The LakeView at Cedar Brae is a vacation rental property that we share with friends. The property sits high on a hill overlooking Lake Wenatchee.
Operating as usual
Finding the perfect vacation rental for you.
You’ve been working hard all year. You really need to get away. Money is a little tighter this year perhaps than it was last summer. As much as you want to hop on a plane with the family and head to Hawaii, you simply know it’s not in the budget. Not only that but the thought of packing 5 suitcases, getting the kids out of bed at 4 am, racing to the airport, getting your tickets, running your daughter through the x-ray machine five times because she has sequins on her underwear in the shape of wonder woman thus exposing her to God knows how much radiation only to deal with a two-hour flight delay, well maybe that just sounds exhausting to you.
So, you decide that you wish to simply stay locally and do the drive. You want a place far enough out of town to feel like you are on vacation but not too far that the kids start revolting in the back seat of the car that this road trip has simply gone on long enough. So, you decide to find a location about a couple of hours out of town, in a place you’ve driven past but always wanted to visit. You also have determined that staying in a hotel simply wouldn’t be feasible. You’ve got yourself and your spouse, the three kids and your dragging your mom along with you so she can watch the kids so you can go out to dinner one night. This would not only mean getting 3 hotel rooms but also sticking one child in the room with grandma, who snores and reads till 2 am, wakes up at 6 am and has a tendency to get “the winds” when on vacation.
So you decide to try this whole “Vacation Rental” thing for the first time that your friends have been telling you about. You’ve heard about Air Be and something and VRBO or is it VBRO and you start googling around. You dig into the booking sites and you narrow down your search. You find a place with adequate bedrooms and sleeping arrangements. It has a kitchen so you can save money on breakfasts and lunches which are 90% cheaper to make at home than paying for in a restaurant, saving you a lot of money so that you can enjoy some better dinners out. You find a property with activities for the kids or a pool or a barbecue for a delicious Saturday afternoon cookout. And hey, look, you can even bring your dog for a nominal fee and not have to lock Fido up in a maximum-security prison for the next four days. Just the thought of those sad eyes staring out of his cage, wondering where his family went and distressed that he went from sleeping on his favorite sofa to sleeping on a steel grate.
By using a booking site’s filter options, you can find a property based on amenities, price, accommodations, location or all of the above. By booking in advance you will have a much better selection than you would if you are trying to find a place last minute. Properties with pools for example book up very quickly and you will find that even trying to book a year in advance doesn’t always cut it with a property with a highly sought after amenity like this. The early bird gets the worm!
But here is a little trick that you might not know. Once you have found the perfect spot try to find that property by searching for the property on Google. Most properties have a name, it might be “The Deer Creek Lodge” or “The Cabin in the Woods”. Only in recent years the booking sites have begun charging huge service fees, where just 5 years ago they were making a fine profit prior to their new service fee. In my humble opinion they’ve really started to gouge both you the consumer and we the vacation rental owners with this fee! They may promise you some fancy insurance or some form of guarantee but what we’ve found is it all amounts to a hill of beans. What really matters is that you rent a great property from a decent human being/VR owner and if you do that many of your vacation rental stresses should be minimal. VRBO or Airbnb may help you in search but other than that the fees they charge relative to the services they provide are astoundingly unequivocal. Owners can typically also charge you less than what you can find on Airbnb or VRBO because they are able to avoid some fees as well, anywhere from 3-5% of the total booking price not to mention possibly saving on money transfer fees. (I’m always amazed when people would hate to pay 6 percent to buy a mutual fund but are happy to pay up to 4 times that to get a vacation rental.)
Also, once you’ve found a spot, call the owner, let them know how you are doing, how you are enjoying the place, if you need anything. Offer them a quick thanks if a thanks is appropriate. Develop a relationship with them, take care of their place, come back and stay again and again and book directly through the owner. If you really, really need a different place next time, a bigger place, a cheaper place or a place with more bedrooms don’t forget to ask the owner first, they probably have a friend or even a competitor they can refer you to.
So remember, when planning your next vacation or booking your next vacation rental use all the resources you have available to you. Really look at the service fee and think about what that money could mean to you and your family. Think of what else you might be able to spend that money on. Thanks for reading and happy travelling!
We've just changed the flooring and it's made a huge difference.
If looking for an amazing vacation rental for you and your family (or very mild mannered group) please reach out to me at 206 992 1822.
The LakeView at Cedar Brae.
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