Staying in a vacation rental should be a fun and relaxing experience. You’re on vacation, you’re getting out of the house, and you get to enjoy yourself. But if you’re not staying in a hotel where everything is taken care of for you, you may not be sureabout the rules and etiquette around being a vacation rental guest.

Here are some tips for making sure that you leave the property in the best shape possible.

1. Clean the kitchen as you use it.The kitchen is one of the main reasons people choose a particular home to rent. It has all the bells and whistles you want, and it saves you from going out to restaurants three times a day. Having a kitchen can make your home-away-from-home feel “just like home.” The dishes that you use will be readily available for the next time you eat. The counter will be wiped for when you want to prepare dinner again. Instead of taking so much time to clean on the last day, you spend minimal time tidying up the kitchen to your satisfaction. Keeping it clean while you’re there will save you a lot of stress and headaches in the long run.

2. Get to know the policies.As people shop around for a place to rent, it can be easy to miss the rules the property owners have written. And if you miss them, you might be unhappy; the owners certainly will be.

Take some time to go over the policies for each property you’re interested in. If necessary, have someone else double-check them for you. Your family situation may be unique, and the vacation rental you’re interested in may not be able to accommodate your situation.

3. Get the owner’s contact information beforehand.Being prepared for unexpected situations is a must for any kind of travel. Having the owner’s contact information will ensure you have help if a situation comes up, like if something breaks on the property. The owner is responsible for the upkeep of the vacation rental, no matter how long you’re staying there, so they’ll fix the issue.

4 Do not sneak in a pet.Pay close attention to the rules about pets in the vacation rental. Some people will allow them; some people say absolutely not. And some rental listings don’t say anything about them Generally ()but not always!), when there’s no mention, it should be okay to bring a small pet. But, you absolutely should ask first before you make an assumption.

Just be aware that some vacation rental policies are very specific about certain breeds, certain sizes, or certain types of animals. Some places may charge cleaning fees, and some people may not care at all. Just keep in mind that some people are allergic to pets, and the rule is less about keeping you from bringing a pet as it makes the place comfortable for the guest who comes right after you.

When you’re looking for a pet-friendly vacation rental, use the pet filter to narrow the search for pet-friendly properties. If you’re not having any luck, turn off the filter and look for the listings that don’t say anything about pets. Then contact the owners to ask about your pets. You don’t want to miss a great opportunity due to a slight oversight of a policy.

5. Leave a good review.Good vacation rental experiences deserve good recommendations. It helps the owners book future guests, which keeps them in business if you ever want to return. Leave a brief but descriptive review of your stay. What you write may be the deciding factor for another person.

6. Book your Airbnb through Delta.If you’re part of the Delta Airlines SkyMiles loyalty club, and you want to stay at an Airbnb for your vacation rental, you can earn Delta miles if youbook through the Delta/Airbnb website. (There are also partnerships between Airbnb andBritish Airways,Qantas Airlines, andANA (Japan) Airlines.)

What are some of your vacation rental tips? How do you make sure you have a great experience? Share them with uson our Facebook page, oron our Twitter stream. You can also find us on ourInstagram page at @TravelproIntl.

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