Hawaii is paradise on earth, and there’s no shortage of rentals to accommodate those who want to experience its scenic beauty. Here are some tips on finding the perfect vacation rental.
- Scrutinize Photos
Don’t waste time on listings that have minimal or low-quality photos. To give you a good idea of what the place looks like, the listings should contain numerous high-resolution photos of each room.
Ideally, a listing should contain multiple photos of all bedrooms, bathroom, the living area, and the kitchen. It should show you views of and from the balcony, so that you can see how close or far away from the beach the rental really is. The listings should also have photos of shared amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and so on.
Look for listings that offer a video walkthrough of the property, as well as drone footage of the rental from above. Not only does this give you a more accurate idea of what the place looks like, it also gives you a good view of the surrounding areas.
The photos should indicate that the rental is in excellent condition. Don’t hesitate to ask the owner to send additional photos.
- Talk to the Owner
Reach out to the owners and ask any questions you might have about the place. This is one way of verifying whether or not they truly own the rental that is being advertised – you can ask them to show you proof of ownership over email.
Take it as an opportunity to find out what their procedure is for giving you the key, as well as taking it back.
You can also ask them if they’ll be around to address any problems that might emerge during your stay, or if a hired hand will be the one to assist you upon arrival.
- Read Reviews
Look up reviews on TripAdvisor and Airbnb to find out if they’ve been honest in describing their rental. Reviews are readily available online, and all you need to do is google the name or address of the rental you plan to stay in. You can also reach out to friends, family, and colleagues who’ve stayed in the rental before.
- Compare Prices
A quick Google search will turn up other rentals in the area. Compare prices to see if the owner is charging you a fair rate. This is a great way to hunt for bargains and good deals online. Knowing the standard rate for renting in Hawaii will help you filter your options and choose the best one.
It won’t hurt to ask for a lower price, especially if you intend to stay in the rental long-term. The owner might be willing to negotiate if you make it clear that you’ll be staying for several weeks, months, or the whole season.
That said, avoid making lowball offers – it might turn them off and make them unwilling to deal with you.
- Protect Your Payment
Wiring money directly to the owner puts you at risk. One of the safest ways to pay for a rental is via credit card on PayPal. In this kind of arrangement, only PayPal can access your credit card details. You can also expect some degree of protection. PayPal and your credit card company can act as an intermediary if disputes with payment arise.