Going on vacation these days means booking a vacation rental where you feel safe and comfortable. While that can be a hotel — hotels are doing extensive cleaning and sanitizing now — many people often feel better staying in a house or apartment through Airbnb or similar services.
Even so, there are a few things you should do when booking a vacation rental in an Airbnb, VRBO, or other vacation home or apartment.
Check local infection rates. The pandemic is becoming less of a factor as more people are getting vaccinated and the infection rates are dropping, as well as more and more people willing to go out in public. But while the numbers may be lower in your area, that doesn't necessarily mean they're low everywhere. One thing you'll want to do is to see how your destination is faring. You can use the New York Times Coronavirus Map and Count to see how a particular state, and even a county, is doing with the total number of cases, per capita (per 100,000 residents), and the daily average over the last week. You'll want to check it fairly regularly as your time to depart draws closer just to make sure nothing drastic has changed.
Be honest with your vacation rental host. Most hosts are asking their guests some questions about what they have been doing while they stayed on their property. Some hosts are even being more cautious about who they actually let stay on their properties. You may not even be asked not to travel to certain places until you arrive on their property. So be prepared to be honest with your vacation rental host and tell them where you've been. You don't want to risk getting anyone else sick, like the future occupants or the hosts. After all, you would want the people before you to be honest; you should extend the same courtesy.
Most places have strict cleaning policies, but bring your cleaning supplies. Most vacation rental property owners have a sense of pride in their property anyway, which means they're taking good care of their place. They're cleaning, sterilizing, and disinfecting. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't bring your own cleaning supplies. Even if you visit a local store and pick up a container of disinfectant wipes, you can wipe down surfaces you and your family and friends have been touching, as well as give any touch-ups to areas you think may have been forgotten.
Continue to take precautions. People are taking their first steps back into the public after a year, and it may feel like you can finally cut loose and go back to the way things were two years ago. But that's still not true. As a good traveler, you want to respect your destination and the people who live there. You still need to mask up, and you should avoid gathering in enclosed spaces. When going to restaurants, eat outside whenever possible, or buy your food and go back to your vacation rental. Even better, buy food from grocery stores and cook there — you'll save a lot more money that way, and you'll reduce the risk of spreading the virus (or catching it yourself.
Don't forget to leave a great review. If you've ever read reviews on Amazon, Best Buy, or Yelp, you know how important they are to other people feeling comfortable about their purchases. Reviews are what attract future travelers to vacation rentals as well. So always leave a good review of your stay (assuming it was a good stay). It doesn't have to be overly long, but it should be descriptive and hit the highlights. And don't one-star a host because of one small problem. Ask them to take care of it while you're still there and let them regain your high review.
How are you feeling about booking a vacation rental? Are you ready to travel yet, or are you waiting a while longer? Share your ideas and experiences with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: Artistic Operations (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)