Traveling away from home can cause anxiety for some people because at home, your bed feels a certain way, you know all the TV channels, and everything feels comfortable. Vacation rentals aim to make travelers feel no different about their accommodation. You should be able to see it as a “home away from home”. Better yet, because you’re renting and properties are doing everything they can to attract your business, you and your family may find that your prospective rental can offer great returns.

When planning your next trip, you should have a few ideas in mind about what you want your accommodation to provide. Here are three things that should be near the top of your list:

1. Provide the Basics – Your rental should provide basic services for you and your family. Every family has their own way of defining the basics, so it’s important for families to get together and find out what they really feel they need and see what places offer those things. Do you need a full kitchen? Are the mountain views necessary? How many bathrooms are essential? It’s a simple idea, but because it’s so basic, this little detail can go unnoticed. As part of your research, compare rental properties, and most importantly, make a few calls.

2. Proximity to the actual vacation: As much as your vacation is the reason for traveling, getting to the fun stuff can sometimes be less fun because you’ve rented accommodation too far from the center of activity. It may be too far to walk, which means you’ll need to consider renting transportation. Your time is precious and you have worked hard to earn this time off for your loved ones; don’t spend it walking the whole trip and exhausting yourself.

3. Security – No one likes to think about what could go wrong on vacation, but it’s important to think about how your vacation rental property provides a safe environment. If a property deals with out-of-town visitors on a regular basis, those in the know know that visitors can often travel with cash. Does your rental have a safe place for valuables? When it comes to amenities like a pool, is there a lifeguard on duty? Is there a first aid kit available in your rental for general bumps and bruises that may occur? Be sure to research online ratings and reviews from past visitors and see what they have to say. Also, create a checklist of important safety items and speak directly with property employees.

It’s always important to remember to do your homework when it comes to choosing your vacation rental. Choosing the right place to stay and call your “home away from home” is absolutely key to everyone’s happiness. Vacations are a time to make lifelong memories, and you don’t want a bad lodging experience to be the only thing that ruined it.

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