Finding accommodation is perhaps the first consideration that pops into your mind as you start planning your vacation, be it seaside or inland. As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, the number of accommodation options seems to have ballooned over the past few years, thanks in part to the continued growth of the global tourism sector. However, these manifold options can make it difficult for you to find and choose the right accommodation, which is why we’ve compiled a list of our top tips and tools to help you find the perfect place for you to rent on your next vacation.
- Get a head start: Ideally, you should start planning for your spring/ summer vacation around the winter time during February, as that’s usually when all the great accommodation options get snapped up, and it’s also a great time for you to access off-season discounts, which will put more spending money in your pocket during the trip. Booking early will also help you to get a spot in those difficult to book resorts and hotels that you’ve been eyeing, beating all the regulars to the punch.
- Play the waiting game: On the other hand, there can also be great reward in waiting until the high season to make your booking, as most property owners and agents offer special discounts and rates in a bid to fill their rooms during this time. However, in taking this route it’s important to remember that you’ll be making a calculated risk and you’ll have to remain flexible to what’s available instead of wanting a particular room option that may not be available at that time.
- Use rental websites: There’s a variety of rental websites that make the booking process very convenient, and may even offer special promotions and getaway discounts in collaboration with travel agents, hotel chains and resorts. You could also try vacant property specialists, for a UK break. This can be cheaper than a hotel in many ways. Just keep in mind that some of these websites do not offer any guarantees, so read through the website and ask questions just so you’re clear on the services being offered. That said most of them do provide comparison tools where you can save certain properties in a ‘wish list’ which then makes it easier to narrow down your options. A few examples of useful vacation rental websites include:
- Worldwide Locations
- Villas International
- Top Villas
- Homestays and Farmstays
You can search for any of these on Google and you’ll sure to find accommodation that suits your unique needs.
- Establish your needs: As you search for your ideal holiday accommodation, keep in mind that different properties are suited for different needs. For example, there are certain resorts that are designed for couples only with no children or pets allowed, while others proudly advertise their ‘child and/or pet-friendly status. Similarly, if you’re an avid cooker, you’ll want access to a fully equipped kitchen and perhaps the services of a helpful butler to point you in the right direction towards local shops and supermarkets, while a property with fewer steps or comfortable lifts is ideal when bringing the grandparents with you for a full family vacation.
- Read your contract carefully: It’s important to have a thorough understanding of what your vacation rental encompasses before you sign on the dotted line. For instance, you’ll want to know what kind of amenities are offered and if they fully cater to you needs, and the same goes for the physical layout of the property and its furnishings; are they to your liking or will you feel uncomfortable with some of the décor arrangements? It’s important to iron out details like these beforehand, and ask questions if necessary so that you don’t get any surprises or end up with a property that is less than what you expected. Reading through online reviews from past customers is also helpful in learning more about the actual experience of staying in the property, including the service, the quality and condition of amenities, as well as its proximity to nearby attractions and transportation options.
- Luxury villas vs 5 star hotels: Luxury villa rentals continue to grow in popularity when compared with hotels, and it’s not hard to see why. Staying at a luxury villa comes with a myriad of benefits such as privacy, enjoying well-appointed one-of-a-kind properties, having your own private staff including a chef, pool attendant, housekeeper and butler, as well as your own entertainment areas, outdoor pools and much more. The idea of exclusively enjoying these amenities is part of the allure of private luxury villas, as well as the fact that some of these villas are ideally located in secured complexes or enclaves where you can enjoy ultimate relaxation away from the throngs of fellow holidaymakers. On the other hand, a villa is not an ideal option if you’re interested in meeting new people, while hotels present you with the best opportunity to make new friends from all over the world, as you’ll have different neighbours that call the hotel home at the same time as you.
Elena is a prolific and experienced travel writer who truly enjoys what she does. As content consultant for luxuryvillasmalta.com/ she has a marvellous way of capturing some of the world’s most exclusive destinations with her words, easily bringing them within grasp of the reader’s imagination. When she’s not globe-trotting, you’ll find Elena doing some yoga or walking along the beach with her dogs Max and Emme.