation Rental Frequently Asked Questions

Ask Questions Before You Book Your Vacation Rental

A vacation destination sets you free to explore a new piece of the world. Unfortunately, it also comes with challenges. In order to know what you are getting into, you have to ask a lot of questions. Here is a short list of questions which we handle often.

 

Vacation FAQs

vacation rental condoWhere is my vacation rental? Well, that’s important, isn’t it? You need to know not only the town, but where specifically in that town you will be staying. Are you on the beach? Are you near it? That’s matters. In fact, it’s vital information that can make or break your vacation plans. Be sure to nail down exactly where your accommodations will be. Your vacation rental company should provide a map with the exact location marked.

How far ahead should I book? Unfortunately, that question is often asked too late. If you intend to visit a popular vacation destination during its peak season, you had better book ahead a full year. For the less traveled seasons, or less known destinations you will want to book three to six months ahead. If you miss those deadlines, you may wind up booking at higher, last-minute rates.

vacation rental condoHow many does it sleep? Knowing the number that the unit sleeps is key. Be sure your rental will accommodate your party. Some rentals consider an overcrowded unit to be a breach of contract by the renter. If you want to stay cheaper, try to find places that utilize sofa sleepers for extra guests.

What size are the beds? Questions regarding bed size aim at personal taste and type of party. Some couples want king size beds, others are fine with queen size. When bed size can really come into play is when two families travel together, which includes the extended-family vacation. You may want to make sure that the couples each have a king or queen size bed. You can also ask for units that have more than one master bedroom. They are less common, but they do exist.

beachfront accommodationsQuestions about money. Questions about money are perhaps the most important. Aside from the obvious “how much” inquiry, you will want to know how payment is made. Is it all up front? Is there a deposit? Is there a penalty for cancelling? Is the money refundable? Those are all important details. The company you use should be able to answer them easily. Be sure to validate that your company is the real deal, especially if they are asking for a full payment up front.

How do I know my vacation rental company is real? That is a question you will want to answer before you pay. Don’t use non-official, garage-sale style sites to book a vacation rental. A week at a beach condo can cost in the thousands. You should know your company is legitimate before paying. Check the BBB, make sure the rental company has a website, and look online for reviews.

beachfront condoWhere do I check in? Not knowing where to check in can throw a wrench into your first day of vacation. Ask the booking agent where you need to arrive then check it on an online map. If it doesn’t seem right, be sure to call them back for specific directions.

What is the layout of the vacation rental? This is more than one question really. Does it have a kitchen? How many bedrooms does it have? Will the dining table seat your group? Does the unit have a washer and dryer? Does it have a balcony or patio? What floor is it on? What is the view? Where do I park? Those are all very important details that you need to know. Write them down before you call so you don’t forget to ask. A good online directory should tell you all those things. So should a good booking agent.

vacation condoWhat can you expect to find inside your rental unit? Will it have a dishwasher and an icemaker? Can you expect beach towels and beach chairs? What about toilet paper, paper towels, and soap? Those answers vary greatly between rental agencies and even between units rented by the same company. Knowing those answers ahead of time will help you prepare. The agent you contact should be able to tell you what will be waiting for you and what you need to bring.

What activities and attractions are nearby? An agency, even an online one, should have an idea what you will find nearby. That is why you are booking that unit in the first place! Clearwater BeachThe online booking site should answer at least some of those questions. An over-the-phone agent should also have an idea of what you will find outside your door. After all, the things-to-do list is one of the most important features of most vacations. You should be able to receive a short list, at the very least, before booking your vacation rental.

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

How to Avoid Vacation Rental Scams

Accommodations or Flight, Which to Book First

Perfect vacation rental

9 Need to Know Differences between Hotels and Vacation Rentals

Towels and Linens at a Vacation Rental VS a Hotel

Vacation rental king size bedHotels and vacation rentals handle linens and towels very differently. In a hotel, you can get new towels and linens either every day or on the schedule you request. At a vacation rental, your towels and linens are there for the duration of your stay. The perk you will usually get at a vacation rental is an in-unit washer and dryer for your laundry. That is great for week long stays where you are visiting the beach often. It also means, however, that you will be washing the sheets and towels on your own. While an on-call towel service is nice, so is having your own washer and dryer for your one week to one month vacation accommodations.

 

Daily Cleaning at a Hotel Vs a Vacation Rental

Clearwater Beach hotelsHotels will clean your room each day if you let them, while vacation rentals leave that task up to you. The pros and cons are pretty easy to imagine. With a hotel, you get the cleaning done for you. In a vacation rental, you do the cleanup, but, in exchange, the space is yours without interruptions. That means leaving your personal belongings lying around in a vacation rental might feel more comfortable.

 

Staffing at a Hotel VS a Vacation Rental

vacation hotelYour vacation rental staff is always willing to help you out but they are not onsite like a hotel. Help in a hotel is usually right downstairs in the lobby. For a vacation rental, the staff is in an office somewhere in town. While vacation rental offices (like ours) will respond to your call 24hrs a day, it might require a longer period of time to arrive than a hotel, based simply on distance. You might want to choose your vacation rental office based on office location, by the way. A remote office will be less capable of helping you than one closer by.

 

Hotel Check in VS Vacation Rental Deposit

Check in for vacation rentalVacation rentals and hotels operate differently regarding check in. Hotels will take your credit card number to secure your reservation and you pay for your room when you arrive. Vacation rentals most often take a deposit at the time of booking and the remainder upon arrival. This is where researching your vacation rental company becomes a good idea. Are they members of BBB? Are there reviews of at least some of their properties? See our blog on vacation rental scams for more information on how you might protect yourself.

