You are ready for some sun and fun or a trip to the mountains, but a single room in a hotel or motel just does not sound so inviting. What you really want is a place with a living room and a separate bedroom for the kids or other guests. You may even be looking for a kitchen to prepare a meal or two.
Your mind begins to think about a condo rental for this vacation. A quick scan of the prices and a motel is sounding better. How do you find a great deal on a condo rental? Although nothing is for certain, you can find a deal or two with a little work and planning in advance. When you want to rent a condo in some popular area, you need some guidelines to save some money.
Rent from a friend or family member.
Alright so this is possible for only a small percent of those looking for a vacation rental. The reality is that if you network a little, there are condos that can be rented for significant discounts if you can rent it directly from the owner. Not everyone who owns a vacation condo wants to let it be rented through an agent.
These people do not need the rental money to pay for the condo. So, they only rent it out a few times a year to friends, family, and sometimes friends of friends. Do some poking around. You may surprise yourself at how quickly someone is able to make a connection for you. You have to be brave enough to ask to rent it, but to save hundreds of dollars on a few days or a week of rental, it is worth it.
Buy unused vacation points from club members.
Some people have bought upgrades to vacation time share property. When they do this, it is common for them to accrue more points than they can or will use. Unlike condo owners, these folks are frequently working deals to trade their points for money. They can sell you their excess points that can be used to purchase deep discounts at great condos in prime locations. Some of these packages can get you a 3 to 5 room condo for under $100 per night. These properties are extremely well maintained and are frequently within walking distance of your destination.
Go on vacation just before or after the peak season.
When you go on vacation at times away from the peak season, you run the risk of less than ideal conditions. It may be cooler at the beach, or the snow skiing may be a little rough. The savings can be colossal. Many of these condo rentals can be purchased for half price or lower during the off season. One week or two can make all the difference in the world regarding the price.
The pricing in these areas just falls off of the cliff when the peak season ends. People who shop for these deals find that condos with a rental cost of $2,000 per week during the peak season will cost $750 per week two weeks later. If you are willing to take the risk, it will usually pay off big.
Rent a condo that is a little farther away from the action.
Condos that are not right on the beach or a short walk from the attraction cannot command the prices of those that are. If you do not mind a little inconvenience, it can translate into a big savings. These savings are substantial during the peak seasons and are even sweeter during the off peak times. Frequently, these condos will offer shuttle service to their guests. Others may have some amenities not found at the prime locations. They may even be larger and better furnished.
Book your condo at the last minute.
You may find that there are no condo rentals available at the last minute in you preferred spot. If you can be flexible with two or three locations, you will almost always find a bargain condo rental. If the agents believe that the condo will sit vacant for a week, they will often drop the price to make the rental happen.
If you are booking last minute, try negotiating the price. You may be surprised by the amount that you will save. If someone has cancelled with late notice, the rental will already have made its money for the week. Finding another renter at the last minute is just icing on the cake for the agent.