Staying in Style in Florida
When going on a long vacation with your family, a nice option to pick over taking a hotel is to rent a vacation house. Down in Florida, there are a ton of sights to see, from the world famous Disneyland to the manatees down in the rivers. Catering to the large numbers of tourists that flock to the state all year round, the citizens of Florida have tons of rental homes made available for those who prefer the comfort of a real house over the slightly colder austerity of a hotel.
One of the advantages to taking a rental house is the cost; by scouting around, you'll find that rental houses come cheaper than booking a hotel room for extended durations. Another advantage to getting a rental home is the amenities involved. While you won't exatly be able to call for room service like in an hotel, the fact that these are fully furnished homes means that you can use the facilites to do your own cooking and cleaning, which also helps your budget.
When looking for a rental home to stay at, keep the following things in mind before you start shopping around for a vacation rental home. These tips should help you get one that will cater to your needs.
Destinations - there are a lot of places to visit down in Florida, and before looking for a house to rent, make sure that you map out the state and locate all the areas you're planning on visiting. As much as possible, pick a home in an area that will allow you to leap around and visit all the places you want to go.
Duration - some home owners and rental companies charge less per day for longer stays. This definitely works in your favor if you're planning to stay for several weeks or even months down there. Look at the various offers you're canvassing, and try to find one that gives the best discounted rate for longer stays. If you're staying for only a short time, you might be better off in a hotel otherwise. Also look at any additional charges, like will you be responsible for the water and electricity over your stay or not? These extra clauses might make some places that offer seemingly higher rates actually cheaper in the long run if the rent price is inclusive of consumables and house maintenance.
Transportation - make sure that the place has a secure garage. Whether you're planning on bringing your own car or renting one when you get there, it always pays to keep your vehicle intact, since you'll be doing a lot of driving around the state to see the sights.
Facilities - obviously, it helps a lot if the house has a kitchen, fridge, and workshop. However, keep in mind that these are vacation homes. They aren't just built for functionality and shelter, but for comfort and style. There will be seemingly more expensive rentals out there but will, for example, have a game room with a pool table, a Jacuzzi and sauna, a video game room, a library and fireplace, etc. Keep these not so little possible additions in mind, as they can make the difference between having a merely relaxing vacation, and a totally blissful one.
Extra Gear - Like the facilities, some vacation rental companies also offer rentals for extra equipment like snorkelling and scuba gear, surfboards, etc. Dedending on your itinerary, if your vacation involves needing extra toys that you may not want to lug around interstate, then check these options out and factor them into your planning.
The Neighborhood - lastly, do a little background research on the neighborhood where the house is located. While most rental homes are in decently secure and safe areas, it never hurts to check and make sure you don't wind up in a low security area. Other than safety, you might also want to phone the community office in the neghborhood and check if, for example, there are ordinances there against things like loud music in case you want to have a party. Scout the turf before making your decision because a vacation home, no matter how gorgeous, will still be a hassle if stuck in a lousy setting.
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