Reducing the Pain of Searching for Vacation Rentals

by Rebecca on October 20, 2010

in For Owners,For Travelers,Behind the Scenes,Vacation Rental News

Last month, Valyn Perini posted a detailed account of her attempt to book a vacation rental in France. Actually, “account” doesn’t really suit her tale of woe, which was more along the lines of Dear God, WHYYY??

france-vacation-rental-chateau

Vacation rental, you are a coy mistress

Anyone who has stayed in vacation rentals can relate to her experience:

  • Hard-to-navigate websites
  • Incorrect search results (I wanted a COUNTRY CHALET, not a dank city flat!)
  • Properties cross-listed on multiple sites containing conflicting information
  • No availability data
  • Unresponsive owners/managers
  • Poor photos or incomplete information
  • Inability to book online

All told, Valyn says she spent about 20 hours locating and booking 3 properties.

People, this cannot go on.

If we can create web browsers that load faster than a flying potato, make phones that travel to space, conceive of the sheer delight that is Nerds on a Rope, put a freaking man on the moon, and (hello!) book air and hotel rooms in three clicks of a mouse, we shouldn’t have to travel to hell and back to book a vacation rental.

I know there are very real challenges–I’ve spent the past few months agonizing over them. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.

So we here at Inhabit are doing everything we can to make the vacation rental searching and booking experience as non-headache-inducing as possible.

To start, we’ve already personally scoped out the properties, so we can vouch for the hosts as well as for the place. We only accept homes that we’d love to stay in ourselves, so you know that you’ll be getting an exceptional, authentic experience every time.

We are working on getting 100% of our properties into our calendar system so you can see the latest availability info on every listing. We’re also experimenting with different booking methods to find the best way to streamline booking. It’s an ongoing process, but one we’re happy to undertake.

The hotel industry did it 10 years ago, and now it’s the vacation rental industry’s turn to get organized and start serving customers in a unified, organized way.

We’re doing our best to contribute to the effort, and one way we do this is by listening to our customers–that is, both hosts and travelers. We want to serve you both, because at the end of the day, we all want the same thing: amazing vacation rentals that are easy to find and simple to book online. Amen!

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  • Thorne Bertrand

    still covering travel and lodging issues?