As summer draws to a close, many people are looking to get away for one last hurrah before settling into fall. AAA reports that in 2013, approximately 34.1 million Americans travelled somewhere over the Labor Day weekend, spending an average of $804 per traveler.
If you want to get away, but don’t have the extra cash to spend, there are still many options. Vacation rentals can be a great option for people looking to save money and get away for a weekend. Sites like AirBnB and HomeAway allow people to rent lodging for a few nights, at a (usually) much cheaper rate than hotels in the area.
However, vacation rentals in someone’s home carry their own risks. There have been several highly-reported cases lately regarding the legality of some vacation home rental offerings, as well as horror stories about renters who refused to leave. Here are some ways vacationers can protect themselves and make the most of a fun weekend to top off their summer:
Check out the property before you rent: If it’s too far away for you to check out in person, do a Google search for the address of the rental, as well as the name and phone number of the rentee posting the ad. See if there are any reviews, as some sites offer opportunities for vacationers and homeowners to review one another. But be careful, anyone can post an online review - that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.
Check out the owner or landlord before you rent from them: Try to talk on the phone at some point before you rent, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the property and terms of the rental. Run the property through a search engine and see what you find. It’s also very important to make sure the person you’re renting from actually owns the property, otherwise you could end up in legal trouble.
Pay securely: If you can, try to pay for the rental using a credit card. This option offers you the most protection should something bad happen. If your landlord insists otherwise, ask if you can use PayPal or another similar service. Don’t use a debit card, wire transfer or cash, as this leaves you open to security breaches and theft.
BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties hopes you and your family has a relaxing Labor Day weekend, whether you stay in town or decide to skip out for a few days. If you have a question on a property management or vocational rental company, check out the business’ BBB Business Review on bbb.org before you sign a contract or open your wallet. If you have any questions about a business, call us at 858-496-2131.
For more tips on how to protect yourself against scams, follow our BBBlog at bbb.org.