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5 mistakes to avoid on your next vacation home rental

Forgetting your toiletries

While there are exceptions to every rule, don’t forget to pack your own soap and shampoo. While you’re at it, you probably need paper towels and toilet paper, too. Your stay may cost a lot of money, but rare is the home rental that provides guests with toiletries and paper goods. Or, if there is some shampoo or soap in the bathroom, it may just be a starter kit or what a previous renter left behind.

And while there might be laundry detergent and dish soap under the sink, you’ll often need to bring more than what’s provided. Always ask your host about these essential amenities, and it never hurts to pack them just in case.

Not knowing local regulations

Short-term vacation rentals are handled differently all over the world. In some countries, hosts will likely ask to see, and even make copies of, your passport — and if you’re not expecting that, it can be deeply unsettling.

And in others, travelers must be prepared to pay a tourist tax in cash upon arrival, meaning you’ll need to pocket a few coins before arriving at your vacation rental. Being unprepared can make arriving to your vacation rental stressful, if nothing else.

Overstocking the fridge

You’ve got a home rental with a kitchen, so you can — and probably should — make at least a few meals to save money (and, especially right now, avoid unnecessary in-person interactions).

But be realistic with yourself. If you know you’re going to want to eat out most nights, don’t bring a ton of perishables. If you’re really not sure what to expect, stick with long-lasting ingredients that won’t spoil and can make the return trip home with you. You can almost always run to a local grocer for any last-minute ingredients you might need.

Conversely, if groceries might be hard to come by in the town you’re visiting, bring a cooler with you that’s stocked with the essentials.

Booking at the last minute

There’s a very finite number of home rentals, and if you have specific amenities you’re after, are working with a firm budget or are otherwise selective about where you want to stay, you’ve got to plan far in advance — or get lucky at the last minute.

We’ve heard tons of stories from travelers who are now ready to venture out to a home rental for a week this summer, only to find there’s almost nothing affordable left in the region outside of periodic cancellations.

If you’re considering a fall or holiday home rental getaway (or maybe even something further out than that), find one you can cancel and lock it down now.

Being fooled by great photos

A picture may tell a 1,000-word story, but looks can also be deceiving — especially in staged photographs. If a property has amazing photos but worrisome reviews from previous guests, don’t let the slick photos fool you.

Perhaps the apartments have undergone a renovation or repairs since the negative reviews were posted, but find out for sure before assuming you’ll walk into a home ripped straight from an interior design magazine.

A home rental can be a fantastic way to get away while still staying, well, away from other people. A change of scenery can do the soul wonders, even if the home is only an hour or two from home. But if you typically bed down in hotels and are newer to the home rental game, be sure to skip the learning curve and avoid making these all-too-common mistakes and assumptions.

Situated in the heart of the central business district, Norfolk Towers Serviced Apartments offers 70 fully-furnished serviced apartments to travellers, business and leisure alike who desire a comfortable and fuss-free lifestyle for long and extended stays in Nairobi.

The prime location of Norfolk Towers Serviced Apartments in the heart of Nairobi’s central business district allows for easy access to business and entertainment venues in the city.

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