Advice Before Booking Holiday Rentals Online

Booking self catering apartments or villa rentals is often a cheaper and more flexible way of enjoying a holiday in comparison to hotels. Unfortunately, there are some potential issues and scams that you should be aware of when booking holiday rentals online.

No matter how hard travel companies and authorities try to prevent scams, there will always be fraudsters who will try and make money illegally. Unfortunately, this often results in innocent people having their holiday dreams shattered.

How To Avoid Holiday Rental Scams

1. Finding the right holiday rental company
Finding the right holiday rentals website for booking apartments, villas and other forms of holiday accommodation online is extremely difficult. Your first piece of advice is to find a trustworthy website. To trust a company or website, you could check the age of the website using a domain age checker tool such as ‘seologs’. This is a neat little tool that allows you to input the website’s name and you will immediately be given the date that the website was first registered. Online holiday businesses come and go, and if the website name appears to have been registered within the last year or two, then it is probably best avoiding. Another way to check the credibility of a company is to visit your favourite search engine and search using the full holiday website domain name followed by ‘scam’. This search should return all results that relate to the rental company and scams, if any exist. Do a quick check on the first two pages of results to see if your chosen company appears in the results and whether any negative stories about them exist.

2. Advertising and Links
Holiday Rental websites that display lots of adverts, banners or links to other sites are also best avoided. Website owners who place advertising on their site do this purely to generate revenue through third party companies (against Google’s guidelines) or use a system in place where the owner makes money each time their advert or link is clicked by visitors. You need to ask yourself the question, if you visit a site which you believe is a holiday rentals site, will you really benefit in any way from seeing or clicking on lots of adverts or links that lead to third party sites? Many of these links can be quite discrete and may fool, and if you click on what you believe is a genuine link or use a link to search for accommodation in a particular destination, you could be taken to an alternative website. The only purpose of this is to generate some revenue for the website owner, which means they do not care where you click on the site and will certainly not be bothered about you booking a genuine holiday. Another method of advertising is the use of pop-up adverts, these can be rather annoying and deceptive by placing information in front of you when you have not requested it. Do yourself a favour; don’t waste your time and avoid these types of sites.

3. Contact Details
When you have found a Holiday rental website that advertises a choice of properties, before you make any enquiries to property owners, have a quick check to see if the holiday rentals website displays their contact details. If the site does not display a phone number, address or email address then it means this website does not want to be contactable. If you ever have a problem or a query, how can you contact the site? Do yourself a favour and avoid sites that offer no support or a means to contact them.

4. Be Realistic
If a website is displaying holiday accommodation with exceptionally low prices or huge discounts, be wary. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

5. Remain Vigilant
If you find a property advert but it displays minimal information, this suggests that the owner has not been willing to make much effort to promote their own personal property. Holiday homes are an investment, and most genuine owners want a return on their investment and will therefore market their property accordingly, which involves spending some time and effort to create an attractive looking property advert online. The owners advert may well be genuine, but adverts like this often lack information for a reason. Be wary, and if you are in any doubt you should request further details from the owner such as more photos, to help you visualize the property.

6. Research the Property
Before you part with any money for deposits you should obtain the owners full contact details including their home address, the holiday home address, phone numbers and email address. Once you have received the address for the holiday home, it is worth checking that the property address actually exists, using Google maps. It is also worth doing some searches using the owners name and email address, in case this returns some negative PR or bad experiences from previous guests. Request to see some references from previous guests, and contacting them directly should give you some added comfort.

7. Keep Records
Keep a copy of all email and telephone correspondence with the owner before your booking, including statements for any payment made to the owner. You should also request a receipt from the owner for any payment made to them, and keep copies for your records.

8. Travel Insurance
Most travel insurance companies do not cover fraud, so if you have been caught out by a bogus scam then it is likely that you will be left on your own to retrieve the money. To safe-guard yourself, check with your current insurance provider what your policy covers. There are some travel insurance companies that do cover fraud, especially in situations where visitors have booked a property that is wrongly described or does not actually exist. It is well worth taking time to find an insurance company that covers this before you book your holiday.

9. Payment
It is advisable to pay your transaction by credit card, as many card companies do provide some form of protection. Check what your card provider actually covers.

10. Refundable Deposits
Many owners request a deposit to cover damage or breakages should they occur during the holiday. The deposit should be a refundable deposit and returned to the visitor upon satisfactory inspection and exit of property. When booking the property, make sure you are comfortable with the amount of deposit being requested, and have an agreement on how soon the money will be returned. It is also a good idea to take some photos before you exit the property, and request that the owners agent checks and agrees with you in writing that the property has been left in a good condition with no breakages.

Most people have been booking holiday rentals for many years and experience no problems whatsoever. Just be a little cautious and don’t leave your brains on the plane.

Villa Rentals in Spain Can Be Booked Directly on the Fantastic Costa Del Sol

The Costa del Sol, with its excellent weather and beach resorts is an ideal location to book villa rentals in Spain. Many people have discovered that you can book apartment and villa summer rentals in Spain direct from the property owners and thus save some valuable holiday cash. Have a look and you might be surprised at the choice and quality of accommodation that is available. The Costa del Sol is the southernmost coast of Spain and is one of the most popular destinations in Europe to book holiday homes direct. The beautiful, sandy beaches and great weather throughout the year keep holidaymakers coming back to resorts like Torremolinos, Malaga, Marbella and Estepona to name but a few.

