With the rise of AirBNB and similar services, more and more people are opting to forgo the relatively impersonal and often isolating hotel experience in favor of more authentic “live like the locals” digs. Vacation rentals are on the rise, and offer a truly great way to get to know a new city or to experience a familiar city in new ways. But as experts in the industry like Brian Ferdinand Liquid Holdings will advise, you need to do a bit of advance planning to make the best of this vacation option – without a 24-hour concierge to help you with restaurant recommendations, or housekeeping to bring you up a toothbrush, you are on your own to trouble-shoot and problem-solve. You can avoid major problems or inconveniences, however, by being sure to ask your vacation rental host some useful questions in advance.
Where is the vacation rental located relative to the main tourist areas?
Part of the charm of a vacation rental is that it is not likely to be located in the middle of the heavily-trafficked tourist path. However, you are a tourist, and you will want to see those areas without too much trouble. A vacation rental that is to far from the beaten path can be more trouble that it is worth in terms of transportation. Try to find a balance between easy access and a healthy distance. Very often, your host will be able to tell you about hidden gems in the local neighborhood, from shops to restaurants or things to see and do, which won´t be on the main tourist maps – be sure to take advantage of the local knowledge of your host.
Can I walk to a grocery store?
One of the advantages of a vacation rental is that you can balance the cost of expensive dinners out with breakfasts or lunches that you can prepare yourself. Chances are pretty good that there are some basic supplies left by previous guests, but you will definitely want do a run for some groceries. Very often, there will be neighborhood stores that the locals know about but which be more difficult for a visitor to identify. And, in many countries, stores are quite specific if their inventories, so you might be able to find fruit in one store but have to go to another store for meat or coffee. Be sure to ask your host for suggestions about where to stock up.
Are there special instructions for appliances?
It is sometimes the case that the appliances in the rental home are quite different than what you might be used to. In some locations, induction cookers are common, which may be baffling to anyone not familiar with that technology. Appliances like washing machines might be hidden in rooms that are unexpected, and non-vented driers will need to have water emptied from internal collectors. Especially if the operating instructions on any appliances will be in a different language than you can understand, be sure that your host has provided details.
These are just some of the many questions that you should ask your host before you arrive at your vacation rental to ensure that all goes well!