A Canadian Honeymooner’s Guide to Short-Term Vacation Rentals
For honeymoon trips, hotels were often the default lodging option. With the advent of short-term vacation rentals, engaged couples have more possibilities from which to choose. More choices often bring with them greater indecision, but you can navigate with a little help and information. Knowing how vacation rentals work and understanding available possibilities may guide you towards the best solution for your honeymoon.
How Short-Term Vacation Rentals Work
Rentals United’s Ife Akande breaks down the history of short-term vacay rentals. Progressing from opulent castles in the 1600s and timeshares in the 1800s, online rentals debuted from American company VRBO in 1995. More competitors started providing rental listings in the mid-2000s, leading to today’s expansive market. With most short-term rental services, private owners offer their properties to travelers either as single rooms or entire dwellings. These owners set their own rates and are typically free to accept or refuse potential bookings. What changed the landscape was the availability of such services online and the development of third-party marketplaces like VRBO and Airbnb. These types of rentals have increased significantly, with the global industry worth around $85 billion USD.
Criticisms of Short-Term Rentals
At the same time, short-term vacation rentals are not without their critics. Host Compliance discusses their potential impacts in many U.S. cities, with decreased long-term housing prospects thanks to increasing prices and owners evicting current residents to gain more income from short-term rentals. People of color have reported racism while using online marketplaces, with hosts canceling their bookings or neighbors calling local police. A July 2016 Huffington Post Canada piece details how black entrepreneurs launched Noirbnb and Innclusive to provide more options.
Some travel agents also refuse to book through vacation rental marketplaces. Travel Market Report describes their arguments, citing inconsistent quality, lack of security, and concerns over responsible tourism and impacts to local housing markets.
Hotels vs. Vacation Rentals
Trip 101 published a basic comparison between hotels and short-term vacation rentals. Private lodging may be more budget-friendly, as you probably won’t pay for amenities such as housekeeping or room service. On the other hand, those amenities can free up additional time for dining and sightseeing. Hotels are frequently in urban areas or near major attractions, but some vacation rentals are available in prime locations. Those looking to stay for a week or more could benefit from vacation rentals’ lower rates, but hotels may be more ideal for short trips. Finally, hotels usually have security measures in place yet private rentals’ safety largely depends on their surrounding neighborhoods.
In addition to Airbnb, other providers such as Innclusive, FlipKey, HomeToGo, VRBO, and TripAdvisor offer short-term rentals throughout Canada. CanadaStays, founded in 2008, focuses solely on Canadian rental properties and includes condos, cottages, beach houses, villas, and other types of lodging.
Martha Stewart Weddings writer Brooke Porter Katz discusses several tips for making the most of your short-term rental. She suggests choosing properties listed by management companies over those from private owners. You should also research the property and read reviews, confirming that they’re written by people who’ve actually lodged there. Read all contracts thoroughly and select a secure payment method for your rental. Travel insurance may cover the cost of your stay if there’s a problem, but verify with your insurer whether vacation rentals are included in your policy.
Research and Diligence Are Your Friends
For some Canadian newlyweds, short-term vacation properties offer useful and convenient honeymoon lodging. They can be ideal for longer trips, providing the comforts of home while costing less than a hotel stay of equal length. Before you book, do your homework. You’ll ensure that you get the best for your money and a rental that aligns with your preferences and values.