Anyone that’s beginning to plan a trip knows that the key element that will determine if you have a great time or not begins with where you’re going to stay once you arrive at your destination. There are a few factors that play into the decision to be made, such as how many are in your group and how long your stay will be wherever you’re going. Planning along these lines can get a tad pricey if you’re looking at hotels, especially if it’s a situation where you’re planning a trip on the spur of the moment. With that in mind, many are now joining the ranks of those who are looking at and booking their stays in vacation rentals across the globe. But how does one get started with picking the right vacation rental for their own trip? Read on for an overall look at the process to get things underway.

Man sitting on wooden panel-Vacation rentals

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The idea of vacation rentals took off first as a way to minimize the detracting elements one can sometimes find in hotels. What would those be? Well, with hotels you and your group are essentially surrounded by others in their own rooms. Sometimes that can be challenging if they get too loud, or have members of their own group cause a ruckus. You’re paying extra for little amenities like a mini-bar or in some cases, wireless internet access. Some hotel rooms are also built-in terms of layout where it’s essentially one large room with a minute amount of closet space and a bathroom, which can pose a logistics issue for those traveling in large groups. And if you’re trying to avoid that, paying for a suite can really increase your vacation costs. Another hang-up that can occur involves the availability of rooms in hotels in certain rural areas or places that it will take some time to travel to from the airport.

Alley architecture Barcelona-vacation rentals

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With vacation rentals, you are essentially looking at sites like Airbnb, RentalVilla and HomeAway for rooms, apartments and even houses to rent for your vacation. Each website differs however with what they offer – Airbnb actually has “experiences” available for booking in addition to or separate from any lodging being booked for a majority of the cities and countries they manage property listings in. A vacation rental allows for travelers to feel more immersed in the city or region they’re staying in, to make their trip that much more enjoyable. It also gives guests a chance to minimize other costs they’d incur during their trip, such as getting groceries for a week from local markets and specialty shops instead of eating out for almost every meal.

brown wooden chair near short stem clear wine-glass-vacation rentals

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How the process works is, you go to one of these vacation rental sites with the dates you have in mind for your stay. From there you can get an approximate final total of how much it would be, factoring in local taxes and processing fees that the site has. Each site has varying fee amounts; for example, Airbnb charges 6 – 12% whenever a reservation is made along with a cleaning fee. These are incorporated into the final tally.  The thing to keep in mind is, with renting a vacation property it is up to you to keep up communication with your host and to abide by their rules regarding the place. Each site has a dedicated customer service staff on hand that can be reached by phone or email. Many hosts look to make the entire process a smooth one, and will even go out of their way to arrange tours in their area or provide breakfast and snacks once guests arrive. In some cases, you just arrive at the appointed check-in time and pick up the keys and begin your stay. If you are looking for quality listings, you can check out sites like Trip101 that helps curate apartments from sites like Airbnb.

Vacation rentals are a surefire way to enhance your trip to truly enjoyable levels without the extra hassle.

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Christopher is a writer with Trip101. Trip101 is a one-stop guide for travel enthusiasts around the world. Supported by an ever-growing community of travel writers, we provide inspiration and useful information to help facilitate travel in a fun and meaningful manner!