November 24, 2017

Vacation Rentals: What Amenities Do You Really Need?

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We’re in Puerto Rico this week and this is the second time I’ve used Homeaway to find a vacation rental. We’re staying in a condo in Fajardo and my in-laws are in a condo just two buildings away. Our rental is very different from the one we had at Walt Disney World in November, largely because of what we don’t have here in the condo, amenities that I take for granted as an American.

The fact that we don’t have a dishwasher is not a big deal, but again, I never really thought about a dishwasher as an optional appliance. So before you book a vacation rental, think about your must-have conveniences, if there are any, and keep an eye out for them when you make your booking. Here are a few to get you started:

Central Air Conditioning: In our condo, there are air conditioning units in each of the bedrooms, but not in the main gathering area (family room / kitchen). It’s definitely more humid in those rooms, but I’m starting to enjoy the ocean breeze with the sliding glass door open. However, if central A/C is important to you, look out for it and ask the owner about it.

Dishwasher:  As I mentioned above, our condo does not have a dishwasher. I don’t love washing dishes, but it will do. I’m quickly learning that people on the islands lead a more relaxed, practical lifestyle than I do. It’s fine, but it would be nice if we had more than four forks.

Washer & Dryer: We like to be able to wash our clothes on vacation since the kids run through clean outfits pretty quickly, and we can always use more clean towels. We have a washer/dryer in our condo, but I found out only two days ago that my in-laws’ condo does not. Kind of annoying, but it is what it is.

Wi-Fi: These days I just assume wi-fi is everywhere. My in-laws have wi-fi in their condo, but we do not. The owner of our condo actually told me to go onto our balcony and link up to someone else’s unprotected wi-fi. Hmm. So here I sit on the balcony with a beautiful view of the marina on an unsecured wi-fi network.

Yesterday, I was a bit irked about some of these missing conveniences, but today, I’m feeling more relaxed. We’ve been to the beach, I’ve showered up, and I’m enjoying the ocean breeze on the fifth floor. I think I could get used to this back-to-basics, practical islands lifestyle. Maybe. Well, I am from DC, and we’re pretty uptight there, so maybe it makes sense to be mildly upset by no central air conditioning. 🙂

Photo Credit: Pipeopotamus

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