Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing Short Term Rental Accommodation

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Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended stay in an unfamiliar city, short term rental accommodations provide an appealing lodging alternative for modern travelers. Offering home-like comforts coupled with local authenticity at affordable rates, vacation rentals are surging in popularity on peer-to-peer platforms. However, the ample choices also bring their own share of decision dilemmas. Which property do you pick? How do you determine value, quality and reliability? This comprehensive guide covers the 10 most critical aspects to evaluate when selecting a short term rental accommodation for a satisfying hassle-free stay. From location and reviews to security and guest responsibilities – it addresses key questions to ask and red flags to watch out for during property searches, booking transactions and interactions with hosts.

  • Location

Location is undoubtedly the most important consideration when choosing a vacation rental. The property’s neighborhood and proximity to key local spots directly impacts the quality and convenience of your entire trip. Hence, carefully factor where you want to be based on how you plan to spend your days. Prime areas to look at are city centers close to dining and nightlife, historic districts with walkable sights, beachfronts with recreation, business zones near transit hubs or convention centers, etc. 

Dig deeper into analyzing connectivity to airports, highways, main roads to avoid traffic headaches. Local public transport access enables skipping car rentals. Check average fares to spots not walkable. Look at rideshares, bikes or scooters available if wanting to cover larger sightseeing zones across town. While picturesque neighborhoods appear tempting, it helps ensuring they have grocery/pharmacy access within walking distance so you don’t feel stranded without supplies.

  • Read Reviews and Ratings 

Reviews and ratings from previous guests offer invaluable qualitative insights that property photos or host descriptions seldom convey. Hence devote time to read both positive and critical feedback verbatim. Look out for recurring themes highlighting issues around cleanliness, comfort, amenities, neighborhood nuisances, host cooperation and transparency. Pay special attention to any maintenance, pest control or hygiene problems mentioned no matter how stunning the listing appears. Similarly consistent praise around a property’s location, views, bed comfort, 24×7 assistance indicates hosts who take guest satisfaction seriously. Reviews also reveal hidden hassles regarding parking availability, WiFi dead zones, access constraints that you can clarify beforehand. 

  • Host Responsiveness 

One of the top frustrations with short term rentals is unresponsive or unhelpful hosts. You want to pick a host who answers queries promptly before and also stays accessible during your stay in case anything pops up. Reading host reviews will reveal patterns around their communication style. Ask them questions before booking to verify this personally. Their ability to address pre-stay concerns sets the tone for the trip.  

  • Verify All Amenities

Scan the rental listing closely checking that it provides every amenity mentioned. Television, WiFi connection, air conditioning, kitchen appliances, washer/dryer, parking – be absolutely clear on what’s included before placing a booking. Some amenities like WiFi and electricity may have usage limits so understand those upfront. If any claimed amenity is super important for your comfort, double confirm it directly with the host before arriving.

  • Space Configuration 

Understand how the bedrooms, bathrooms and common areas are configured in the rental. Things like getting a scenic view from the bedroom vs street noise or having a single vs an en-suite bathroom make a big lifestyle difference. For multiple guests, clarify sleeping space allotments and bathroom sharing scenarios. If you need workspace examine what provisions exist for that. Knowing the layout intimately avoids unpleasant space surprises upon arrival.  

  • Price Comparisons

Do your homework by comparing rental rates across a few listing sites. Pricing can vary widely for similar units based on demand fluctuations. Consider what’s included in the base pricing like cleaning fees, taxes, utility charges, etc. Optimal value comes from getting the maximum amenities and convenience for your budget. Be flexible with dates if possible for the best deals. Sign up on sites for price drop alerts and avail those when possible.

  • Cancellation Policy

Understand cancellation and refund rules before locking any place in. Different hosts have different policies – some are very flexible while others have strict no-show clauses with penalties. Your travel plans may change last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Protect yourself by choosing listings with lenient cancellation terms just in case. Also, check if your travel insurance covers any trip interruptions or rental issues.

  • Safety and Security 

Analyze the basic security provisioning like locks, alarms, on-site personnel before selecting an apartment. GPS location tags, identity verifications, guest screening procedures also help hosts minimize risks. Check if there have been any past security lapses reported. Make safety checks like trying out locks, lighting at entrances, fire precautions once you check in. Know emergency protocols and have host contacts handy.

  • Payment Platform Reliability

Do due diligence into the site or host’s accepted payment platforms before making any booking transactions. Check for proper SSL certifications, data encryption, multi-factor authentication measures taken for user data and payment security. Be wary of places only accepting direct bank transfers or cash payments to avoid fraud. Stick to globally trusted platforms for seamless, protected transactions.

  • Be a Responsible Guest

While hosts have to maintain high accommodation standards, guests need to demonstrate responsible rental etiquette as well. That includes clear, courteous communication regarding check-ins/outs, sound maintenance of premises as you would do your own home, avoiding activities that inconvenience neighbors, etc. Leaving units tidy post stay also reflects thoughtfulness. Providing fair reviews encourages hosts to uphold quality too. Following renters’ code of conduct ensures the community’s sustainability.


Renting a vacation suite can indeed feel more homely, flexible and economical compared to staying at generic hotels. With returns from the sharing economy model also democratizing real estate, choices today abound on platforms of short term vacational rentals in dubai. Spending some diligence to assess property specifics, host reliability as outlined here helps travelers pick rentals guaranteeing a comfortable, memorable stay within budget. 

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