Negotiating Vacation Rental Prices

Kauai Nature by Lary Loose (creative commons)

Kauai Nature by Lary Loose (creative commons)

Vacation rentals are often less expensive than hotels, especially when you’re visiting for an extended period of time or traveling with a larger group. In addition to fully equipped kitchens with cooking utensils most rentals include all the amenities of a fully functioning home like laundry facilities and internet access.

A nice aspect of vacation rentals is that the price is usually negotiable. Whereas hotel receptionists have limited authority to discount room prices, with a vacation rental you’re either dealing with the home owner or a property manager and they can give any deal they think is reasonable.

Below are some tips on how to negotiate a good deal:

–        If your dates are flexible try to squeeze into a vacant slot that would otherwise go unused and ask for a discount for doing so. Owners are eager to fill gaps in their schedules.

–        When renting a home, let them know how many bedrooms you intend to use. You may get a discount for not using the entire house.

–        Electricity prices in exotic locations can be high. Are you going to use the air conditioning, hot tub etc? If not let them know and ask for a discount.

–        In the United States military veterans are often given discounts.

–        Rentals that are new on the market are often discounted to get them started.

–        Owners are afraid of irresponsible guests who may damage the home or disturb neighbors. Be sure to tell them about yourself – why you’re traveling, who’s in the group and what you’re looking for in a rental. Being talkative is good, and a phone call and conversation goes a long way in reassuring both parties that the rental is a fit. Tell them your budget and ask if they can work with you.

–        Inquire about last minute discounts.

There many websites for looking up vacation rentals like VRBO and Flipkey, but the more you search the more deals you’ll find. Take a look at the rentals section of craigslist, and be sure to lookup region specific sites. For example, services the Hawaii market. Currently they list have many deals on Kauai condos that are not listed on other sites.