Quick tips for a great long weekend at a rental

With today's sharing economy in full swing, ditching the hotel and living like a local for a long weekend is easier and more fun than ever before.

Vacation rentals come in all different shapes and sizes, including cabins, beach houses, and condos. But how do you go about organizing a long weekend away at a vacation rental? And what should you expect from your rental if you have never stayed at one before? Read on to find out.

Getting there

This point may sound obvious, but it is something that catches many people off-guard who have never rented a vacation home before. Especially for those who are accustomed to flying and being picked up at the airport by their hotel, it can be easy to overlook the fact that many owners offering their homes or cottages for rent won’t have airport pickup. Ask your host beforehand if they do airport pickup. If you are driving to your destination and have a big group, work out with the other members of your group how many cars you will be bringing and how often you will want to stop.

And getting around

Just as importantly, make sure you have a way to get around when you are at your destination. While major cities will likely have decent public transit and taxi options, if you are staying in a cabin or beach house out in the country then you may need to bring your own car or rent one. If you need a car, ask your host about whether the vacation rental has parking and, if so, how much it costs.

Food and drinks

If you are going away for a holiday long weekend then there is a good chance that the supermarkets at your destination will be closed or have reduced hours. Again, this is especially true if you are staying in a small town or at a cabin in the country. If possible, make sure you bring all the food and drinks you need with you. Most vacation rentals won’t be stocked with food or beverages, so you will need to have your own. You can also ask your host for recommendations about local stores that may be open when you are there.

What your host will (and might not) provide

Because you are renting somebody’s home, it can be hard to predict what items your host will have ready for you. At the very least your host should provide bed sheets and towels, although it’s a good idea to confirm this beforehand. Good hosts will also provide toiletries like soap and shampoo and may also provide complimentary coffee and tea. Basic kitchen utensils and cookware should also be provided. But again, ask beforehand and read any reviews you can find online to get a better idea of what to expect. While some hosts will have food staples like salt, pepper, and spices for you to use, not all will, so you may want to have your own on hand. You will need to bring your own phone, tablet, and laptop chargers.

If your everyday grind is starting to get the best of you then spending a long weekend away at a vacation rental is the perfect way to unwind. Unlike a hotel, a vacation rental gives you the opportunity to experience your destination just like a local while also enjoying the comforts of a home away from home.