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10 Mistakes That Lead to Vacation Horror

14 Oct 2019
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Vacation Rentals

Have you ever said to yourself, "I need a vacation from my vacation?" We hate that saying! That is why we try to communicate with our guests as much as possible to prevent these common vacation horrors that commonly occur! These are easily avoidable mistakes that can change the whole tone of your vacation. Have you ever made one of these mistakes? Share with us in the comments below.

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1. Booking Through Craigslist

Booking on Craigslist may seem like you're getting a better deal, but that probably means it is a scam.  We have heard many horror stories of guests arriving at the Outer Banks to find people at the home that they were supposed to be renting. Never wire money in this kind of scenario! Professional vacation rental companies will not advertise their rentals on Craigslist. We also will make you sign a rental agreement that protects you and us, most likely you're not signing any paperwork with these Craigslist rentals. Learn more about Booking Direct.

2. Not Staying Hydrated

No one wants to be dehydrated on vacation! It's dangerous to be soaking up the sun and drinking some fluids every now and then (and no alcoholic beverages don't count)! Make sure to pack plenty of hydrating drinks with you to the beach. Some homes come with coolers you can use, but if you don't want to pack one you can also rent one with Ocean Atlantic Rentals. Another option is to have a medical professional come to your home and administer an IV. Check out this option with OBX Review IV To You!

3. Not Purchasing Travel Insurance

Purchasing travel insurance is purchasing peace of mind. Although unlikely, it's possible that something may happen and you have to cancel your trip. From a medical emergency to a mandatory evacuation from a hurricane, travel insurance can cover the cost of your trip, your belongings, and much more. 

Learn More About Travel Insurance

4. Booking a Keyed House With a Large Group

We are only allowed to give out at most three sets of keys for a home. Some of our large homes sleep up to 24 people, which can consist of 4 or more families. Worrying about who has a set of keys at all times can be a nightmare during your vacation. Most of our larger homes have keyless entry, where a keypad is usually located on the lowest level door. A new code is generated for each reservation and emailed to you a few nights before your arrival. You can pass this code along to the other members of your party, so you can all come and go as you please. 

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5. Not Reading The Vacation Rental Agreement

After you book, you will receive a Vacation Rental Agreement in your email. It is a document that can be signed digitally and returned to us via email. Its a pretty long document, but it is worth it to read because it offers you travel insurance, linens (if the home doesn't provide them), payment terms, cancellation policy, check-in time, your duties, our duties, and much much more! View a sample agreement here. 

6. Arriving Early and Waiting to Check-in

To avoid the traffic, most vacationers leave extra early, but then you are stuck waiting around for your home to be ready for check-in which could be as late as 6 pm. This can be especially difficult with young kids and pets. You are always welcome to wait in our cool check-in offices, but purchasing early check-in is an easier option. The price begins at $150 plus tax (depends on the number of bedrooms) and is not available for homes with 7+ bedrooms. With this option, you are guaranteed check-in at 1 pm. Look for this option on your Vacation Rental Agreement after you book.

7. Beach Access & Swimming in Rip Tides

Not all beach accesses are created equal. Some just come with the basics which can be good if you're one of those people who don't need any frills! Others have bathrooms, showers, ramps, and more. Check out our list of beach accesses and their amenities here. 

If the red flags are up, don't go in the ocean! Rip currents are dangerous and can quickly sweep you out. Make sure you go to a beach access with a lifeguard. Keep an eye out for waves that are crashing perpendicular to the shore instead of at an angle, gaps between waves, and waves that appear to look discolored because they are bringing large amounts of sand back with them. Most importantly, listen to the weather, the lifeguards, and make sure you don't go in the ocean when the flags are up. Spend the day in the pool instead!

8. Not Reporting Accidental Damage

Not reporting accidental damage always results in a worse situation than when it is reported. Each of our guests is covered for a certain amount of accidental damage, but it has to be reported to us during your stay, and an accidental damage form has to be returned before you check out. If it is not reported, we consider it intentional damage and we reserve the right to charge the credit card on file for the cost of the damage. When in doubt, please call our offices at 800-635-1559 and ask to speak to the appropriate rental manager. 

9. Leaving Something at the Vacation Home

Sometimes we accidentally leave things behind! We have had situations where people have lost wedding rings, medications, clothing, stuffed animals, you name it! Luckily, we have a lost and found department that handles these matters. If you have left something behind, please contact our Housekeeping Department at 252-715-4442 via call or text.

10. Forgetting to Pre-reserve For Next Year

What's great about staying with us is that you have the first right of refusal for the same week at the same home for next year. You have 24 hours after your departure to reserve the property for next year. If you don't reserve by then, then the week will be advertised as available and someone may book it. Luckily, we send you a text reminder on Friday before checkout reminding you to pre-reserve. It's as easy as a simple text and we will put the home on hold for you.