1. Know What You Want in a Rental
Determine what kind of experience you’re after—particularly if you’re vacationing with a group. Do you require housekeeping every day, or do you want to wash your own dishes and laundry? Would you prefer being more isolated, or within steps of town? If you’re considering extras confirm in advance your inclination to pay additional fees for these things.
2. Check the Numbers
Renting a luxury home is a terrific value proposition right now. Given the current economy, many second-home owners are offering their properties for the first time, and the increased supply means better deals. A large family can stay in a beautiful beach house for less than the cost of an equivalent number of hotel rooms. You can get a sense of the market by doing a preparatory search before booking anything.
3. Get Ahold of Someone
Pictures on websites definitely help your search, but it’s always best to speak to someone over the phone. Talking to someone who has firsthand knowledge of the properties and can answer questions you have including: Is emergency help nearby? Is the surrounding town close or a far drive? How new are the things in the home? Talking to someone directly is always a good idea because they may be able to answer questions you never knew you had.
4. Take Advantage of Extras
Many rental websites and companies have concierge services that can do a whole array of tasks for you including things like filtering for your desired amenities, event catering, design and coordination if you are planning an event in the home and luxury planning for group travel. The best agencies leverage their industry contacts and relationships with property owners to organize things you couldn’t arrange yourself.