June 2018

Every year millions of consumers take to the internet conducting a search for the perfect vacation rental. Every search for a vacation rental begins with a general search and wouldn't it be great to know you are getting the best price for your selection of vacation rental via one website? Finding a vacation rental that suits the experience you envision having during your vacation can be one of the most frustrating crap shoots a consumer can take. What if we told you there is a way to make your search for the perfect vacation rental EASY? When we say easy; we mean across the board easier to find and book a vacation home rental, easier to assess whether you are getting the best price for the vacation home rental of your choice with confidence. YES folks, we are here to tell you there is a better way................BOOK DIRECTLY WITH THE COMPANY MANAGING THE VACATION HOME OR WITH THE OWNER OF THE HOME! It is really that SIMPLE!

Say goodbye to endless searches on travel sites such as Expedia, VRBO, HomeAway, and Airbnb to search in an attempt to locate the choices for your destination of choice. Leave behind the frustration in trying to figure out the additional service charge added by any of the OTA channels (Expedia, Homeaway. & similar). Stop feeling like you need to go to every site you know of to make sure all information is the same and to compare pricing. Sure there are additional travel sites to review such as Kayak & but the truth is you are viewing a rate comparison overview for the home of your choice based on the rates shown on the online travel agency websites (OTA's such as Airbnb, VRBO & The rate comparison travel web sites boast to consumers the convenience of comparing price among all of the well known travel websites rather than going to all the different travel sites which supposedly make it "easier" to make sure you are getting the "best rate" for your vacation rental. Make the search for a vacation rental the pleasurable and exciting experience it should be.....after all you are excited to plan your getaway. Why should you start the process with an incredibly frustrating process of searching every site you can think of and then some.

There is no better way to get the best price for a vacation rental than booking direct. No better way to make sure a vacation home has all of the things you are looking for in a rental for your vacation. No other travel site is familiar enough to provide accurate & correct information for with the vacation rental home you are considering for your vacation than the owners or property management companies that represent the vacation homes themselves!

Why is it a better experience and less expensive to book direct?

Companies such as ours, Panhandle Getaways, that manage a vacation rental homes & the owners themselves always offer the base rate & best price. On our website there are no commissions to consider because we are not utilizing a third party travel channel to secure a booking so, the rates are not marked up to cover that commission fee. Below are the Top 3 reasons why booking direct is best.

  1. We do not have to "mark up" cleaning and reservation fees that OTA channels take commissions on for any booking. Example: Airbnb gets a commission on the rental rate & the cleaning fees!
  2. Our rates are at least 10% less but 90% of the rental rates on our website are 15% LESS than what is shown on an OTA channel such as and expedia.


Booking your 2018 vacation rental allows you to save hundreds of dollars! The reason is simple, booking direct allows you to avoid all of the additional booking fees one will find on any traditional travel channel such as Expedia, VRBO, HomeAway and thousands of others! An average savings is 210.00 per booking! Isn't that money you would like to keep? #bookdirect


October 2017

Ready for a Beach Vacay?

Here's why we think FALL is the best time to visit the GULF coast!

1) All the fun and festivals! The fall season is home to many food, music, and wine/beer festivals along the coast. We've listed a couple of the premier events below that spotlight some of the area's best. But there are many more...from Seaside's Seeing Red Wine Fest to the Beach Home for the Holidays at PCB, and others.

2) No crowds! With summer in the rear-view and the kids back in school, it's not unheard of to spend a day on the beach at some locations and see hardly a soul. Enjoy the best restaurants and nightlife that the coast has to offer....minus the long waits and traffic delays!

3) The savings!!!! We all like to save money....especially on our travel. The fall and winter seasons see rental rates tumble from their peak season highs. So you can enjoy a great weekend getaway with the girls, or bring the family to the beach at a fraction of the cost of peak season rates.

The water is still beautiful. The sun is shining and the palms are swaying in the ocean breeze. The beach is waiting for you.....and we're here to help that vacay come to life. Click below to pick out the perfect beach property for your fall getaway!
Plus there is always something going on at the beach along 30A, Panama City Beach, Destin & Ft. Walton Beach, Florida!

Panhandle Getaways wants you to know that when you book directly via our website you will ALWAYS get the best rate available.

What does "Book Direct" mean? Booking direct refers to a reservation/booking made directly via a companies website.

If you were to make a reservation or book a vacation rental on a website such as VRBO, HomeAway, Expedia or you are NOT booking direct. You are also NOT getting the best rate possible and this is a very simple fact. If you have booked on one of these sites you have 100% of the time paid more for your vacation rental or hotel room than you would have had you booked that very same rental or room directly with the company responsible for supplying the vacation rental or hotel room. This is pretty shocking to most people but it is without a doubt 100% accurate!

Why? The reason this is the case is that ALL of the sites listed above that are what we call an OTA (online travel agency) and ALL online travel agencies charge a commission to "sell" rooms on their OTA website. This is a very common practice but what many do not realize is that because the OTA companies are selling a room for a property manager, owner or hotel you have to pay more for the same room due to the commission charged and this commission is anywhere between 15-20%. Additionally, for a site such as VRBO and HomeAway they charge you directly a "service fee" that ranges anywhere from 5-10% of the daily rate and there is no way to even know what percentage rate will be assigned for this little "service fee".

The absolute hands down best way to ALWAYS get the best rate is to book your vacation rental directly with the company that represents the vacation home for the owner. Another benefit to booking direct is the ability to speak and communicate directly with the staff that can answer any and all questions you may have about a particular vacation rental property you are considering. Most vacation rental / property management companies provide the same travel insurance offered by an OTA channel so there is quite literally no reason to pay more than you need to for a vacation rental, EVER!

Booking directly has never been easier than it is today. You can access for instance our Panhandle Getaways Website 24/7 via desktop, ipad or mobile device. You will never get frustrated waiting to see if your booking is approved, you will never be shown properties that are no where near where you want to stay. Our website is simple to navigate, provides all information you need and we provide a phone number should you want to ask a question about a particular property. Best of all, you will receive the lowest rate 100% of the time when you book with our company directly.

We think finding your next beach vacation rental should be easy so we decided to share a few tips for your next beach vacation rental search. So, how do you find the perfect vacation rental in Panama City Beach, Destin, 30A and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida and get the best rate? Below we share a bit of basic information to get you started.

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 - 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Booking a vacation rental directly with the property manager will always be the easiest and most cost effective way to book a vacation rental....skip the headaches and enjoy your search here with us.