Beach House Diaries: 10 Tips for Saving on Beach House Rentals

Posted Sep 5th 2013 02:00 PM


Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb
With so many choices out there, beach house rentals are easy enough to find. Snagging one that's right for you at a price you can afford can be a different story. Whether your summertime nirvana is a modest Walden-esque cabin or a waterfront mansion worthy of Jay Gatsby, these pointers can help you get the best deal.

  • Decide on a rental budget and stick to it. Going over is a no-no because it's hard to relax when you're chronically worried about your wallet.
  • Good values go fast, so start your house housing early: six months ahead usually suffices, yet you may need a year in the most coveted areas.
  • Vacationing with extended family or a group of friends enables you to split the rental fee: just be mindful of the number of bedrooms and the way beds are configured. Cousins may love the idea of bunk beds or a fold-out futon ... couples not so much.
  • When it comes to beach houses, location counts. However, you can often save a bundle by opting for a spot by the water rather than right on it.
  • Be realistic about your wish list. If your property is on the beach do you need a pool? If you're dining out regularly is a gourmet kitchen required?
  • It pays to be flexible with dates. Early June is virtually always less expensive than the height of summer; and even in July and August there might be big week-by-week price swings (special events, for one, can drive rates up in host communities).
  • If your goal is merely to get some R&R, remember North America has a long coastline with lots of lovely, lesser-known (read: cheaper) locales.
  • Remember, too, that we don't have a monopoly on sunny strands. Peak season for most domestic destinations is off season in much of the Caribbean and Central America. The caveat is that you have to carefully weigh the higher travel costs.
  • Thoroughly read a rental contract before signing. Add-on fees for cleaning, parking and such can tally up fast. Ditto for minimum stay requirements.
  • Protect your financial stake by dealing only with reliable owners or agents. If you don't get a prompt, pleasant response the first time you make contact, beware. People who aren't forthcoming before they get your deposit will be less so afterwards.
Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb will report on life at a summer beach house in AOL Travel's weekly Beach House Diaries. Follow along with her or share your beach house tips in the comments below.
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Shirley Williams

Right after I graduated from high school a bunch of people went their separate ways for "senior trips". It was really interesting to see pictures of a bunch of eighteen year old kids renting a beach house on their own for two weeks. I had my own plans back then and didn't participate in that trip. Now I think it would be great to do something similar. I know that I could find a bunch of friends to help pitch in and go have fun on the beach for a few weeks.

February 19 2015 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stella Williams

my best friend's step-aunt makes $75 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her pay check was $21423 just working on the laptop for a few hours. i was reading this W­W­W.B­A­M­2­1.C­O­M

September 10 2013 at 5:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply