The internet has transformed almost every aspect of our lives – and travel is no exception.

In many ways it has made travel a lot easier. Online travel booking websites allow you to search through the many options available and find a wide range of vacation rental properties at your destination. You’ll have full-resolution photos and dozens of reviews at your fingertips, offering you an array of choices for where to lay your head.

But many booking sites can also make things difficult – and more expensive.

These sites can charge high fees (anywhere between 6-15%), which means your getaway ends up being more expensive than it needs to be.  You might not even realise you’re being charged these fees, as they are often built right into the price.

Plus, these online booking websites force you to communicate with the vacation rental property owner through their platform exclusively – which can be inconvenient and will stop you from getting better and more direct customer service.  

Fortunately, there is an alternative.

Did you know you can save money on your vacation rental by booking directly with the property owner?

Let’s delve into this smart travel tip to learn more about how it works.

A Smart Travel Hack That Really Adds Up

Smart travelers have learned that they can get around vacation rental websites and avoid high fees by booking directly, for a much better travel experience. In fact, the idea has even generated a few social media hashtags, including #nobookingfee, #bookdirect and #feeyalater.

Why spend that extra money on booking fees, when you could spend it on delicious local food, intriguing historic walking tours, admission to museums and galleries and other great activities during your trip?

Considering that a typical rental home shared between several people can run up to $500 per night, total cost of accommodation for a trip can be around $3,000. When you add 10%, that’s $300 – which is a significant difference. (Enough to buy groceries for the full stay!)

Also, communicating directly with the rental property owner often results in a much more satisfying experience for the traveler.

After all, a vacation home owner is invested in ensuring you have a great time at their property. They want you to leave and tell everyone you know about what a wonderful time you had at their home. Therefore, they will take the time to make sure you find the right property for your trip and that all your needs are met while you are there.

How to Book Directly and Save

If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of booking your vacation rental directly, don’t worry. Finding the information you need to get in touch with property owners isn’t difficult and doesn’t take as long as you might think.

There are a lot of ways to find owner contact information. For example, you can do a Google search for your destination with the phrase “vacation rental.” Once you have found the property you are interested in, you can look for pertinent information about the owner and find a way to contact them via phone or email.

You can also take a look at the local Chamber of Commerce website, as they often list vacation rentals in the community. You can even ask for recommendations in online travel forums, or look for the Facebook page or website of the vacation rental property.

Another strategy is to do a Google search of the area with the phrase “vacation rental management company.” For example, if you were heading to Orlando, Florida you could search for “Orlando Vacation Rental Management Company” and find several great options. (Keep in mind that in Europe a “vacation” is known as a “holiday” so you’ll want to search for “holiday rental management company” instead.)

If you really want to save time, there is an even easier way. With Abodeca you can find a great selection of vacation rental properties, with all the info you need to get in touch with the local property management company directly. You won’t be charged any extra fees and you’ll be able to arrange the best possible rate for your stay directly with the rental home or apartment where you’ll be staying. It’s not even necessary to sign up for the site – all the information to contact the property owners is right there.

Abodeca works differently than other online property listing websites. It was founded by property managers who wanted to connect travelers and vacation rental owners without the need for a middle man. Abodeca CEO Tom Powers is a former property manager and he saw the flaws with the current system – guests couldn’t contact property managers directly and property managers didn’t have full control of their brand.

He launched Abodeca to establish an affordable solution for both parties, without expensive booking fees. Not only does Abodeca allow guests to save money on online booking agency fees, it also enables property owners to give better, more personal service.

Best Practices When Booking Vacation Rentals Directly

When it comes to booking vacation rentals directly with the local property management company, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

Look Up The Address

Many of the large vacation rental booking websites will hide the exact address of the property until you have made your booking. Abodeca does not do this. You can get the full address and look it up on Google Maps to get an idea of what the area is like – which really helps make booking decisions.

Use A Secure Payment Method

Before you enter your payment information on any local vacation rental website, look for a padlock symbol in the browser window and make sure the website address begins with https://. Also, in the off chance you need to get a refund, booking with a credit card offers you the best financial protection and support.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

You’re connecting with the vacation rental owner directly – which is a huge perk because no one knows more about the property than them. They are the ideal person to ask questions about the property, the neighborhood and the destination itself. Don’t miss the chance to find out information from the expert!

Give It a Try on Your Next Trip

Many travelers are hesitant about booking directly with vacation rental owners, as we are so used to large vacation rental booking websites. However, not only is it a cheaper option to use a direct website like Abodeca, it’s also less hassle and encourages a better customer experience.

Abodeca is new on the scene and growing rapidly. Stay up to date with new developments by following the Facebook pageOr, you can sign up as a guest and look through the collection of gorgeous properties already posted – and start daydreaming about your next trip.