In the Internet dreamlike mansions, holiday houses and vacation homes can be found in the whole world. However, the fear of being caught by a scammer often resonates with the booking process. We give you these valuable tips for a successful holiday home rental.
You should be careful, especially with private online bookings where there was previously only e-mail contact. After paying the deposit, it often turns out that the booked holiday home does not even exist. Before the first euro has been paid, the cautious tenant must be given the complete address of the supplier and offer, including tax number and turnover tax ID – and not just e-mail and mobile phone number.
The police recommend that you make at least one personal phone call when making private bookings. Under no circumstances should you transfer the entire travel price in advance. A maximum of 30 percent is usual for private travellers. In general, it is dangerous to book directly with a foreign landlord. In this case, it is difficult to reclaim the money paid in advance. And naturally Turkish right applies to a holiday house rent of privately in Turkey.
Complaints become there easily protracted and expensive. A few percent more expensive, but safer, is the payment via portals such as AirBnB or Fewodirekt. They pay the landlord the money the day after arrival.
Choose reputable providers
Of course you can book your holiday home over the internet. The safest thing is, however, who chooses a German tour operator (this is recognizable by the general terms and conditions). If something goes wrong, the consumer-friendly German package travel law always applies instead of the tenancy law in the host country. With the reservation confirmation, the traveller also receives a security certificate which protects him or her in the event of the organiser’s bankruptcy.
In terms of quality, you are on the safe side with “best” holiday homes. Already since 1994 the German tourism federation lends holiday houses in Germany between one and five stars. That is in each case a good decision making aid with the reservation. There are similar classifications also in Austria and Denmark.
Assessing the situation correctly
With the proximity to the sea also the price rises. Conversely, this means that if you want to save money, you can stay two or three kilometres behind the beach line and then take your bikes with you. How far is the nearest supermarket and restaurant? Before booking you should have a look at the surroundings via Google Maps or Streetview. So you can reliably see the motorway behind your front door. But be careful: the satellite pictures are up to four years old, the construction site next door was still a meadow.
Rent a bigger house
On vacation, you don’t want to live like the chickens in the stable. That’s why connoisseurs are always looking for a house for one or two more people than they actually are. And a second bath can also do no harm if you have adolescent daughters or sons with you.
Read the description meticulously
Especially professional mediators are often masters in hiding disadvantages of a holiday home in the description. Who rents a “clean and purposefully furnished” house probably expects little comfort. “Bus stop 100 m” indicates that the infrastructure is within walking distance. And information such as the maximum number of occupants and which pets to take with you is better not to be overlooked anyway.
Also the equipment check is important: Nobody wants to have it worse on vacation than at home. That is why the compulsory check does not only include whether bed linen and towels must be brought along, but also how it is ordered with dishwasher, TV, washing machine, garden furniture. Important for parents with small children: Is there a sandbox? Swing? Children’s chairs? And for car drivers, the question of parking space is of course important.
Get second opinions
Even those who have already found their dream house should search a little further, compare prices, look at photos. On the one hand, this is because many landlords offer their properties through different channels with different information and often at different prices: Here more pictures are to be seen, there already the availability is indicated on-line. On the other hand, some portals often also offer their own services such as included insurance or security for the deposit.
Valuable are also evaluations of former tenants. Providers such as E-Domizil or Atraveo make the experiences of guests who have already been there a part of the presentation: Those who have already lived there can award marks and also criticise or praise in prose. It may also be worthwhile obtaining other opinions in evaluation forums such as Holidaycheck or holiday home opinion.