10 Things to Check Before Booking Your Summer Rental

A cottage on Sandy Neck.

1) Location, Location, Location! Newcomers may not realize that for a relatively small place, the Cape is very diverse. Figure out if you’re a Lower Cape, Mid-Cape, Outer Cape, or Upper Cape person. You might find a great deal on a rental until it turns out you’re sitting in summer traffic every day to get to the closest beach. Decide if you want to get away from it all or be in the center of everything. CapeCod.com is a great resource for info on beaches and things to do in every part of the Cape.

2) How many is too many? The number of people a house can hold is not always equal to the number legally allowed. If you have a large party, be sure to check maximum occupants. While your group might not mind crashing on floors and sofas, the owner may have something to say about it.

3) Who you gonna call? An emergency contact number may be something that slips your mind when you’re itching to head straight to the water, but when you wake up to no hot water or accidentally lock yourself you’ll be glad you asked.

4) Hidden Fees Read the small print or ask directly so there are no surprises. In many cases rental agreements include more than just the nightly/weekly/monthly rate. IE: cleaning, parking, additional pet fees etc

5) Badminton and Body Boards and Beach Chairs OH MY! Be sure to ask what’s in the house. One summer cottage owner in Chatham said he’s surprised at what people leave behind which has now become and entire basement full of equipment. Finding out what’s available to use could save precious space in the car.

6) Kitchen Essentials If you don’t plan on eating out every meal you might want to check exactly what’s included. Especially If there’s something you can’t live without like say a toaster, microwave, or coffee machine.

7) SHHHHHHH! Are noise limitations in place? If you are staying in a cottage on the owner’s premise find out if there are certain hours they like to keep things quiet.

8) Time of Arrival When you’re sitting on the Sagamore Bridge you’re going to wonder if you’ve made a plan to pick up keys 5 hours after planned. Find out the best way to get in contact or if there’s a place to pick up keys if you’re not going to be able to make the check-in time.

9) Cancellations Generally vacation rentals are non refundable after a certain time. Be clear on the cancellation policy since unexpected circumstances can leave you out of pocket. Some renters may give you a refund if they able to find a replacement tenant or let you change weeks if it’s available.

10) Look Who’s Talking! It might seem like a no-brainer but read reviews. You can learn a lot from past reviewers like tips on nearby places. Don’t forget to leave a review. All too often people only leave reviews as a warning. Good reviews are just as important.

By Rebecca Romo, Lifestyle Reporter CapeCod.com

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