If you’re ready to live out that nature lifestyle for a quick weekend trip or for a get-away moment, then you’ve come to the right place.
Whether it’s a solo fishing trip on a serene lake or a group night-out in the middle of the woods, you’ll need a trusty cabin that won’t only save you money but will also provide you the comfort of a home away from home.
Renting a cabin is a perfect deal for a vacation. But it might put a lot of pressure on your shoulder since finding cabin rentals with amazing deals without having to opt for a shabby one is difficult.
There’s nothing enjoyable sleeping under a leaky roof in a moldy sheet even if you’re set on the most beautiful location.
So how exactly can you snag that perfect cabin without breaking a bank?
Here are a few tips and tricks for finding the perfect vacation rental.
#1 – Know your Who, What, When, Where, and How.
Before you even begin looking for a cabin, you have to know your basic W’s and H.
This means who, what, when, where, and how. Are you going alone or bringing your family with you?
Do you just plan on sitting around catching up or doing some outdoorsy adventures? What season do you plan on going out? How will you travel to your destination?
Knowing these simple things will greatly help you create a checklist on your mind of things to look for in a cabin rental. You might want to have a couple of rooms, a cabin accessible by a car, or a secluded one to meditate and rest.
By doing so, you’ll able to determine what are your needs and wants and how much will it cost.
You’ll definitely don’t want to overspend on some cabins that have features that you can’t or won’t use.
But don’t be too cheap that you’ll deprive yourself of luxury.
The goal is to save money, not tighten your pocket at every single thing. Stick to your basic must-haves and go from there.
#2 – Plan it in advance
Try your best to plan your cabin trips in advance in order to get the best deals. For example, try booking a summer cabin in the winter season.
Not only you’ll have the higher possibilities for a great deal because of the lack of peak season charges, but you’ll also have the first pick on booking dates.
That means you won’t have to fight for a weekend or holiday slots.
By planning it in advance, you’ll also have more time to prepare for your actual trip. This might be crucial to most people, especially on the budget side of things.
It’s not really an ideal vacation when you shelled out almost all of your money on a nice rental place but don’t have anything else reserved for your activities and necessities
#3 – Touristy locations will cost you more
When searching for a place to spend your vacation, the more visited a place is, the more costly it will be.
That also applies to rental cabins. If you’re renting on the Blue Ridge Mountains or on Lake Tahoe, expect to have higher rates compared to a lowkey place.
So if you’re trying to save as much as you can, you might want to avoid touristy locations.
But that doesn’t mean that your options left are places that are not worth visiting or spending money.
Google is your best friend at this point. Look for cabin rental options that are basically hidden gems that offer value when it comes to accommodations and is located in places that can offer the activities that you want to do.
#4 – Search more than one site
If you’re sticking to Airbnb, chances are, you’re not going to get the best value when it comes to cabin rentals.
Getting the best value and options means going to different listings from multiple sources.
You should have a clue at this point on where you want to go so delve in deep on location-specific types. Usually, you’ll find high-quality listings that people don’t usually see when they search the Internet.
Booking from a travel agency might also be a good idea since they usually have affiliations and special discount rates for cabin rentals.
This might be your best bet when you’re booking one in a tourist location during peak seasons.
#5 – Ask for actual photos of the cabin
This is really important to avoid a reality versus expectations scenario.
The owner of the cabin will definitely want people to rent their place so they will do their best to doll up the area as much as possible for photos but don’t do it upon your arrival.
Or send an old photo when the cabin was newly constructed and on its prime.
Some of them will just pull an image off the Internet and post it as their own listing.
Regardless of the situation, you should always ask for the actual photos of the cabin.
It wouldn’t hurt to ask for any possible issues that you might encounter on your stays such as poor plumbing, rotational blackouts, or any infestations.
#6 – Read the fine print
When you finally found a perfect place to book, make sure that you read the fine prints. This means checking for any additional charges on top of the rental charge.
A lot of cabin owners do this to lessen their base price so their listing will appear higher when you look for cheaper options.
So if you’re surprised by the suspiciously cheap price of the cabin, chances are, there are hidden fees that you have to pay on-site.
Contact the lister when it comes to basic charges that are not clear on their listing. This includes cleaning fee, security or damage deposit, and other non-refundable fees.
#7 – Check your contracts
Same work as reading the fine print on extra charges, you should check your contracts thoroughly.
Almost every cabin rental would require you to have a down payment that might not be refundable if you canceled.
Or would put your reservation as void when you can’t pay the rest on an exact date.
There is also a thing called leaseholder responsibilities. You should definitely know what the do’s and don’ts are when it comes to your stay at the cabin so you can avoid any fees that you might incur from damages.
Most leases say that you have responsibility for maintaining, and sometimes repairing, your rental cabin.
This usually includes all internal decorations like paintwork and carpets, furniture and appliances, plumber, plasterwork, and floorboards.
#8 – Take photos of existing cabin damages
When you arrive at your cabin, immediately inspect everything and take photos of existing damages you might see.
This can be a chipped tile, a hole in the carpet from a cigarette butt, and vandals on the walls.
Anything that you’ll find that is not in a pristine condition, it’s best to document it.
This is not to offend the owner of the cabin but more on avoiding any miscommunications on your part.
Since you’re essentially the last tenant of the cabin, the owner will logically pinpoint you when they find out about the damages.
So you should have proof that they are already there when you arrived.
Just make sure that when this happens, you deal with it in the calmest and rational manner.
#9 – Enjoy Your Cabin Rental
There’s nothing much to say except to enjoy your vacation. Get the best out of your money by exploring things that you might haven’t done before.
Try asking the owner of the cabin on what the best things are to do in that place. Like what a good adventurous traveler follows, do as the locals do.
So definitely tap on your wilderness side! And as always, keep in mind your safety and security.