View Full Version : A reservation ? For those who rent vacation homes

03-13-2011, 10:56 PM
We are planning a family trip with my sisters family and our parents. So, 11 of us including 5 kids ranging 1-6. We hope to go in Jan 2012. I have looked on Vrbo and eBay to get an idea of prices, homes I like, etc. I would like a 1 story 5 bedroom(just so we don't have to worry about stairs with the little ones) a pool, hot tub, and if it included baby equipment that would help. On Vrbo, I have 10 or so homes saved that I liked.

However, my question is when is the best time to book and get the best price? Also, any other recommendations for websites or anything like that? I have never rented a home before, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

At World's End
03-14-2011, 12:51 AM
We have rented houses in January twice and both times I reserved about 6 months in advance. Last trip, I had to cancel our original reservation and rebook elsewhere about 3 months in advance. I had no trouble finding availability, but I only needed a 2 br. With a large group and more specific needs, and being the worrier that I am, I would book as soon as you find a place that meets your needs at a price you are happy with. In my experience, you will get quotes from owners that are about 10% less then what they post on vrbo. In January with a pool home, you will want to pay for pool heat, and that can range quite a bit. When asking for prices, ask the owners for their best deal including taxes & pool heat. We have used vrbo.com and homeaway.com previously. If you find a house that you really like and it's a little higher than you want to pay, always ask if they would match an offer on a similar house. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Renting can be kind of nerve-wracking. Communication with the owner is so important. Ask lots of questions, and if you don't feel comfortable with the responses, move on to the next property. With a group like yours I would be asking about the child equipment (pack & play, strollers, high chair) availability, is the kitchen stocked with enough plates/cups for 11 people, are there enough towels for everyone?

Another tip: look into the Disney YES program for the 6 year old. If there is individual enrollment when you go, you could save about $100 per person on tickets.

03-14-2011, 08:53 AM
I also like www.homeaway.com. Home Away owns both that website and the VRBO website. Sometimes I find Home Away a little user friendly, but VRBO is also wonderful. They are the two big ones. I would be careful of e-bay.