My fiance and I are ‘moving’ to Florida in January, but the move may only last through March. This presents a unique opportunity, because we can look for vacation rentals in the area. Apartments can only be rented for a minimum of 7 months in Florida and furnishing would be too expensive for the short time period. So where do we look? And when do we start?
Length of Stay
Our length of stay is more in line with vacationers than people who are moving for work purposes, as it is common for vacationers to take vacations anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Along this spectrum there are different options for places to stay, of course:
A hotel may be your best option if your stay will be less than a week. This will also depend on how many people will be along for the trip. Can you find a hotel room to fit a large family? Or is it just you and your significant other? A per night price may be most reasonable for a short stay. Don’t forget about the hotel discount codes that show up online every once in a while too.
If you are planning on staying a week or longer, you may want to look for a place that charges by the week. These can be found in a number of different locations, such as Craigslist.com and VRBO.com. You can set your preferences and should be able to find a place to fit your needs.
If you are in a unique situation like my fiance and I, you will want to find a place that appeals to visitors of at least a month. We do most of our searches using Craigslist and local real estate rental companies. It has been a difficult search thus far, but we are confident we will find the right place.
Keep in mind the season you vacation will largely affect the cost of your stay. Staying down south in-season (usually November through March) will cost more than twice as much as the other months. This is especially true for furnished rentals lasting more than a month.
When to Start Looking
Your search for vacation rentals needs to begin a long time before your trip. If you are planning on staying at a hotel, you have a little more time, but finding a room with sufficient space and the right amenities is important.
My fiance and I have already started looking for a place to stay, but we won’t be heading south for another 5 months. If you are planning your trip during the winter months there will be a number of other people planning on doing the same. You would rather be early than late in your search.
What’s Your Plan?
You should make a list of things you want in your rental. How long will your stay be? Do you want a private pool? Near the water? The more amenities you want, the earlier you will need to begin your search.
How do you go about searching for vacation rentals? Do you have any tips for my search?
Disclaimer: On my search on Craigslist, I have run into a few scams. Be careful while searching, and make sure you are dealing with a credible renter.