You've carefully weighed the accommodation options, and you've decided that renting a holiday cottage in Ontario is the way to go.
Now, you're looking around at the hundreds of options. It's confusing! There are so many potential vacation rentals in Ontario, after all, and it's hard to navigate all the options.
The decision-making process begins when you pull up a chair and start looking at the vacation rental listings. The range of options, locations, and amenities is enormous, so it's best to be prepared with a plan before you begin.
Here's a quick guide to help you make sure that you choose the very best rental property for your vacation:
If you know exactly what you want and don't want in a vacation rental, you'll be able to communicate your needs clearly. Make a quick list of "have-to-have" items (i.e. laundry, a king-size bed, a TV), "want-to-have" items (i.e. a dishwasher, a big yard, a boat slip), and items to avoid (i.e. a site on a major road, or an uncovered pool if you have young children). If you intend to bring a pet, know that beforehand. Many properties will accept pets, but many will not.
With a thorough list prepared, you'll be able to navigate a list of amenities quickly and easily.
Don't just fall in love with a picture of the front of the house - carefully examine all the photos of the property. Make sure that the listing has pictures of all the important rooms in the vacation home (including every bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, the game room, and the yard.) You'll be able to more accurately gauge the living arrangements if you're looking at the space as though you were standing in it.
Have a close look at the furniture. Is it in suitable shape for your needs? Look at the floors - would you prefer carpet or hardwood? If there's a pool, is it full of water? Is the property on a main street, or deep in the woods? Do you see elements in the photos that would be unsafe or unsuitable for your family situation? Do some visual investigative work, and let the photos "talk" to you about the vacation home's unwritten details.
Look at a map. Where is the property in relation to supermarkets, restaurants, general stores, and the places you'd like to visit when you're there? How far do you want to be from the center of town? How far is the property from the shoreline, if you're taking a vacation specifically to enjoy water sports?
Ask to speak to previous renters of the property. If they feel that something was inaccurately represented, they'll tell you. They'll also share things you wouldn't have been able to determine from the photographs and the amenity list. They may even be able to tell you actual drive times to the places you're likely to visit while you stay there.