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Book a vacation condo?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 01:29 pm
Anyone know a good way to do this? We may go to Disney around Christmas time " and thought it would be better to rent some one’s condo for a week so we could “eat at home” " more healthy and cost effective " no waits at restaurants for the kids.

Anyone ever do this? And how do you know you are getting a good safe clean condo?
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 3,071 • Replies: 20
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Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 01:38 pm
@Linkat,
I booked a Florida condo from here (Toronto) about twelve years ago using a travel agent. I had no way of knowing if it was nice at the time, except to trust the agent. It ended up being pretty spectacular, but we paid through the nose. I suspect you may now be able to take virtual tours, that kind of thing.

Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 01:40 pm
@Joeblow,
yeah I don't want to pay through the nose. We don't need anything incredible - just something that will fit a family of four and is clean and safe. Since this will be in December/January we don't even care about a pool - although I would assume that a pool comes with all these sorts of places in FL.
Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 01:45 pm
@Linkat,
A pool somewhere in the complex seems likely.

I might still sound it out with an agent. Can't cost anything to ask.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:04 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat, I saved an article about this sort of question about a month ago. I'll see if I can find it and be back.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:05 pm
@ossobuco,
oooh cool!
martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:08 pm
@Linkat,
I've used VRBO.com before and had good luck
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:09 pm
@Linkat,
We usually try to hire directly from the owner - that's cheaper than via an agency or travel company.

The places are presented in catalogues and/or on websites with photos and other details. Very seldom it might have happen that the apartment (or house) looks really different then presented.

Thanks to google earth and Virtual Earth, you can see nowadays how it looks like in advance.


The question of "safe" never was (and really still sin't) a big issue here in Europe. If at all.

Clean isn't a problem neither: you usually pay for the 'final cleaning' - as did the person(s) who hired the place before.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:11 pm
When we did Vegas we found a great place on Craigslist, and for most big US cities that's the first place I'd look.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:13 pm
@Linkat,
Found it --

http://able2know.org/topic/123702-1
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:34 pm
@martybarker,
Thanks - that site looks awesome - some good deals too! And lots of stuff is open from November to December.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
ooh didn't even think about that - do you know if you get references and pictures - I always get worried I would end up in some sort of dump with bugs and lice in the beds.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:40 pm
@ossobuco,
thanks - lots of good info.
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Nick Ashley
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 02:47 pm
@Linkat,
I would just like to second VRBO. My dad uses it at least once a year to rent a condo in Colorado. We have stayed in a different condo each time, and have never had a problem with any of them. They are always as described, and with the pictures and such on the site, you know exactly what your getting.
0 Replies
 
mckenzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 12:35 am
We've travelled that way for many, many years. Perfect solution when travelling with kids. More space. Freedom to cook, to eat out. Your choice. Full kitchens, usually well enough equipped for a week or more. Most houses have BBQ grills, condos have grilling areas. Your own washers and dryer, etc. Home away from home!

Vacation rentals in the Orlando/Disney area are very reasonable, even during Christmas week. I'm assuming that that's because of the huge numbers of rentals available that are competing with each other.

VRBO.com is a great site. There's also homeaway.com, cyberrentals, vacationrentals.com and many, many more, but those are my favourites.

How do you know that you are getting a clean, safe condo? Talk to the owner. Most people are on the up and up, I've found. If the owner uses it as a second home, as opposed to it being strictly a rental property, it's probably better equipped. The more photos posted on the website, the better idea you will have of what to expect. Some owners have links to more photos.

I agree with Walter. Once you have the address, you can find the property on Google Earth and also Google Maps. If "street view" is available, you can "walk" down the streets and see what the area looks like.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 07:24 am
@Linkat,
Are you restricted to school vacation dates, Linkat?

I have a timeshare week that I won't be using but getting the week between Christmas and New Years will be difficult.

The are many resorts in the Orlando/Kissimmee/Lake Buena Vista area including some gold crown resorts with 2 bedrooms/2baths/full kitchens but most of the available weeks are in January. From a quick look, I can see lots of availability in mid-to-late January.

BTW, January is the perfect time to go to the parks because the lines are nonexistent. We were there once during the last week of January and were told that it's the least crowed week of the year at Disney.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 07:47 am
@JPB,
Well - part of the reason we were thinking this week is - if we sell our condo here, we will be relocating to Texas. Because of the timing, we most likely will be living in corporate/temporary housing. I figure that would put a tamper on Christmas - so to compensate, Santa would give the kids a trip to Disney.

There is alot of ifs there especially with the current market - but our condo is priced well below anything comparable in the immediate area.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 07:48 am
@mckenzie,
Thanks - I'll look at all those sites - if we don't go this Christmas, we will definately keep this info as I know we will visit some time in the next year or two.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 07:59 am
@Linkat,
Your girls are the perfect ages to enjoy the parks. We liked not staying on-site when we were there because we didn't feel the need to do Disney every day. We enjoyed SeaWorld and Universal Studio parks as much as Disney. Actually, we enjoyed SeaWorld more than Disney.
0 Replies
 
candidone1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 11:30 am
I second (or third?) vrbo.com
I have had tons of success with this site.

Beware however, it has become like google insofar as the ads that come up first are not necessarily the best, rather, they represent the amount the owner paid to have priority placement.

But, that face aside, I have booked many getaways with vrbo and always been pleased with the price.
0 Replies
 
 

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