10 tips for selecting the perfect Costa Rica vacation rental
Planning a Tropical holiday full of lush jungles, secluded beaches, and friendly people but not expensive? Costa Rica is the place to go! But where do you stay? A resort or a private villa? Do you require long lines, crowded pools, babies jogging up and down the corridors? I think not.
Selecting the best Costa Rica holiday rental can be the difference between a great holiday and one where you feel like you are ‘doing without’.
Plenty of vacationers consider the Costa Rica holiday rental as ‘just somewhere to stay’ since most of your time will be spent in or on the water, or enjoying local attractions. Don’t make that mistake. There is no reason to settle for less when, with a little planning, you can find a great Costa Rica holiday rental that you’ll enjoy as much or more than the other parts of your holiday.
Remember, your holiday home is where you’ll be sleeping, waking up, having lots of of your meals, and resting.
If it rains or is unseasonably hot outside, you may end up stretched out reading a book to while away the day or wanting to watch three of your favorite movies on the DVD – assuming there is a comfortable sofa. When you meet new friends, you’ll require someplace lovely for entertaining. Shouldn’t your holiday rental be a pleasant getaway with the amenities that make vacations a real treat? “A home away from home”
Here are 10 tips for selecting the perfect Costa Rica holiday rental:
The web is the quickest and most convenient way for you to get information on prospective Costa Rica holiday rentals. If there are no pics, you’ll know right away to keep looking. Brochures, books and guides are lovely, but may have outdated information.
1. The single most important factor is whether or not you can “see” actual recent photos of the interior and exterior of the holiday rental. It is one thing to read a great description – and a number of them are ‘complimentary’ (sometimes overly so) – but you require to see what you are getting.
With these lists as a guide, you’ll be able to quickly eliminate those rentals that won’t meet your needs. Your list might include proximity to the water, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type kitchen (full versus fridge and microwave), outdoor amenities such as decks and BBQ grills, ocean views, private pools, outdoor eating areas, tennis courts and other items important to you.
2. List the amenities that are important to you, the ones without which you will feel incomplete. Next, jot down those that are lovely to have, but not deal-breakers if not available.
3. List the activities that you require to be able to enjoy while on holiday. A morning activity like scuba diving, snorkeling or canopy tour then coming back to the villa to relax may be a high priority for you.
You should also consider how close the holiday rental is to the airport. it is important to know how far the rental is from your arrival airport. Some rentals can take a half a day’s drive, and after your flight even an hour’s drive can seem an eternity. Your travel time back to the airport at departure can also frustrate your entire holiday. Enjoying your last morning of your holiday by a private pool instead of travelling for hours to the airport can be important to you.
On your secondary list, you might have things like a hammock for lazing about, or pool waterfall for the relaxing sounds. Exterior stereo speakers, to enjoy your favorite music around the pool. Ice makers to mix your favorite drinks, in the heat of the day.
Some people feel that a great holiday is being able to walk or bicycle everywhere. Others don’t mind a short drive, and still others think nothing of getting on a freeway to enjoy attractions.
You should also consider how close you require your holiday rental to be to the attractions.
4. Identify your first, second and third choice of dates for renting the villa. With several dates, you’ll save time when making arrangements.
If you prefer a holiday without the hassles of traffic, parking problems, crowds and long lines, select a villa located in the quaint waterfront town of Playa Panama, Costa Rica.
If you find a villa that you really require and you have some flexibility in scheduling, having alternate dates ready allows you to book right then, saving yourself the time and hassle of having to re-check everyone’s schedule and call back – and risking losing those dates in the interim.
5. Call the telephone numbers for the holiday rentals that seem to meet your needs and speak directly with either the owners or the person who’s handling the property.
Be prepared with a list of questions. This allows you to compare apples to apples, and keeps you from forgetting something important during the conversation.
It also gives you a feel for the person who will be your contact should you rent the villa and then encounter a problem. If you don’t get a warm, friendly welcome to your inquiries, don’t expect anything different when you have a problem.
Other things to consider: Is there a welcome basket? Will the owner have essential items in the refrigerator for you, before your arrival? Can you make arrangements for tours? Are there plates, utensils, pots, pans and other essentials for eating and meal preparation – or will you have to bring your own?
Does the rental have air condition or do you have to depend on the winds to comfort you?
6. Ask what amenities are included. You may learn of something that isn’t on your list but is perfect for your designs. Does the rental have maid service? Last thing you require to do is make the beds or tidy the dishes, even if there is a dishwasher. Does the rental have a washer and dryer? If so, you will not have to take as lots of cloths with you. Will the maid wash your clothes before your departure? Coming home with a suitcase full of tidy clothes is certainly a benefit.
7. Inquire about restaurants, events and activities and other forms of local entertainment that are close by. Here’s where your list of preferred activities comes in handy. You should be able to find links to local attractions, calendars and restaurants on the website of your Costa Rica holiday rental.
8. Are the owners local or do they have a management team helping 24/7? Owners are a wealth of information about the area and can give you tips on great out-of-the-way places that aren’t in the guidebooks. They also care about your enjoyment and comfort while at their villa.
This can make a huge difference should something require immediate attention in the villa. There is nothing worse than calling the rental company about a stopped-up toilet and getting somebody’s bored teenager who’s manning the phones for the summer.
9. How long has the owner been renting holiday rentals? If the owner has worked with rental properties, they know what tenants expect and how to get things done.
If this is a new venture, beware. The owner may be in it for “fun” and have no idea how to prepare the villa so that you can have a great holiday.
10. And last, when you look at the pics, can you see yourself having a great time there?
If the pics make you require to go right now, and the answers to the questions above meet your satisfaction, you have found yourself a great Costa Rica holiday rental!
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