8) Kitchen and Beds
Are you a master chef and expect there will be sharp knives, can openers and a dozen baking pans in the kitchen? Or perhaps you are planning on blending that perfect Goombay Smash when you arrive and you’ll need a blender for the task -- one that works and doesn't leak. It is best to ask exactly what to can expect in the way of utensils and kitchen equipment. “Fully equipped kitchen” means different things to different people. Eleuthera is an underdeveloped island and you won’t find a Walmart on the island. Does the refrigerator have left over condiments in it? Yuck!
The same holds true for sleeping arrangements. If the rental listing says “sleeps 8,” be sure to ask if that means 2 people have to sleep on an air mattress. Know what the layout house is and where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located. Determine how much privacy you want and make sure the rental property can accommodate that.
9) Walk Through the Rental When You Arrive and Before You Leave
Walk through the rental with the owner or property manager when you arrive. Look for any apparent damages and point them out taking a few photos along the way if necessary.
- Check the plumbing, turn on faucets, flush toilets, etc.
- Test the appliances in the kitchen, refrigerator is cold, stove is on, toaster works, etc.
- Check on the water supply, whether it is safe to drink, where it comes from and how it works.
- Check fans and air conditioning equipment and how to use them.
- How does the telephone and internet service work exactly.
- Where are the circuit breakers, flashlights, candles and fire extinguishers?
- Ask how to secure your belongings and how to properly lock the rental. Is there a safe or perhaps an owner’s closet with a lock you can use?
- If you have any problems during your stay, contact the property manager immediately.
- Find out how to contact the property owner / manager day or night should any problem arise.
- If there is a pool, how often is it cleaned? Is it heated? Pools can be chilly depending on time of year and not much good if you can’t get in.
- Are towels available and in decent shape?
- Are the beach toys and outdoor furniture in working order?
- Bug spray.
- Remember this: You're on an island!
Before you check out, be sure you clean the place to whatever standards are expected of you. If you had any problems with the rental, tell them before you leave and take a few photos if need be. Ask the property manager if they see any problems. You want any problems noted before you leave so there aren’t any problems with getting your deposit back later. Don’t leave problems behind without resolving them first with who ever is in charge of returning your deposit.
10) Before You Head to the Rental
- Call a few days in advance and be sure someone is expecting you. Provide your travel information so they know who to contact in case you don't show up.
- Ask if anything is not working at the time i.e. washing machine, television, etc. Sometimes things break. It's better to know in advance so you aren't disappointed.
- Bring a copy of your rental agreement and contact information.
- Find out what the contingency plans are in case you have to arrive early or late. You can't have enough telephone numbers.
If you follow these tips on finding your ideal vacation rental home on Eleuthera, you're going to have an excellent experience on the island! When you deal with the right people, they will do everything reasonable to get you to rent their home again. Repeat customers are a sure sign a vacation homeowner is doing it right. Don't forget you are using someone else's vacation home, their pride and joy, so treat it like it was your own or better. You want the next person to enjoy it as much as you did -- don't leave any surprises behind.
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