With summer 2019 finally here and some good weather in the forecast, it’s time to get that cottage booked.
1. Go direct to an owner or cottage rental agency
You may be surprised to know that a lot of cottages are not listed on Airbnb, so if you are just looking on there, you’re missing out on some great deals. You’ll also be paying significantly more for your summer break by booking through a big listing site rather than direct with the cottage rental agency or a cottage owner. And contrary to what they tell you, it’s not ‘safer’ to make your reservation through their platform. A rental company has visited every one of their properties and can vouch for the accuracy of their listings.
2. There are deals, but don’t be too pushy
Most owners and rental agencies are dealing with high demand for vacant summer weeks so they are unlikely to be offering a discount unless the cottage is still vacant a few days before the week starts. If you ask for a deal, do so politely – a low-ball offer might just be ignored.
3. Be straight with your numbers
When you are asked how many people you have in your group, don’t hesitate and say you are not sure yet. This sounds immediate alarm bells in the owner’s mind that you might just be planning a party at the property. Be honest about the number of adults and children in the group.
And, yes, children and day guests count as well. An owner’s insurance covers a maximum number of people at a cottage at any time, whether they stay overnight or not, so booking a cottage that sleeps 6 then inviting another dozen to a BBQ during the day is likely to invalidate the insurance cover which could mean trouble if you have an accident and damage the cottage in any way.
4. Don’t be too choosy
At this late stage, you might have to abandon some of your criteria such as wanting air conditioning, or a sandy beach. There is a very limited choice and the cottages that remain are often the last to go for a reason. Perhaps there is a short walk to the water or a shared beach; there may be close neighbors or limited facilities. You need to be decisive at this time, so know what you are prepared to sacrifice to get a cottage for the week you want.
5. Mention the dog!
Pet-friendly properties are usually the first to be rented, so you may find it more of a challenge if you have a pet you want to take with you. When you are speaking with an owner or agency, mention any animals at the outset. Don’t leave it until you are ready to make payment to tell them Rover is coming.
6. Get on the mailing list
Many rental companies are still listing new cottages that have wide open availability so you want to be the first to know when a new one gets listed. Joining their mailing list means you’ll have the first pick of the available weeks. You can join ours here.
7. Get on the phone or use Live Chat
Cottages get booked up fast and if you have a lot of questions, it’s likely the one you saw last night and fell in love with will have gone by the time you get them answered. Pick up the phone or use the companies online chat facility to ask questions rather than wait for an email response. It’s much quicker and you’ll get a good feel for the place by talking directly to someone who knows the place well. You can call us at 1 866 323 6698 or click on our LiveChat feature to talk with an agent now.