It can be extremely overwhelming when starting your search for the perfect vacation home rental. There are an intense number of offerings and numerous factors to consider. I spent way too much time analyzing this…in fact I created a spreadsheet to compare different homes and about drove my family crazy! By the end, they were all yelling at me to “Just Book It”. Sometimes, that is the answer because if you wait too long, the perfect one could slip through your fingers.
I would first pick out which vacation home community you want to be in and then start searching for houses in that neighborhood. This will narrow your home search and make it more manageable. Research the community’s location to Disney and Universal and how long the drive is to each of your destinations. Also consider the amenities the community offers such as the pool, playgrounds, game room, security, or whatever is important to you.
Number of Bedrooms
The larger the house, the higher the rent but the larger the house, the more it will offer. Typical vacation home communities will cater to the larger group offerings so the abundance of 5-6 bedroom homes is plentiful. Most stand-alone homes with a private pool will have no less than 4 bedrooms. The smaller bedroom options will be in the form of townhouses or condos. While we never needed as big of a house as we rented, we wanted the private pool and the other offerings of a stand-alone rental home.
Before you start looking, determine the maximum amount you are willing to spend per night. This will help narrow your search on websites such as www.vrbo.com. Take special note of whether there are additional charges for pool heat or cleaning fees.
Pool & Patio Area
This was always a big factor in my decision! Take note of the pool size and whether a hot tub is offered. I also considered the patio size and the availability of table/chairs and lounge chairs. We spend a great deal of time on the patio so I want to ensure we can comfortably eat meals out there and also lay in the sun relaxing. Additionally, determine how the lot is positioned in terms of privacy from not only beside you but also behind you. If you can’t tell from the pictures, ask the owner!
There are some amazing game room offerings that may rival the pool area! Be sure to check this out and consider types of games offered and décor/cool factor.
Theme Rooms/Bunk Beds
I agonized over which houses offered which theme rooms and/or bunk beds wanting to land the absolute perfect draw for our girls. This is a definite bonus to any rental but don’t let it consume you!
Furniture & House Feel
Let’s be honest, some houses are just nicer and more up-to-date than others. Look at the quality of the furniture, the décor/feel to the house, the layout, and the quality of the pictures offered. You don’t want to be surprised (negatively) when you arrive!
Read through the reviews from recent guests and take into consideration the number of reviews, the average ratings, and their comments. Also, take note if the owners respond to any of the reviews and their tone/demeanor.
Good luck finding the perfect vacation home and have fun!