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Travel restrictions have been lifted, and after an exceptionally stressful year, people are ready to hit the road.

Are you planning a vacation in Morgan Hill, a beach vacation, a trip to the lake, or a getaway to the mountains? Once you have decided on a location for your next trip, finding the right place to stay is the next crucial step.

There are so many options to choose from. So how do you select the best vacation rental for your needs?

Finding the best home to rent for your holiday getaway can be challenging with the sheer volume of choices available. Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than arriving at your destination to find that it looks nothing like what you anticipated. We are going to discuss several tips to help you get the best vacation rental.

What Is Your Idea of an Ideal Vacation Rental?

After deciding the kind of trip you want to take and where you are going, you can narrow down your rental home search with a list of the most important amenities you want in a holiday rental home.

Write them down, so you have them handy. With the list as a guide, the time spent scrolling through endless listings will be reduced. If you know you want a great view, a nearby creek, or wine trail activities, these can help narrow down your choices.

Check Your Dates

Start by making a list of your potential travel date. The days you choose to book can affect the price of your vacation rental. Price fluctuations can vary greatly and frequently determine where you ultimately decide to stay. For example, say you would rather stay in a more expensive hotel because it has a restaurant with rave reviews that you want to try or is located in an ideal spot. By shifting your stay dates by a few days, you can maximize your saving potentials.

Busy times around holidays will cause rates to increase as demand for rentals grows. Traveling just before or after holidays can equate to significant savings. Booking weekdays will be less expensive than staying on the weekend.

Set Your Vacation Budget

Now that you have made the decisions to go on vacation, the next question is do you have a budget? While renting a vacation home can often be the best way to save money in the long run and help you enjoy your trip a little more, there are many types of properties to choose from and setting up a budget will help you identify which homes will be the best fit for your needs.

If you aren’t sure as of what kind of budget you should have, look back at some of your past vacations and see how much you spent on them. Were you able to take advantage of any early or last-minute booking discounts? Be sure to factor in some additional costs such as travel expenses, dining, and activities.

Pick Your Location

Long Beach - Rockport MA - Atlantic Vacation Homes​Another major factor when you book your next vacation is to figure out where on Cape Ann you want to be. Do you have a specific beach that you would like to be close to? Is a water view a must-have, or would you rather be close to downtown restaurants and shopping? Would you rather be on one of the rivers, or be directly on the beach? For being a relatively small area, Cape Ann offers a huge variety when it comes to scenery and geography. Rocky coves, sandy beaches, dense forests, and lush estuaries can all be found within a few square miles of each other.

While we have plenty of vacation homes for you and your family to choose from, we want you to pick the right one. Sit down with your family and discuss what activities you will be enjoying and what sights you wish to see. This will help you narrow down locations that are the most convenient for your itinerary.

What Kind of Vacation Rental Home Will You Need?

After deciding on the general area you would like to be in, you will need to make some decisions about the type of home that will be best for your needs. It is very important that you and your family are honest with each other about your individual requirements when it comes to trying to choose a home. The planning phase of your trip is the time to discuss details like would you prefer a King bed or a Queen, do you absolutely require air conditioning, does everyone need their own bedroom, or will you be bringing a pet.

Vacation Rentals - Cape Ann MA - Atlantic Vacation Homes​As you browse our selection of vacation rental properties, check the amenity lists of each house to see what features are available. The amenity lists will indicate whether a home has air conditioning or fans, what appliances are included (such as dishwashers, toasters, or coffee makers), and if there are other entertainment items such as Smart TVs, board games, or books. If you have any questions about the amenities at any given property, you can always contact our office and ask one of our Guest Experience Specialists who are familiar with the homes and their contents.

Should You Book Early or Wait?

The next question you must ask yourself is should you book early or wait? Ultimately, the decision is yours, but we feel that booking early is the best way to ensure that you get your desired vacation home for your desired time frame. Most of our guests like to begin planning for their summer vacation as soon as the winter holidays are over, but there are some that like to plan even before that. The most popular homes are the beachfront and riverfront homes, so if being directly on the water is important to you, you should make your reservation as early as possible.

Lastly, there are financial benefits to booking early, as when you book directly with us your final payment does not need to be made until 60 days before your arrival. So if you are booking in mid-December for your mid-August vacation, you would not have to pay the balance until June.

Knowing what you want

Prioritize your rental. That’s the advice of Teresa Bell Kindred, a blogger and frequent home renter. “You are going to pay more for certain things. Decide what is really important to you,” she says. Her family loves the ocean, so they don’t mind paying more to be right on the beach. But if you don’t mind being a few blocks away from the water, you can save money. Be sure you stay within your budget. “If you spend all your money on rental property and can’t afford groceries you may get hungry before you get back home,” she warns.

Reviewing the contract very carefully

You’re not checking into a hotel; this is more like renting an apartment. Watch for contract language, such as cleaning options. Frank Discala, who owns a rental property in Nantucket Town, Mass., gives his tenants two options: either clean up after themselves, “Or they can leave the place without cleaning up and lose their $500 deposit,” he says. “Ouch! No one has ever taken that option.” (Discala knows about contracts; he’s a lawyer.)

 Staying flexible

Remember, you’re renting an apartment or house — not a room in a hotel. “Some things may go wrong,” warns Pauline Kenny, a vacation rental expert who runs a site called Slow Europe ( “The plumbing may stop working, the kitchen stove runs out of gas. Some things may not be perfect — you bump your head repeatedly on that low doorway, the couch is orange, the parking space is almost impossible to get into.” That’s life in a vacation rental. “Suck it up and live with it,” she says

Needless to say, tenting a vacation has its challenges. “The process for finding a vacation rental home is more involved and sometimes even difficult,” says Christine Karpinski, a director for “You have to not only search for the home, but you also have to e-mail to inquire whether or not it is available and for a full quote. Sometimes the process can take a couple hours and sometimes it can take a week of back-and-forth with the homeowners. But the reward at the end is wonderful.”

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