Whether it's a beach house offering panoramic ocean views, a rustic mountain cabin or a downtown condo, vacation rentals are popular with travelers looking to save money.
But travelers should be forewarned. What you think you are getting may not be so.
The Better Business Bureau accredits businesses that meet its standard of best practices. The agency advises travelers to research rentals carefully because the properties are not always as advertised. Here are tips:
If you go through a third-party website or professional service, check them out at bbb.org.
Some companies guarantee the property meets your level of cleanliness and other expectations. If not, consider travel insurance.
Pictures and descriptions posted online can be deceiving, so use Google map's "Street View" to check out the surrounding area. Ask plenty of questions about the property.
Check the rental contract to ensure that all verbal agreements including details such as deposits, refunds, utility costs and rules on pets are in writing.
Do not send money until you've signed the agreement. Also never pay by money wire. When possible, use a credit card.
-- Chelsea Phua