5 Ways to a Pain-Free Vacation Rental Experience

Read listings carefully
Look for specifics about price, the number of tenants and distance from attractions and public transport. Favor to-the-point listings with lots of pictures from multiple angles; be suspicious of flowery language. Write to the host and ask specific questions (don’t forget that many hosts are first-timers too).

Go “walkabout”
Check the area out online. Google Street View allows you to explore easily. You’ll know for sure if the place really has unobstructed views or is, in fact, opposite a busy bus station.

Document everything
Payment should be made by a traceable method. Using a credit card is best so you have a record if something goes awry. Once there, make sure the spot is in the agreed condition. Take photos to provide evidence of problems and report them immediately.

Connect socially
Sites like Tripping allow you to connect with home leasers through Facebook and even find out where your friends have stayed. The personal connection could make all the difference.

Have all the contacts
It may sound basic. But if something is off, you need to know who to tell. Take down all the helpline numbers—Airbnb and Roomorama have 24-hour ones—and make sure you have the landlord’s details handy.