Hotels, B&Bs, and hostels aren’t the only places to find accommodation for your perfect vacation. Apartment rentals can be the best decision you’ve ever made – they offer more privacy and square footage, so they can be a much better fit for some travellers. Sure, it can be a little unnerving to commit to vacation rentals like a house or apartment when you’ve always booked a hotel, but take the plunge and you’ll be so glad you did.
Just let us give you the inside scoop on what to look for in an apartment for your next vacation in Miami, and you’ll know exactly what to ask when you start making those calls.
Do Some Comparison Shopping
Every knows that Miami aint cheap, but apartment prices can be surprisingly comparable with hotel rates. Check around first with the hotels you would stay in. See what the area of your room would be, and check out the location. Then, do the same with the apartments you’ve scoped out. You’ll likely find that the square footage of your hotel room is going to be less than that of most rentals you look at.
It’s also important, and especially when it’s mom, dad, and the kids, to see about a bedroom for you and your partner to share. Nothing kills the mood more than spending every waking (and sleeping) moment with your entire brood mere feet from you. Right there, you will eliminate a lot of the hotel rates due to the price for a suite being a bit higher. Even a one-bedroom apartment will often have a pull-out sofa bed and sleep four people.
Location Matters Too!
Miami is a big city, so if you plan on staying at the beach for the entire time you’re in town, look for hotels and apartments either directly on the beach or close by. If you have a rental car, you can look at options a little bit farther from your stomping grounds, but remember that rental car mileage and fuel costs will rack up a bill by the end of your trip, so if you want to be near lots of shopping, restaurants and attractions other than just sand and water sports, you might want to look for something in an area with more of what you want nearby.
If you’re going to choose an apartment over a hotel, figure out what’s included in your stay. You might have heat, hot water, and a full kitchen, but do they have wi-fi, a locked lobby door, or dishes to eat off of? What about parking? Is there a pool on site? Laundry? These kinds of things are important clinchers for where you’re going to stay because the minute your 10 yr. old figures out that there isn’t any Nickelodeon, you may be sorry, and your partner will sleep a lot better if they know that your rental car isn’t being busted into on the street outside as you sleep. Air conditioning is a must in Miami too, so if any apartment still doesn’t have it, keep looking!
There will be rules you’ll need to consider when vacationing in an apartment or condo. For instance, some complexes will allow pets, but only certain ones, certain sizes of pets, or on an approval-only basis. There will also probably be a policy for the building in regards to smoking, and you would be surprised how many complexes are disallowing smoking on patios as well as indoors.
Yet another good thing to make sure of is the orientation of the building. Some apartment buildings are adult-oriented or for ‘mature tenants only’, which is important in terms of respect for the peace and privacy of permanent tenants. – and since Florida is a popular retirement destination for a lot people, you will need to verify that kids are allowed in the building you hope to stay in if you plan on bringing them with you.
What Are the Fees?
Nothing comes for free, and while some of the pricey hotels offer great complimentary amenities, you may find that a vacation rental is a great contender due to their price being initially higher with minimal fees. Some rental companies will charge renters parking, cleaning, and admin fees. There are others who will create a surcharge that takes care of a small portion of the annual condo fees, garbage collection, water bill, and maintenance charges. Don’t forget to ask about security deposits and pet deposits too. No one wants to be surprised when they show up for the keys.
Go With a Reputable Company
You can’t always know for sure what you’re getting into when you rent a vacation home from afar, but you can do a few things to ensure you don’t lose your money or end up getting a raw deal. Going with an agency that specializes in vacation rentals is the perfect safety screening.
Get online and check the user ratings on the owner or company, and see what people had to say about the apartment when they returned from their trip. Most owners are also able to provide references to back up their apartment photos or profile too.
See? It’s actually really simple to find out how to book a sweet apartment for your vacation. You just need to shop around, look in the right places, and ask the right questions. Do these things, and you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about where to stay. Hopefully it’s a place with a fantastic view by the best restaurants and cool decor! Happy Travels!