What Should You Ask Before You Rent a Vacation Home?

A rental house in Le Marche, Italy.
A rental house in Le Marche, Italy.

HomeEscape.com, the world’s most affordable vacation rental platform, discusses the importance of asking the right questions prior to booking a vacation rental.

For most of the time, owners are clear about what amenities their property offers. However, before the significant investment of a vacation is made, it’s good to be absolutely clear about what services and amenities travelers will have on their trip.

Here are questions we recommend asking a prospective owner:

1. What is the cancellation policy and where can I read it?

Any vacation can be affected by a sudden and unexpected circumstance, such as a death in the family, a weather event, illness or work demands. The cancellation policy defines what the terms are should it be necessary to cancel the vacation rental reservation.

2. What supplies are not included in the vacation rental?

Most often, rentals will have most everything one would need for a vacation. However, sometimes when traveling with larger parties, simple extras like rolls of toilet paper can be in short supply. To make the best out of a vacation, it is always wise to pack an emergency supply of toiletries and other sundries.

3. What is the exact address of the property?

Although this may be obvious to most, sometimes vacation rentals are part of a larger development with similar-looking properties located next to the rental or nearby. Although directions are the obvious reason why the address is important, another significant issue is the surroundings. Is the property actually next to the beach as advertised? Or is it one mile from the beach and next to a noisy commuter train? Having the address beforehand allows savvy renters to explore the neighborhood before making a commitment.

4. Does the property get adequate cellular reception?

For anyone trying to get away from calls and messages, this question may not make sense. However, if there is a medical emergency during the vacation, then cell service is extremely important. If cell coverage is not very good, make sure to ask if there is a landline or decent internet connection.

5. What is the overall price of the rental?

Often vacation rentals have more fees beyond the price of the rental. These fees include (but are not limited to) cleaning fees, security deposits or possibly even maintenance fees. Make sure to know the timeline of fees and deposits, and when they will be returned before signing the rental contract.