Next to airfares, the cost of your accommodation is likely to be the 2nd largest expense during your overseas holiday. So it makes sense to save every dollar you can when booking your villa rental to give yourself more money for eating out or unique travel experiences.
1. Book owner direct
If you book your villa rental directly with the owner rather than through a booking site, you are likely to save hundreds of dollars. Some sites (like Airbnb) add a booking fee payable by you, the guest, usually calculated as a percentage of the total rental fees.
Conduct your own research to source and book with owners directly. The other benefit of this is that if you are booking ahead (see # 5) then always enquire about an ‘early bird’ discount.
2. Travel outside peak season
The rates for villa rentals increase significantly in peak season. In Europe, peak is anytime from June to early September but this can change depending on your specific estination. If you have the flexibility to travel outside of peak season (ie May, late September, early October) then not only will you benefit from less tourists, but your accommodation costs will be reduced.
3. Travel with friends
If you travel with another family or with friends, you can rent a larger property and share the costs. Per head, this can make your accommodations costs significantly cheaper than the rates for a property just for a couple or family.
4. Consider alternative locations
In France, renting a villa in Provence will come at a higher cost that renting a villa in Languedoc. In Italy, staying in Positano on the Amalfi Coast is likely to be more expensive that the village of Praiano which is just up the road.
Consider both the area you’re hoping to stay in and then look at the specific locale within your preferred area. It could be that booking a villa in the next village will be cheaper and you may be able to save hundreds of dollars by looking at an alternative area which is not a prime tourist location.
5. Book ahead
I always recommend booking your villa accommodation at least 6 months ahead. Yes there can be bargains to be found at the ‘last minute’ but it’s usually from a smaller choice of available properties.
Booking ahead also gives you the leverage to enquire about an early bird discount as you are confirming booking income for owners well in advance.
Putting any one of these 5 tips into practice will save you money on booking a villa rental, so imagine what combining two or more of these tips can achieve.
Be organised, do your leg work and you’ll enjoy the benefits.