How to find a vacation condo rental and tips to get the best price for your next vacation condo rental in Panama City Beach, Destin, 30A and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.
Ever wonder how to find and book the best beach vacation rental or condo? Ever do a general search for a vacation condo rental only to be pushed to a "OTA - Online Travel Agency - Booking Portal" site requiring you to sign in before receiving a quote? This can be very frustrating and expensive if you do not understand how vacation rentals work or what to expect. Well, you are in luck! Today, we are going to share a few bits of information that will make it easier for you to find the perfect condo rental or beach home for your next vacation to the Panhandle of Florida.
WHAT IS A VACATION HOME RENTAL?
A vacation condo or home rental is a home owned by individual owners who enjoy sharing their home with others. Owners of the vacation home rentals have equipped their beach condo or home with all of the conveniences of home which include a fully equipped kitchen and comfortable sleeping accommodations.
WHY RESERVE A VACATION HOME RENTAL RATHER THAN A HOTEL?
Vacation home or condo rentals offer more than a bed and bathroom allowing guests to enjoy family living while on vacation. Additionally, vacation home rentals tend to be much less expensive than a hotel or resort but still offer all of the benefits and access to resort amenities.
HOW DO I FIND A BEACH VACATION HOME RENTAL?
The best way to find a beach vacation home or condo rental is to go directly to the property management company website or to the owners website and book the rental directly. Not only will you find the best rate for the accommodation of your choosing but you will have peace of mind in knowing you are dealing directly with the owners of said rentals or the company they have chosen to manage their vacation home or condo rental. You will always get the best rate when booking directly because the "OTA - Online Travel Agency - Booking Portal" companies collect an additional 5-20% above the normal rate in order to profit from your booking. When you book a vacation home rental directly, you are not paying a commission fee or service fee which can mean a savings of up to 20%! To explain why this is the case let's back up a little bit to explore a typical scenario for a vacation rental search online.
90% of all vacation home rental searches begin online via google or other browser search? Let's say you type in Panama City Beach, Fl condo rental and hit search; the first items on the search will come up and will likely have many ads at the top of the search such as Airbnb, Expedia, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and more. Your next step is searching within one of the "OTA - Online Travel Agency - Booking Portal" websites for a vacation rental which is fine however, because all vacation home rentals are owned by individuals there may be a delay in getting a quote for the dates you requested or you may have additional questions and can't seem to find a number to make contact directly with the owner or the management company for that vacation rental so you end up spending days and days searching and waiting. If you are given a number to call for assistance on one of the big box websites, you are often greeted via phone by someone that has never been to the property and is clearly in another country. Many at this point in their search become uncertain as to whom they are renting from and your are wondering about the "fees". Sound familiar?
Remember the information provided above with respect to the additional 5-20% added to the room rate per night to cover commissions to the "OTA - Online Travel Agency - Booking Portal" website. How do you now find the rental you may like on one of the OTA sites and book it directly with the owner or company and get the best price? Most of the listings on a site such as HomeAway, will have information within the content of the listing stating what the name of the company is for the vacation rental of interest. Write the name of the company down and then search for the company online, most will have their own website, just like Panhandle Getaways. Navigate to the website representing the rental of interest and book your accommodation directly.
WHY BOOKING DIRECTLY MAKES SENSE?
There are several reasons booking directly makes the most sense one of which is peace of mind in understanding what you can expect with regard to the vacation rental itself. There is no better way to understand than dealing directly with the property management company of the vacation home or condo rental or owner. You will always get the best rate. Lastly, booking direct offers a better experience overall. There is something about sharing ones home that feels comfortable, we want to connect with people and places in an authentic way. Our owners open their homes to others hoping to allow others to experience the same joy they do when at their home away from home. You simply can't get that experience any other way than direct.