Money Saving Strategies
- Search for the official tourism bureau in the area you want to travel. Most tourism bureaus offer tourism guides with special packages for lodging, dining and tours. These guides can provide an excellent start to your rental home search.
- Desire to steer clear of the crowds of people and save some money? Off-peak times offer significant deals.
- Are you a armed forces veteran? Several rental companies provide rate reductions to veterans and active-duty forces. Make sure to confirm with property management company to see if your visiting group qualifies for a special offer.
- Some rental homes are basically designed to serve specific vacationers, whether it's downtown units with weekly pier passes, city-center homes with nearby access to restaurants or waterfront homes that have private kiteboarding launching areas. If there's a particular Ocracoke activity which you just love, keep an eye out for rental properties that cater especially to you.
- Give thought to purchasing trip insurance along with your leasing contract. Trip insurance, which generally will cost you between 1% - 5% of the base term rate, provides vacationers reimbursement of their vacation expenses for any missed due to health emergencies or weather, and additionally ensuing extra hurricane evacuation costs or charges, such as an unforeseen hotel stay or extra gasoline.
How to Book a Vacation Home
You may be shocked to learn just how many rentals are available at your destination. Rental home accommodations have gained in popularity with the rise of worldwide research sites like Homeaway and VRBO.
Virtually all rental properties in Ocracoke are privately operated and many are represented by established local rental management companies. Owners often select management companies to manage marketing, housekeeping and maintenance tasks.
Seasoned Ocracoke vacationers have identified a handful of tips and tricks throughout the years when it comes to renting rental properties, however most newcomers will be happy to realize that several "tips" are in plain sight, if you recognize where to look.
Searching for and booking the right vacation property:
Before you decide to book "Harbor views and beautiful sunsets from the furnished screened porch.", review our short checklist of things to consider.
Begin Your Search Early
Ocracoke rental homes start booking early. For the best selection, begin your planning and search Six-Twelve months in advance of a trip. Holiday reunions can be a great time for groups to plan their Summer family trips..
Select a Town and Time
Agreement can often be difficult among family, but once this challenging part is complete everything will quickly fall in place.
How Many Beds?
Confirm who is going, and how many/what kind of bedroom arrangement you will need. Consider that many rental homes advertise maximum guest capacity, which usually includes sofa beds in the living room. It is important to determine what is acceptable for your family. Generally rental home listings will outline each one of the unit's specific bedrooms and beds.
Make a Spending Limit
Many rental homes are advertised with a price range. Confirm the cost for your desired trip. It might be at the top end of the range. If several groups or relatives are sharing the cost, confirm that each group understands their obligation and has approved a maximum they are prepared to contribute. One individual in your family needs to be given the task of collecting payments and agreeing to responsibility for the entire rental cost at time of booking.
Let's Discuss Amenities
What amenities is your family looking for? Is a screened deck a requirement? Are you more interested in a natural landscape or nightlife? Does the property have bikes and beach toys available for use throughout your stay? Gather a list of "needs and wants" from your company to help narrow your search to the most suitable property.
Special Factors to consider
Sometimes the elder generation has problems with stairways. If wheel chair accessibility, elevators, pool lifts or other specialized devices are necessary, factor that into your search. The majority of rental postings include a list of amenities.
Have You Considered Furry Family Members?
Make sure you include your furry family members. Animal guidelines are different at each rental property. Read descriptions carefully. Make certain you read descriptions and contracts carefully. Service fees may apply when pets are added. Ask questions *prior to* you book!
Searching the Internet
A number of internet resources exist to match guests with rental owners.. Together with Homeaway, VRBO and Tripadvisor, we recommend searching Google for "Ocracoke local rentals" for local rental home management companies. Local rental home management companies take pride in an exceptional vacation experience.
Negotiate the Price
When you've identified your dream rental, double check to make sure your travel dates are available.
Some property owners will negotiate prices, and some won't. If they are hesitant to budge on a peak-season week, try asking for an additional night. Off-peak weeks will likely be negotiable more frequently than peak-season..
Go Through The Contract
Read the whole contract and be sure you understand who is liable for:
- Utility bills
- Long Distance Phone Service
- Hot Tub Heating
- Pay Per View Movies
- Cleaning services and housekeeping
- Trash collection
- Maintenance (get a phone number)
- Key exchange
- Parking Space
Get a total that includes state taxes, animal and other extra fees.
Cancellation policies vary for each rental. Vacation rental management companies and home owners commonly offer their clients the choice to buy trip insurance. Trip insurance, which generally costs ranges from 1% - 5% of your base vacation rental cost, provides travellers with reimbursement of their vacation costs (and subsequent vacation property costs) for any nights missed as a result of personal health-related emergencies or weather, in addition to hurricane evacuation expenses, such as a unexpected motel stay or additional gas.
Book your Rental Property
Once you think you've identified "the one", start the reservation process. Do not forget that most rental contracts require a considerable rental down payment and/or security deposit to safeguard the property owner.
Know Who to Call
Put the property manager's contact information into your cell phone and wallet for quick access to answers during your visit.
Congratulations! All that is left is enjoying your vacation!
During your Stay
- Photograph at your arrival. Take notes of any damages as soon as you arrive. We also advise immediately calling the rental home manager with a report of any wear and tear, along with your request for any needed repairs. This will protect against disputes during checkout.
- You might need instructions for a gas fireplace, TV or jacuzzi. Contact your rental manager. They are there to help. A phone call can save hours of problems.
- Be respectful of the local community. Residents more often than not live within earshot. Remember the golden rule and treat others the same way you'd like to be treated by vacationers next to your home.
- Ask a local. Residents are a fantastic source of recommendations.
- Make sure to protect the property owner (and your things!) by keeping the property locked up when you are away, exactly like you would at home.
- Make certain you've packed everything. Examine drawers, bath cupboards and cabinets.
- Be sure to walk through the rental one final time and check for damage. We recommend walking through with the property manager wherever possible (this may not be possible).. If the property owner is not available, you'll want to take photos of the property to record its condition.
- How was your getaway? Just about all rental management companies and rental home sites allow travellers to give comments. If the rental home and/or property manager was top notch, they'll appreciate your praise. If something went wrong and they did not fix it in a practical manner, or if the property wasn't as described, you should note that in your review.
Use Your Experience
How did they feel about the rental choice? If everything was outstanding, next year's vacation planning will be easy. If the rental wasn't quite right, and you'll better recognize how to perfect your search for the next trip.