Family vacations are magical experiences that create lasting memories. Whether it’s an idyllic beach retreat, a thrilling mountain adventure, or a quaint countryside getaway, the choice of accommodation can significantly impact the overall vacation experience. When selecting a rental property for a family vacation, safety is as important as comfort and aesthetics. This guide will explore the tips and tricks to choose a safe and family-friendly rental property.
Table of Contents
List Your Priorities and Requirements
Every family is different, and so are their vacation needs. Some families prioritize a spacious kitchen for home-cooked meals, while others may seek properties with an entertainment system or proximity to tourist attractions. So, sit down with your family and list the most important things to you. Create a comprehensive list with categories like:
- Essentials: Number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and so on.
- Kid-friendly features: Does the property need a crib, toys, or a fenced yard?
- Amenities: Are a swimming pool, gym, or BBQ area crucial for your family?
- Special Requirements: Do you need accessibility features, or is a pet-friendly environment important?
Consider Factors Like Budget, Location, Size, and Amenities
Once you have a list, consider the more overarching factors guiding your search.
- Budget: Establish a clear budget, considering not just the rental cost but also transportation, meals, and activities.
- Location: The ideal location depends on the vacation you plan. Want to explore the city’s culture? A downtown location might be beneficial. Are you looking for a serene getaway? A property in the outskirts might be more suitable.
- Size: The size of the property is directly linked to comfort. Ensure there is enough space for everyone to move around without feeling cramped.
- Amenities: Based on your priority list, filter your options by amenities. If a secure parking space or high-speed internet is essential for you, ensure the property offers these features.
Use Reliable Websites and Apps to Browse Options
Now that you’re armed with a list and considerations begin your search on trustworthy platforms.
- Read Reviews Carefully: Look for comments about safety, cleanliness, and host reliability.
- Cross-Reference: Don’t just rely on one platform. Cross-reference the property listings on multiple websites to get a broader perspective.
- Contact Hosts: Once you’ve narrowed down a few options, contact the hosts. This step helps clarify any uncertainties and gives you a sense of the host’s responsiveness and willingness to ensure a safe and comfortable stay for your family.
- Verify Host Credentials: Contact the host, ask questions about the property, and gauge their responsiveness and credibility. Some platforms offer verified IDs for hosts, which adds an extra layer of security.
- Understand the Safety Amenities: Look for listings detailing the available safety features, like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, etc. Secure locks and security systems are added advantages.
Check the Area
Checking the surrounding area is a crucial but often overlooked step when selecting a rental property for your family vacation.
Neighborhood Safety: Use resources like local news websites, crime reports, and even Google Street View to evaluate the neighbourhood’s safety.
Accessibility: Is the property accessible via public transport or on isolated roads? Ensure you only book a too-remote property if that’s part of your adventure plan.
Proximity to Amenities: A property near a hospital, police station, or a well-lit and busy area is generally a good sign.
Secure a Backup Accommodation: Have a backup plan in the form of an affordable hotel or another rental property you’ve vetted but have yet to book. This Plan B can be a lifesaver if your initial choice doesn’t meet your expectations or has safety issues.
Upon Arrival: Conduct a Safety Check
When you arrive, the first thing to do is to perform a safety inspection.
Check Locks and Windows: Ensure all locks are functional. If you spot any broken or insufficient, request immediate repair or consider moving to your backup accommodation. Moreover, a property with security screen doors is generally a good sign that the host has thought about safety.
Look for Hidden Cameras: Although it’s rare, there have been instances where hosts have installed hidden cameras. Familiarize yourself with what these might look like and thoroughly search common areas like the living room and bedrooms.
Test Safety Equipment: If the property has smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, ensure they’re operational.
Childproof the Area: Conduct a childproofing safety sweep if you have young children. Look for hazards like loose wires, sharp corners, or accessible cleaning supplies.
During the Stay
Secure Valuables: Use safes if available. If not, consider bringing a portable safe for important documents and valuables.
Stay Vigilant: Always lock doors and windows when you leave the property. Be cautious of your surroundings and be alert for any suspicious activity.
Local Emergency Services: Be familiar with the emergency number and the quickest route to the nearest hospital.