TORREMOLINOS is one of the largest of the Costa del Sol resorts and probably the most well-known. There are plenty of holiday apartments to rent available from the private owners who let them out when they are not being used. Sunny weather is almost guaranteed in the summertime with temperatures often reaching 30 to 40 degrees Celsius (85 to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit). So this is an ideal place to book villa rentals in Spain if you are a sun-worshipper. If you choose a self-catering vacation home rental in Spain, you will find plenty of places to eat near the beach which sell fried fish, snacks and soft drinks. At night-time, there are plenty of nightclubs which are open until dawn making Torremolinos a favourite with young adults who are looking for ‘fun in the sun’.

MALAGA is a cosmopolitan resort on the Costa del Sol and is a favourite place for villa rentals in Spain and with holidaymakers from the UK. Apart from all the usual amenities which are expected from a major resort like great beaches, lively nightlife and a good variety of places to eat out, Malaga is also renowned for its selection of excellent golf courses which are scattered across the local area. This makes it ideal to look for golfing holiday apartments to rent direct. Malaga is also proud of its associations with the famous artist Picasso and the airport is named after him. He spent the early part of his life in the city before his family moved to Barcelona when he was a teenager. The city has museum which is dedicated to Picasso where you can see many of the artist’s works.

MARBELLA is another well-known holiday destination on the Costa del Sol and is popular with holidaymakers who are looking for quality holiday apartments to rent or even luxury villa rentals in Spain. The ambience of Marbella is cosmopolitan and stylish and it retains a typical Andalucian flavour. The area is protected by the nearby mountains giving it a microclimate with an annual average temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius. Apart from spending time on the fantastic beach there are plenty of things to do in Marbella. The Old Town is great place for a leisurely stroll or if you want to do some serious shopping try the area by the Marina where there is a selection of Designer shops.

ESTEPONA is another delightful Costa del Sol resort where you can book apartment and villa holiday homes direct with the private owners. If you choose self-catering villa rentals in Spain in Estepona you will find many bars and restaurants which serve traditional Spanish dishes as well as international cuisine or fast-food such as hamburgers or pizzas. After your evening meal you will find plenty of places to experience the lively nightlife on offer including the Plaza de los Flores in the centre or at one of the many bars at the Marina.

Doesn’t this coast sound lovely? No wonder so many people choose villa rentals in Spain in this area. A ‘home from home holiday’ often appeals to families with younger children as there are less restrictions and more of the facilities that you are used to at home including washing machine, television etc. Other advantages of self-catering holiday homes direct include: flexibility – you have no one to please but yourself, the opportunity to sample the local cuisine and availability of accommodation for large groups if you fancy a family get-together in the sun.

Apartments to Rent on the Costa Blanca Spain – Is Benidorm the Best Place to Stay?

Ever considered booking apartments to rent on the Costa Blanca Spain direct from the holiday apartment owner? Many people have and it is an increasingly popular method of saving cash not only on Spanish apartments to rent, but also for airline flights and for car hire in Benidorm Spain. To be frank it is pretty easy to do yourself and you save cash by cutting out the tour operator or holiday company and dealing with the property owner directly through a dedicated website. You can find websites, that don’t charge a fee, by looking on your p.c. using search phrases like ‘holiday-villa-select’, ‘owners-direct Spain’ or even ‘apartments to rent on the Costa Blanca Spain’. When you’ve located a good quality luxury villa rental in Spain, be sure to speak to the private owner directly and don’t go through an agent or intermediary.

Whenever the topic of package-holidays in Spain is mentioned, the resort that would readily spring to mind would be Benidorm. Nevertheless, things are changing and this terrific town is now becoming an ideal location to find apartments to rent on the Costa Blanca Spain which can be reserved directly with the apartment owners. Many holidaymakers now want to rent villas with a pool in Spain or are after Spanish apartments to rent outside the busy tourist areas. This is one of the advantages of booking accommodation from a private owner as there is a far more extensive selection of apartments to rent on the Costa Blanca Spain for a beach-based holiday or even a golf holiday in Spain than the package tour firms can make available.

Alicante is the airport of choice for most people holidaying in Benidorm. Car hire in Benidorm, Spain is a matter of choice and many people don’t bother as there is plenty going on to amuse them in the town. On the other hand a car may be essential for those with the more outlying apartments to rent on the Costa Blanca Spain – you would need to check before travelling. A hire-car is definitely essential if you want to explore the local historical sights, visit the water sports centres or enjoy a round of golf at one of the excellent local golf courses.

In Benidorm, the sun is at its hottest during the summer months, with temperatures rarely falling below 28°C. Winters are typically very mild with averages hovering around 15°C-18°C. All this makes Benidorm weather an all year round attraction so you should always ensure your Spanish apartments to rent and your car hire in Benidorm Spain comes with air-conditioning.

Last but not least, while we at all times advise you to book direct with the proprietor for your apartments to rent on the Costa Blanca Spain, we propose that you also reserve your car hire rentals and flights well ahead so you can get the best price, but most importantly don’t neglect to book suitable travel insurance.