 

Hotel Common Spaces VS Vacation Rental Properties

vacation rental with poolHotel and vacation rental grounds differ considerably. A hotel will always have common areas such as the lobby, rec rooms, restaurants, pools, and so on. A vacation home or vacation cottage, on the other hand, will often have yards that are yours to use. Rather than a balcony, many vacation homes will have patios. If you enjoy luxury accommodations and settings, a hotel is probably your style. If you are looking for spaces to call your own, a vacation home or vacation cottage might be the way to go.

 

Noise and Privacy in a Hotel VS a Vacation Rental

vacation rental spacesIt is easy to guess who comes out on top when comparing noise and privacy between hotels and vacation rentals. Despite the numerous pleasures of a hotel, they are meeting places for larger numbers of people than you will encounter at private residences. This is true even with beach vacation condos. The choice here is between a more dynamic hotel atmosphere and the quieter spaces of a vacation rental.

 

Hotel and Vacation Rental Age Requirements

Clearwater BeachThe difference in age requirements between vacation rentals and hotels is slight, but very important. While most hotels will allow 21 and up to book, the age is higher in most vacation rentals. Our requirement is 25 and up. Anyone who has gone to Florida during Spring Break will understand why that rule is in place. We do apologize to our college friends.

 

Hotel Dining VS Vacation Rental Dining

vacation diningMealtime at a vacation rental is a very different affair than at a hotel. Hotels rooms without kitchenettes offer very few options outside of ordering a pizza or going out on the town. At a vacation rental, how you eat your meals is completely up to you. Vacation rental properties will always have some sort of kitchen, even if it is a kitchenette. Vacation homes and vacation condos will usually have full kitchens, just like at home. Leave the pots and pans at home as these kitchens are stocked with at least the standard complement of kitchenware. If you want a kitchen, look for hotels with condo-style suites, or book your vacation in a vacation home, cottage, or condo.

 

Length of Stay at a Hotel VS a Vacation Rental

Clearwater Beach sunsetHotels will accept accommodations for one night while vacation rentals are intended for longer stays. Ordinarily, a vacation rental will limit the minimum stay to seven days, while some condominium associations will hold vacation rentals to one month minimums only. The plus side to this, of course, is that longer-term vacation rentals will often prove to be the better value for per night costs.

 

Other blog posts you might enjoy:

What Is a Beach Villa?

Regatta

How to Prepare for Florida Gulf Coast Beaches

 

 

Clearwater Beach

Secrets of the Fall at Clearwater Beach

Gorgeous Autumn Weather at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachClearwater Beach has seasonal weather just like anywhere else. While you will never find snow here, it can dip down to perhaps the 40’s in the winter time. However, we are fortunate enough to not see those extremes very often. The fall in Clearwater Beach is never so cold. The weather is warm and the sun is most often shining. The subtropical rainstorms of summer afternoons are fading away and all that is left to replace them is warm air and sandy beaches. While autumn might not seem like prime time to take a beach vacation, you might be surprised how much fun you can have here at Clearwater Beach from September to November.

 

Fantastic Fall Festivals at Clearwater Beach

Stone Crab Fest Clearwater BeachOne of the best parts about autumn at Clearwater Beach is the festivals. You will find some of the best events hidden in the last third of the year. Among the best known festivities are the various stone crab festivals, the Chalk Walk festival, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, the Super Boat Races, the TriRock Triathlon, and the Dunedin Celtic Music festival. Coming to Clearwater beach after summer has Clearwater Beach Chalk Walk 3013ended can definitely have its advantages. All the above events draw great, upbeat crowds, all those attending enjoying the setting of the Florida Gulf Coast. Clearwater Beach comes alive during many of these events, adding an exciting buzz to the air in addition to the natural beauty of the beach.

 

Find Cheaper Vacation Rentals at Clearwater Beach

Vacation rental with beach viewOne of the most popular things about coming to Clearwater Beach in the autumn months is the price. While the cheapest time to come is still November and December, you will find that the rates you search for online for autumn are going to be less expensive than spring and summer.

 

Cleawater Beach in Autumn

Clearwater harbor lightsIf the tourism high season of spring or the traditional beach days of summer aren’t for you, then consider a trip to Clearwater Beach in the fall. You will find warm days with good weather, an abundance of festivals to attend, and rates that might put a smile on your face. Clearwater Beach in the fall is a great vacation idea.

 

Dunedin Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival

Clearwater Beach TriRock Triathlon 2013

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival 2013

 

Nautical dining room

What Is a Beach Villa?

What is a Villa?

2. Front ElevationThe word villa can conjure up images of wealthy British estates with rolling green lawns. For others it might bring forth pictures of quaint urban residences with blooming gardens. The term can also illicit memories of childhood holidays spent in a vacation home in the country, or by the sea. So which of these is a villa? Well, all of them, actually.

 

Vacation Villa

balconyWe at Florida Beach Rentals use the term villa when referring to vacation rentals. To us, a villa is a place by the sea, close to or even on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Villas are fun places to get away from it all, and what better place than the white sand beaches of the Central Gulf Coast of Florida?

 

Florida Beach Rentals Villas

1. Back Yard fire pitOur main villa namesake is the Villas of Clearwater Beach building. These vacation condos look directly over the sands of the beach, receiving some of the best beach views and dramatic sunsets available on Clearwater Beach. To join the vibrant beach life, one only needs to walk out onto the sands. Our other villa namesake is the Seaside Villa House. As the name suggests, this is a vacation house, making it a perfect family vacation villa. Walking to the beach is a mere casual stroll to the end of the street, and not a long walk at that.

 

Villas by the Sea

living room 2Why not take your next vacation in a villa by the sea? Enjoy the beautiful white sands of Clearwater Beach by day, view sunsets over the Gulf at days end, and then dive into the activities of the dynamic beach community by night?