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12 Feb 2023
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Vacation Rentals

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 an OTA - Online Travel Agency 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! We have helpful 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 rent their home to others. Owners of the vacation home have equipped it 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 rentals offer more than a bed and bathroom! Renting an individual home or condo unit allows 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 and book the rental directly. Not only will you find the best rate for the accommodation, but you will save money AND 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 companies collect an additional fee of 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%! 

90% of all vacation home rental searches begin online via search. Let's say you type in "Panama City Beach, Fl condo rental" and hit search; the first items will likely have many ads at the top of the search such as Airbnb, Expedia, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and more. Your next step could be to search within one of the OTA - Online Travel Agency - booking portal websites. However, 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 could end up spending days searching and waiting. If you are given a number to call for assistance on one of the big box OTA 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.

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 DOES BOOKING DIRECT 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.

Vacation Rental Inquiry

Please fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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