is a term in the travel industry meaning renting out a furnished apartment
or house on a temporary basis to tourists as an alternative to a hotel.
Vacation rentals are becoming increasingly popular.
A vacation rental is a fully furnished property, such as a condominium,
townhome or single-family-style home. However, a true vacation rental is not
for sale to the guest; rather, the owner of the vacation rental merely allows
the guest to rent the property for a predetermined length of time.
Although lower rents for vacation rentals by owner were once the norm, this is
no longer the norm nor the primary benefit. Quite often a by owner vacation
rental will feature more amenities included in the rental like games, beach
equipment, DVD libraries, and a stocked kitchen. Owners managing their own
properties tend to be more aware of wear and tear and have better cash flow to
use to maintain and upgrade the property.
Pros and cons of vacation rentals
In the United States, hotels
often enjoy the advantages of brand recognition, familiar reservation
processes and on-site staff for problem resolution. For a guest, booking a
vacation rental often meant stepping out of that comfort zone.
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Stinson Beach Rentals
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17 Fox Ln, San Anselmo, CA 415 499-9490
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Perceived cons of vacation
rentals include: having to communicate directly with the property
owner, being unfamiliar with the property, lack of on-site staff and
concerns about quality or cleanliness. However, there are many
vacation rental agencies that manage vacation properties for owners
and they offer many of the same services hotels offer to their guests,
i.e. front desk check-in, 24-hour maintenance, in-house housekeeping,
The benefits generally outweigh the potential negatives, with many vacation
rentals offering more space (multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, separate
living areas), more amenities (fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, private
hot tubs), convenient locations (on the beach, ski-in/ski-out) and greater
privacy than a hotel. As of 2006, vacation rental management has become a
$10 billion industry.
Vacation Rentals are available in most states of the US including major
tourist areas such as Hawaii, California and Florida.
Vacation Rentals can be a budget studio or an expensive private villa on a
private island that runs more than $450,000 a week with a full staff to
cater to the guests. The vacation rental market is larger in Europe than it
is in the United States.
Listing services and aggregators
Aside from those represented by a few large property management companies,
vacation rentals may be offered through aggregation portals. Aggregators
typically display property information and photos provided by the homeowner,
however the listing services bear no legal responsibility for the accuracy
of the information. Also, because the listing services do not verify the
information, they strongly encourage guests to request references from past
renters and to procure a lease agreement prior to sending money to a
A vacation rental may not be booked directly with a listing service. Because
each property owner has his or her own deposit and payment requirements,
cancellation policies, key-pick-up procedures, etc., a guest must contact
the property owner or owner’s agent directly in order to book.
A guest who books through a listing service or direct from owner may
experience the benefit of lower rental rates.
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