5 Rules for Staying in a Vacation Rental

With sites like Airbnb and Couchsurfing on the rise, vacation rentals are becoming more and more popular. Maui condo rentals give you a great deal of privacy along with a variety of amenities you wouldn’t find in a Big-Island hotel, for example.

If you decide to stay in a vacation rental for your next trip, make sure to read these 5 rules first.

1. Don’t try to go over the maximum occupancy.

It’s easy to understand the reasoning. You pack as many of your friends as possible into a single space to try to beat the system and make the individual cost less for everyone. However, renters spell out the maximum occupancy in their listings for a reason: they want to allay any damage. As the saying goes, too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth. More people staying in one place means more chances of breaking a window, scuffing furniture, or otherwise making a big mess.

The maximum occupancy is there to ensure your own personal comfort, too. When you’re on a schedule and only have one bathroom between twelve people, mornings can get very hectic.

Renters aren’t stupid either. They’ll know if you had more people than you initially said, and they’ll charge you extra for it. They’ll also notice if you ask a bunch of questions to find a loophole.

2. Respect quiet hours.

You’re on vacation, which means party time 24/7. It’s okay to have fun, but you still need to respect quiet hours. Realize that quiet hours generally aren’t put in place by the person you’re renting from—they’re enforced by the neighborhood or apartment complex. If anything, the renter informing you of quiet hours is them being nice and saving you a mid-party visit from the cops. Turn down the stereo and remind loud talkers to keep the volume low.

3. Don’t rearrange the furniture.

Imagine if you came home and found that your entire living room arrangement had changed, destroying the flow, comfort, and logic of the room. It would be annoying and you’d probably question if the place was haunted.

That’s pretty much what rental owners have to deal with on a regular basis. It’s a major annoyance and can potentially lead to scuffed floors and damaged furniture. Most rental owners have the basic knowledge to arrange furniture such that everyone gets a view of the TV and none of the walkways are blocked. Many will provide cushions and bean bags so you can move if you really feel the need, but you shouldn’t be doing any heavy lifting in the rental.

4. Be as clean as possible.

Vacation doesn’t mean you’re allowed to throw your trash on the floor or track mud into the rental. Although rental owners do hire cleaners to take care of messes, excess mess may cost them, which will cost you by proxy. Too messy and you can say goodbye to your deposit.

Keep the house clean. That doesn’t mean you have to make your bed every day or even shower regularly—though that brings up other questions about hygiene—but you should throw trash away in specified containers, wash your dishes, and not wallow in your own filth.

5. Call the owner if you have questions.

Whatever the owner says goes, so if you have a question or need some clarification about something in the welcome packet, don’t be afraid to call the owner to ask. Most are pretty accommodating and are happy to help.

Rentals are a great way to save some money and live like a local. As long as you follow the above rules, you should have no problem enjoying your vacation. Have fun!

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