Gone are the days when planning your dream vacation was a nightmare that took weeks (sometimes months) of research, questions and complicated booking procedures. The vacation rental industry and trusted rental agencies such as Hilton Head Vacation Rentals have taken the work out of vacation planning to offer a one-stop online shop for those seeking the perfect getaway.
The Past is the Past…
It wasn’t long ago that searching for the ideal vacation rental involved ordering a printed catalog from each area rental agency, ordering area guides, visitor and attraction information, and more. After a week or so, the guides and rental catalogs would arrive in the mail and the person charged with the vacation planning would begin their search, looking through hundreds of pages of one-paragraph property descriptions featuring inch-wide photos of either the front or back of the property (or the view from it), which was usually a little blurry and offered no real perspective.
Like help wanted ads in the newspaper, you would circle prospective properties, then call to inquire about each one, always forgetting the questions you really wanted to ask until the call had ended. After jotting down scribbled notes, you would relay your findings to those traveling with you and then do follow-up calls based on their questions.
Three weeks to one month later, you would make a well-educated guess about which rental would be the best one for this year’s vacation and hope for the best. The rental’s interior, quality, amenities, view and surroundings were always a surprise – either good or bad – until you actually arrived.
The vacation rental industry has come a long way, baby….
Your One-Stop Vacation Shop
Fast forward. From once squinting at a postage stamp-sized photo of your vacation property, you can now view every room in the house, map its location, check availability dates, calculate the reservation amount, find fun things to do and places to eat, and book your stay within an hour.
Vacation rental technology has made finding your dream vacation property just that – a dream. Convenient, even more affordable, and dare we say it? Almost fun!
Professional organizations such as the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA), and vacation rental technology providers such as Virtual Resort Manager, continue to bring online advances to trusted rental agencies such as Hilton Head Vacation Rentals, and we in turn, utilize the best of these offerings to benefit you, our valued customers.
From virtual tours, seasonal rates, indoor and outdoor photos and detailed information such as number of rooms, location, real-time pricing updates, discounts and amenities – to being able to easily select, compare, share and save multiple properties of interest and potential reservation dates – booking your vacation online has never been easier.
Making it even better are online reviews and recommendations (find Hilton Head Vacation Rentals properties and outstanding reviews and recommendations on sites such as FlipKey), discounts, and more interaction and information from your favorite rental agency and vacation spot (Hilton Head, South Carolina!) via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.
Your Future Vacation…
Think booking your vacation online is convenient now? It’s only going to get more so with mobile apps (click here to view Hilton Head Vacation Rentals’ newest app!), increased search functionality, more inventory to choose from, easier ways to find and rent properties from centralized websites and GPS location functionality which will guide you right to the front door of the property you are renting.
More and more, travelers are turning to vacation rentals over hotels as rental amenities and conveniences continue to grow, notes the VRMA, “Vacation rentals provide considerably more space, amenities, guest services, and privacy than other lodging options.”
Tips for the Best Online Booking Experience
When booking a vacation rental online, VRMA Board Member and businesswoman, Betsy LaBarge, encourages renting from a trusted agency such as Hilton Head Vacation Rentals. She notes:
• First look for an Internet listing that has good descriptions and photos of the vacation rentals.
• There should be clear and specific contact information for the company you will be making your reservation with.
• The rates, payment policies and rental policies should be posted online; they should also be in a written rental agreement that outlines your arrival and departure dates, the name of the home you have rented, the rent, taxes and other charges with a grand total as well as any other important information regarding the rental of the vacation home.
• The best way to find a professional vacation rental manager is to make sure the organization you are working with is a member of the Vacation Rental Managers Association, www.vrma.com, as well as other professional organizations such as local Chambers of Commerce and others.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s plan a vacation! Start your best vacation search and reservation now.