Vacation on the Beach the Smart Way
By FR Penn
Almost everyone agrees; there is no more relaxing way to vacation than to take it to the beach. For the vacationer/traveler who hasn't considered a beach house rental before, they represent an affordable and fun family oriented alternative. There is an intelligent way to plan your vacation on the beach. It all starts with thorough good planning, research and flexibility. This guide will give you a few pointers for vacationing on the beach the smart way.
First off, start planning your trip as early as possible. This is the key to experiencing the best possible relaxation. If you want to vacation in August, you really have to start planning as early as September or October. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure you get the exact dates you're looking for. This is especially true for beachfront houses. At the very least, make reservations BEFORE Christmas because prime booking time for beach houses starts on December 26th. This date begins the heightened pursuit of people wanting to book beach houses and continues all the way up until May.
Research your trip thoroughly. The Internet is an excellent tool for doing this. To get the right location and best accommodations to suit your preferences, there is no substitute for being informed and fully aware of what is available. In the information age, there are huge amounts of travel information available on the World Wide Web. If you are looking for beach vacation rentals, the most comprehensive site, and largest directory I found was http://www.beachhouse.com. If you're making a decision about a destination you are not familiar with, you should do research on the Internet about the specific location with a particular focus on the weather. It can vary from place to place depending on the time of year. You'll want to consider travel insurance in case anything goes wrong. Examples of why you'd need travel insurance include hurricanes, sickness, cancelled/delayed flights and lost luggage.
Get Everything in Writing. Get a list of amenities from the house owner. One big reason for this is you need to know what to bring, and what not to bring. For example, you may need to bring linens. Some rentals will provide them, but most do not. You need to know check-in/check-out times, and if you don't want to lose your deposit, leave the place as close to the condition as when you arrived. Make sure the person you are asking the questions to is the beach house owner or manager. Review the details of the rental agreement. Things to consider are security deposits, damage deposits, who to call in case of emergency. Ask for references of people who have rented the house before. Make sure you have contact numbers for the owner or on-site manager on hand.
Look for off-season and last minute deals. If you are looking for a deal and can be flexible, off-season rates drop dramatically. Some beach house owners who charge $5,000 a week during peak season are willing to go as low as $800 per week in the winter. Additionally, if you're looking to vacation before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, it can't hurt to ask for a 10% discount. Keep in mind though that during peak season it's highly unlikely rates will be negotiable. You can also save money by not getting beachfront property, say by renting houses not directly on the beach but maybe one to three houses back. These houses are generally going to be a bit cheaper.
Beach House rentals are great for larger reunion or family groups. One of the benefits of renting a beach house is having your own kitchen and saving funds on cooking for the family. Hotels generally have restaurants, maybe kitchenettes for extra. For a family of 4 this may cost a bit, but still be affordable. However, for an extended family, you would have to book a set of rooms. If this isn't expense enough, a large family eating in restaurants three times a day, plus the cost of all the things they need that isn't supplied by the hotel, and WHEW! That can cost a bundle. Hotels don't lend themselves as well to a larger group of people as beach houses do.
To vacation on the beach the smart way, start planning your trip as early as possible. Research your trip thoroughly and get everything in writing. Look for, and ask for, off-season or last minute deals, but be flexible. And for the most memorable and best possible vacation on the beach, do it in a beach house.
This article was written by FR Penn sponsored by the Beach House Vacation Rental experts at http://www.beachhouse.com. Here you'll find Vacation Rentals all over the World from the comfort of your own home.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.