Now that Spring Break is over, many families are turning their attention back towards work and school until Memorial Day. This means that most families will also wait until late May or June to book their summer vacation. Many vacationers believe that better deals can be had by waiting and booking a reservation at the last minute. While that may be true for hotels, travelers looking to stay in a vacation rental are better off booking their trips further in advance.
There is More Inventory to Choose From
Privately owned condos and beach houses are usually decorated to the owner’s taste. Even within the same building, the quality and comfort of vacation rentals can vary widely. Savvy travelers know that the most desirable vacation rentals book earlier in the year when there is more inventory to choose from. By waiting until the last minute to book your summer vacation, you will be limiting your available options and reducing the chances of finding the perfect location for your stay.
Rental Rates are Lower
Summer rates are typically lower the earlier you book. That’s because management companies offer lower starting rates early in the year to encourage more guests to book in advance. As inventory fills up and the demand for summer reservations increases, rental rates increase as well. You can take advantage of lower starting rates by booking your vacation earlier and locking in a lower rate.
Cancellation Penalties are Small if you Cancel Far Enough in Advance
Most management companies have a 30 day cancellation policy. That means that you will forfeit anywhere from 50% to even 100% of the reservation cost if you cancel within 30 days of your arrival date. If you’re making your reservation within 30 days of your planned arrival, then you are locking yourself into your selected dates and rental unit the moment you book. By booking further in advance though, you allow yourself more time to plan and adjust your reservation if need be. Some rental companies even allow travelers that book more than 30 days in advance the ability to reserve a room risk free with no money down and no cancellation fee if the reservation is canceled more than 30 days in advance. The rental companies that do require a deposit at the time of booking will typically still refund your deposit less a $50 cancellation fee if you cancel 30 days in advance.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t pay to procrastinate when making your summer vacation plans. Booking your summer vacation in advance means that you will get the best room at the best price without the risk of a last minute vacation. What do you have to lose?