How to Save Money When Renting Vacation Cabins
Renting vacation cabins is a fun way to spend time immersed in the great outdoors, making it a favorite option for many professionals who want to disconnect, families looking for an adventure, and a variety of other travelers. Plus, renting vacation cabins usually means more privacy, as you typically have the entire structure to yourself. However, vacation cabins aren’t always the most budget-friendly. Fortunately, you can help it fit into your budget easier by using the right approach. Here’s a look at how to save money when renting vacation cabins.
Comparison Shop Before You Commit
When you’re looking for vacation cabins, you can find properties in a wide variety of places. State and National Parks may have vacation cabins available to rent. Additionally, you can find options through resorts, as well as privately owned properties on sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
In some cases, the least expensive option that meets your needs may not be where you expect. As a result, it’s wise to check out rentals through several different sites, allowing you to figure out where the best deal is before you commit to a property.
Avoid Peak Travel Periods
Prices on vacation rental cabins spike when more people are traveling. As a result, you can save a pretty penny by avoiding peak travel season. Usually, that means avoiding times when children are out of school, including summer vacation, winter holidays, and spring break.
If you want warmer weather, aim for May, early June, or September. However, if you’re open to being in the cabin when it’s cooler, February and October can be worth considering, too.
Additionally, be flexible with the dates. Choosing weekdays over weekends can work in your favor, as well as skipping dates that coincide with major federal holidays or events you don’t want to attend, like fairs, festivals, concerts, conventions, or sports games.
Time Your Reservation Properly
For households where avoiding peak travel periods isn’t possible or those that simply want the best deal possible, try to book your vacation cabin as far in advance as possible. Usually, prices are lower when there aren’t many bookings set up for a date that’s significantly down the road, which can help you save.
In some cases, you can also score great deals by booking at the last minute. Some properties will reduce the cost to fill up the property when there are unexpected vacancies. While this requires a significant amount of flexibility and isn’t guaranteed to work since there might not be any vacancies, making it risky, it’s worth considering.
Review All of the Fees
A vacation cabin rental may look affordable on the surface. However, when you factor in fees that aren’t included in the main price, that good deal can quickly turn into a financial hardship.
Along with checking for taxes, look for additional costs like cleaning, resort, service, booking, or parking fees. Many of those expenses aren’t part of the base price, and some of them are sizeable.
Also, look for details about any damage deposits or incidentals holds. While those are typically refundable, they can tie up a significant amount of money during your stay, and the charges may not disappear until several days after you check out.
Depending on the vacation cabin itself and whether you can speak directly with a property owner or manager, you may be able to negotiate a better deal in some cases. Usually, this is easier to accomplish if you have some type of leverage.
For example, if there are numerous vacancies, you may be able to talk them into a lower rate, as it leads to rental income. Similarly, if you’re planning to stay for an extended period and there isn’t a discount available for longer stays, you may be able to request one. In some cases, you may be able to get specific fees removed or reduced if they can’t budge on the daily price of the cabin.
Often, this is easier if you can show that similar cabins are available in the area for a lower price. Do some research to see what’s typical in the area, and use specific examples of other vacation rentals during the discussion if you go this route.
It’s also wise to show a degree of enthusiasm for that specific cabin during the conversation, as that may make the idea feel more appealing to the property manager or owner. However, it’s important to remain calm and polite at all times, as well as accept that they can say “no.” If they decline and the firm price doesn’t fit with your budget, thank them for your time and then explore other options instead of pushing the point.
Do you have any other tips that could help others save money when renting vacation cabins? Have you used any of the strategies above and want to tell others about your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.