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Monday, January 24th
Tripadvisor is the obvious choice for booking a vacation rental. Not only will you find properties in over 200 countries and throughout the US, but you'll also have all of the on-the-ground info you need to eat, play and shop at the most highly-rated places when you get there. And, this is the only platform we found that offers Payment Protection if you're locked out of your rental or find significant problems when you arrive. If you're planning on staying in a house, condo, apartment, castle or chalet on your next trip, you should use Tripadvisor for booking your vacation rental.
Want to get your vacation accommodations for free? It's possible with Home Exchange. The catch? You have to be willing to share your home with other travelers. This service has hundreds of thousands of members worldwide, and it's easy to see reviews from people who have exchanged homes and set your mind at ease before you make a commitment. This is a reliable, well-used service and it presents an opportunity to travel on the cheap - but keep in mind that this is not a traditional vacation rental service by any definition, and unless you live in a popular tourist destination, you might not find anyone who wants to swap houses with you.
If you've ever stayed in one, you already know all of the advantages a vacation rental has over a traditional hotel stay - especially for trips that will last longer than a night or two. Because vacation rental properties are usually fully-furnished apartments, condos, and houses, they give you a home away from home. From kitchens with all of the pots and pans to make a gourmet meal, to washers and dryers that mean you don't have to pack as much clothing, vacation rentals can have it all.
How do vacation rental properties work? Many are owned privately, and the owners take a lot of pride in making sure you have a fantastic stay. You may arrive to find complimentary snacks on the kitchen counter or a binder full of local recommendations for things to do and restaurants to visit, and your hosts could even stop in to introduce themselves.
Other vacation rentals are owned and operated by management companies, so your experience might feel more like a traditional hotel stay. No matter how your property is managed, it's a great way to have a more relaxing, private vacation. Plus, with unique destinations that include castles, chalets and even boats, vacation rentals are only limited by your creativity (and maybe your budget!).
However, not all sites offering vacation rentals are equal. You won't care if the service you used has millions of properties if they leave you hanging once you've checked in, or if you can't get help from a responsive customer service team when a problem arises. Which one should you choose for your vacation?
Here are several things to keep in mind as you consider the options:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best vacation rental websites available today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect spot for your next adventure, whether it's a county or a continent away!
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