7 Tips to Be the Best Vacation Rental Guest EVER
"I want to do what the locals do!"
That very well may be the single most heard phrase we hear at Visit Franklin as we talk to visitors each day. There are loads of ways to find out what restaurants the locals love, where they hang out, and even the "nine things to do that will make you feel like a local."
However, nothing will give you the "full local experience" unless you feel like you're going home at the end of a day full of adventure. That is why so many travelers look for a vacation rental property while staying in Franklin, Tennessee. It's got that feeling of staying with close friends, but without having to put up with their annoying habits of getting up at 5 a.m. to work on their dream of becoming a drummer in a rock band!
When staying with a good friend you want to be the best guest you can be. For the most part, the same goes for being a guest in the properties of your vacation rental owner too. They are sharing their home with you, so what goes into being the best guest possible?
We turned to the owners of some of our favorite cottages on the planet, Pot N' Kettle Cottages, for the answer. They shared their seven tips for getting the most out of your visit and how to be the best vacation rental guests - EVER.
Owners Samantha & Eric have four vacation rental properties in the village of Leiper's Fork, ranging in sizes from a two-bedroom getaway for couples all the way up to the Leiper's Fork Inn that can sleep 10 and comes with its own event space too! They have done extensive work to make each of their cottages feel like you are walking into the pages of a designer magazine, and all that is left is for you to do is make yourself at home.
They've been in the vacation rental business over five years and to say they have seen the best, and not so great, characteristics of guests is an understatement. Here are their keys to being a great guest.
Read the listing!
With so many options for vacation rentals, it is easy to find one that best fits your needs. Whether that be a certain number of bedrooms, walkability to attractions and restaurants, or things as simple as if pets are allowed or not. The owners know what their place can, and can not, offer so they are very clear about that up front. A good listing also notes specific things like when check-in and check-out times are, if wi-fi is available, and other details like that so you can plan your travel accordingly. At Pot N' Kettle they even have a handy side-by-side comparison chart to compare each of their properties at once!
Just like staying with friends, communication is key! When you initially reach out to the property owners about staying with them, let them know a little about yourself and why you're traveling. That not only helps build the human connection but also lets the owner know exactly what you are looking for. Once lines of communication are established you (and the owners) will both know how to connect with each other throughout the duration of your trip. Also, share a little bit with the owners of what you hope to explore. Into trying all the food? Looking for hidden music spots? Owners will likely have suggestions of great places, and owners like Sam & Eric even have a guide to some of their local favorites ready to share.
Ask About Any House Rules - And Follow Them
Like staying with friends, there are some social norms you'll want to abide by and respecting the rules of the house tops that list. When you are talking with your host before your trip, be sure to ask about any house rules that you should be aware of. This way you'll know any specifics on where to park, exactly how many people can stay there, etc., before arriving. This is especially a big one if you are planning to bring pets. Be sure to clarify if your furry travel companion is welcomed at your rental property!
Respect The Neighbors!
If you are planning a reunion of all your college buddies to get the garage band back together for a rocking weekend, probably better to look for that remote cabin in the woods rather than the vacation rental in a quiet neighborhood. The beauty of getting that "locals" feeling with a vacation rental also means that your neighbors are in fact, real-life locals! Knowing they probably need to be up for work in the morning, be considerate when planning for a random Tuesday night dance party in the backyard.
Don't Be an Interior Decorator
"I did a little rearranging for you," is a note that no vacation property owner ever wants to find. Need to move some chairs and tables around for a family game night? No problem! But when you get ready to check out, make sure you have all the furniture and decor back where you found it. These rentals are the homes of the owners so just think how excited you would be to come home and find your bedroom is now a living room and your living room is now a bedroom. If you are an award-winning interior decorator and have a great idea, drop it in a private message to the owners. They are much more likely to think its a good idea if they aren't having to push a sofa back into its original spot!
Know the Owners are There to Help!
Vacation rentals are not hotels. That's the charm of them, but it also means that sometimes things can go wrong. Wake up in the morning and the water heater has gone out? Can't seem to get the wifi to work? Both are headaches for sure, but that's also part of the charms... just like when it happens at home. Luckily though, the owners are just a call or text away and good owners like Sam & Eric are nearby to the property to personally take care of it ASAP so you can get back to having a great time. For vacation rental owners this is a business dependent on positive reviews and people having a positive experience, so they want you to have a good time just as much as you do.
Leave a Review
Once you've visited Franklin, Tennessee and had a great time, there is one more thing to do - leave that review! Did you find the tree swing a nice surprise where your kids spent all their time? Was the walkability to nearby shops and restaurants your favorite part? Share those nuggets of information for others to know about as they plan their trip.
So when you travel are you a hotel all day type of traveler or a let me live like a local kind of person? Let us know that, and what you look for most in a vacation rental in the comments below.