Tag Archives: vacation condo

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?


How to Prepare for Florida Gulf Coast Beaches





What Is a Regatta?

Dunedin, Hurricane Pass (13)A regatta is a series of boat races but the word also refers to the activities that accompany the races. Perhaps it could be seen as a boat race surrounded by race excitement and activities. This conjures up a pleasant picture when one considers going to see a regatta or perhaps to join one. While the term may conjure images of sailboats, the word originally comes from Italian, referring to gondola races.

Regatta Beach Club

1. Regatta Beach Club Front ElivationDo sailboat or gondola races launch from the Regatta Beach Club? Well, no. While nearby Tampa Bay and Saint Joseph Sound host many sailboat races a year, the Regatta Beach Club is named for its beach access and shorefront theme. It is the most northern high rise condominium complex on Clearwater Beach with breathtaking views of America’s number one beach. The sands are white and very soft on bare feet. Sunsets are spectacular from Regatta Beach Club balconies.

Looking Out for Regattas

18. View of the pool areaWhile you may not see a regatta launch from the Regatta Beach Club, you just might catch glimpses of races that pass by your section of shoreline. You could always check the racing schedules in the area. In the meantime, why not imagine boats pushing off from the Regatta Beach Club dock or racing flags flying on the rooftop.


For more info on the Regatta Beach Club, click here.

16. Balcony with table and chairs 6. Master Bedroom with King  size bed





Related posts:

Florida Beach Rental Review of Marina House

Clearwater Beach Activities and Cruises

The Best Beaches in America Are Here

Marina House Vacation Rental

Easy Beach Access

Clearwater Beach signThe first two things that will strike you about the Marina House vacation rental are the ease of access and the wide open parking lot. You are at the beach, so parking is assigned, but the rental comes with a parking space. The lot is right off one of the main back roads along the beach strip, making coming and going from the beach or local attractions very easy. The Marina House has easy access to either of the bridges that lead to the island.


Great View of Clearwater Harbor

Harbor view from Marina vacation rental

The second striking thing about the Marina House vacation rental is the view. Sliding glass doors occupy the wall facing northeast, giving an encompassing view of Clearwater Harbor. You will have a front row view of the 4th of July fireworks from this unit, with the harbor to reflect the lights. You don’t have to wait for a holiday to see a good light show, however. You will see Clearwater City lights reflected on the water every night.


Coffee nook

DSC_4727This vacation unit has two great places to enjoy your morning coffee. You can sit at the kitchen table, looking across the living room to the large picture windows. For a closer view, just stroll onto the patio to be surrounded by sights of the harbor. The balcony is enclosed by both screens and sliding windows, giving you a choice of how you enjoy this space.


Clearwater BeachA Vacation Rental Close to the Beach

The Marina House unit is close to all the bustling Clearwater Beach activities but is set back from the road, giving you peace and quiet whenever you want it. Beach shops are an easy walk away while pubic beaches are just a bit farther, although the kids won’t mind the walk.


Clearwater Point poolMore Than One Pool

The complex has several pools, one of them with a view of Clearwater Harbor. They are great for cooling off in the middle of a hot Florida day.



Clearwater Beach, Pier 60 (55)For the kids

This vacation rental has a master bedroom and a second bedroom with two twin beds that are great for the kids. Children and teens will love the pools and the older kids to walk right down to the beach on their own. Putt putt golf is very close by along with a lot of beach vacation gift shops where they can find a souvenir to take home.


Related Posts

Review of Coastal Cabana

440 West condo 508 S Review

Beach Vacation Cottages

440 West Condo 508 S Review

Florida Beach Rentals

Florida beach rentals enjoys keeping our guests up to date on upgrades and improvements to our rentals. On a recent update photo shoot I had the opportunity to take in the accommodations for this beach front rental condominium.


Buildings FrontProfessional Seaside Charm

This tower condo is crisply decorated for the upscale guest or business professional. The modern decor blends well with the amenities such as an exercise room, rec room with pool table and sitting area, and the Gulf-side pool surrounded by a large deck.


2. Dining roomComfortable Floor Plan

The floor plan of this fifth floor condo couldn’t be simpler. Everything is within easy reach, including a serving window from the kitchen to the dining room that has the added bonus of providing a harbor view from the kitchen. The couches are cozy and the harbor view can’t be missed through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors.


7. Master bedroomHarbor View Master bedroom

The master bedroom is large but the mirrored closets and en suite vanity and bathroom add even more to the space.


17. Patio viewCoffee Nook with a View

Aside from the dining room table with a view, the balcony is the most obvious coffee nook in this channelside beach rental. A seat on the patio furniture offers a view of both the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Beach Inlet. When the sun is shining bright, the white sands on the bottom light up, giving the waters a turquoise hue. Watch Clearwater Harbor boat traffic go by with the shores of Sand Key just beyond.