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A Guinea Pig Vacation Rental Guinea Pig on a missionat a Vacation Rental

There has been a lot of talk lately regarding the best ways to discover if you are meeting your guests’ expectations by going on your own vacation and analyzing your experiences.  Whether you decide to do this in another vacation rental or in your own, applying all you’ve learned can be invaluable.

I decided to try this experiment myself and see what I discover.   I rented a short term rental for one week.  Booking just like anyone else I found a location, looked at photos, studied the cost, checked reviews and then made my decision.

Taking a different approach in property selection

I took a different approach though.  I decided to “go all out” and book a property I would not normally book.  My philosophy was that if I book a property that meets all my expectations, I would take everything for granted.  On the other hand, if I were to stay in a property that is lacking, the conditions would force me to take notice.  So I found one with the following:

  • Location:         Good – Check – (I did want a nice location)
  • Photos:            Rooms missing in photos (bathroom, second bedroom), completely original, 1980s décor, oh….tube TV – Check!
  • Price:               Same as others in the area; no less, no more – Check
  • Reviews:         Could be better – Check

Yes my vacaiton rental getaway is awesome!Booking was a breeze.  It couldn’t have been easier.  The owners were very pleasant and wonderful to work with.  Entry upon arrival was smooth and all instructions for departure were conveniently placed on the breakfast bar.  The guest information book was a bit dated and could have used a cleaning, but some of the most important numbers (i.e. emergency, dining out) were included.  YES!!!

After such a wonderful reception from the owners and easy entry I was very optimistic about how my experience would unfold, but I quickly went

From this:                                                                                To this:

 Easy cooking at vacation rental kitchen                    Kitchen nightmare at vacation rental

in a matter of two days.

Not wanting commit Hara-Kari while I was there (and I’m also not a Samaria) I made the best of it and jotted down anything that I found hindered my vacation experience hoping that my findings will help others and I didn’t expire in vain.  The result was this table.   These are items that were missing from the rental or items that could have used updating.

Complete your analysis and start your own list

Take from this what you will; create your own – add your own missing items.   I hope it helps you get started on your own analysis should you choose to do one.

Kitchen: Comments
  • Cabinets/Countertop
 Not securely fastened
  • Ceiling
 Water spots or stains
  • Sink
 Leaks, caulking
  • Stove, Fridge, Microwave
 Fridge – poor working order, stains, rust
  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Sharp knives
  • Salt and Pepper shakers
  • Grater
LR, DR, Bedrooms, Hallways:
  • Walls/Trim
Cracks, water damage
  • Closets
Poor alignment
  • Stairs
Loose handrails
  • Door
Misaligned
  • DVD player/Blu Ray
  • IPod docking station
  • AM/FM stereo
  • Television
  • Furniture
Rips, stains
  • Sturdy furniture legs
  • Extra batteries/light bulbs
  • Clean remotes and guest info book
  • Linens free of stains
  • Flat sheet
  • Fitted sheet
  • Mattress protector
  • Pillows (not enough)
Miscellaneous:
  • Washer/Dryer
Stains, rust
  • Fire extinguisher
Didn’t really need this personally, but thought I might for a minute and it wasn’t there
  • Floor fans
  • Broom & pan
  • Laundry hamper/basket
  • Fly swatter
  • First aid kit
Didn’t really need this either, but an after thought when I thought I might need an extinguisher
  • Mop/Pail /Cleaners
  • Beach/Pool/Hot tub towels – one per adult person
  • Cooler
  • Overall cleanliness

So, all in all, yes, staying in a vacation rental and analyzing my experience was well worth it and is highly recommended.  Thank you Mike Bayer of Cottage Rental Services for your article Don’t Just Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk. I took your advice, learned quite a bit and came out winning.  We take many things for granted until they are no longer around.  The best way to know if you’re missing something is to miss it. Here’s hoping all your guests smile like this.

Anita Ericksen Author of FF&E

Anita Ericksen is the author of FF&E, Furnish and Equip Your Vacation or Executive Property in 5 Days.  You can find out more about her at www.anitaericksen.com.  Photos are clip art and the guinea pig is not mine though I wish he was.

Comments on: "My Adventure as a Guinea Pig at a Vacation Rental" (5)

  1. It’s so true, that people are used to look at a bigger picture without paying attention to little details. The big picture is made of these little details though 😉

  2. […] from: My Adventure as a Guinea Pig at a Vacation Rental | Rentini Blog for … INTERVIEW: The Fine Bros. Take Web Series Beyond Video [Web Series School] Tags: […]

  3. We too have taken vacations using both professional agencies and individuals just to keep us on our game. Overall the professionally managed properties provided the best experience as to upkeep, information, and responsiveness. Although some private owners did a good job, just found the cleanliness to be less than I like. Welcome gifts are a nice touch. Some professional companies keep their units too sterile, no sense of someone actually enjoying it on a regular basis and no basic kitchen supplies (salt, pepper, sugar, flour, spices). But, every time it refreshes us to what we need to be sure happens in our properties. Good article, great attitude for some it would have ruined a vacation and been such a disappointment. I hate when that happens to anyone. Melba.

    • Melba, thanks for your comment. It’s so true on both sides. In my vacation rentals I had to change 3-4 housekeepers before a really good one is found. Everything depends on who is managing it. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a homeowners themselves or a professional property manager. I had good and bad experiences with homeowners and PMs as a guest and as a vacation rental owner. As the article points out we learn as we go from our own experience:)

  4. Nice information this blogs thanks.Australia vacation rentals homes, are in very high demand. For travelers different types of Accommodation in Australia like Resorts, Serviced apartments & holiday units, Bed & Breakfasts, Cottage, Camping & caravan sites and Hotels.

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