San Jose, Costa Rica, July 20, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- For seasoned travelers, vacation rentals represent great value, privacy and space. For first time visitors to Costa Rica, there is no better way to feel at home than basking in the warmth of a cozy lived-in home while exploring a new culture. For those who are new to the Costa Rica vacation rentals market, Costa Rica Bedfinder, an online vacation rentals resource offers useful pointers that can help you get the most out of the renting process.
1. Do not be surprised to find the same properties listed more than once in the vacation rentals directory, as some property owners grant non-exclusive representation rights to multiple rental agencies in order to maximize bookings. As rental agencies vary in commission policy, you may find some variation in rates; if you come across multiple listings of the same property that you are interested in, do not skip, but go to the rates section of each listing to make comparison; chances are you will book with the agency that offers the best rates.
2. Dates that fall within high and peak seasons get filled up quickly; if you have fixed dates for your vacation, it is advisable to have your desired property booked at least three months in advance. Christmas and New Year periods are especially in high demand, and the months from December up until the end of Easter holidays are usually busy.
Consider the advantages of visiting during the low season, which in most parts of Costa Rica fall between May and November. During the low season, most vacation rentals are steeply discounted, sometimes as much as 50%. A few showers aside, low season visitors enjoy a cooler climate, greener landscape, less traffic and less congestion in restaurants, beaches and national parks.
3. If you are celebrating a special occasion, such as anniversary, honeymoon, family reunion, etc., by all means mention it to the owner or the manager; they are likely to offer some special assistance or amenities that are outside the norm. In general, it is helpful to mention the theme or purpose of your visit at the start of the search to property agents, as they are likely to use that as a cue in suggesting a particular location or properties that suit your expectations the most.
4. The payment and deposit policy can sometimes affect your final choice of property. For peak season bookings, full or 80% payment is required upfront by most vacation rentals. 50% upfront is the norm for high season and a minimum of 20% is expected to reserve the vacation rental in the low season. However, some properties that have limited availability will require full payment in advance regardless of the time of year. With partial payment upfront, the balance of payment is usually due 30 days prior to arrival.
For peak season bookings it is unlikely that you will be granted any refund at all should you cancel, but you can negotiate to have the payment, or a part of it credited towards a future booking. Apart from peak periods, 50% to 80% may be refunded if the cancellation is made 2 to 3 months prior to arrival. In some cases, property owners or agencies will offer a refund only if the property is subsequently rented to another party.
Whether you are renting a vacation property from an owner or a property management firm, it is important to obtain a rental agreement in writing that clearly spells out the deposit and cancellation policies.
For vacation rentals that are managed by property management companies, credit card payments are readily accepted but a 3%, or higher, credit card fee may be added on top.
5. After you have booked a property, start to gather all the arrival information you need: maps, driving direction, contact details for the day of arrival, contact details for colleagues and family at home to contact you while you are in Costa Rica. Also give the owner or the agency details on how you can be contacted before and after leaving home if you are headed elsewhere in the days before your arrival.
Do not hesitate to ask the owner or agency for assistance with car rentals or airport pickup service, tours and restaurant information, distances to various places, town and shopping facilities etc., some vacation rental hosts will offer to stock up the fridge prior to your arrival.
http://CostaRicaBedfinder.com currently represents vacation rentals and small hotels located throughout the country including popular destinations such as Conchal, Flamingo, Tamarindo, Nosara, Los Suenos, Jaco, Manuel Antonio and Dominical.