Researching vacation rentals over the internet

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We'll be staying here on our visit to Kiawah Island, South Carolina
We’ll be staying here on our visit to Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

To find vacation rentals on the internet, baby boomers, put on your detective hat. But, before morphing into Sherlock Holmes, make a list of what’s important to you.

For our trip to Kiawah Island, I wanted a one bedroom condo (not an efficiency), close to the beach but not directly on the beach (saves money), balcony or screened porch with pleasant view, end unit, washer-dryer and free wireless Internet.

To begin my search, I googled”Kiawah,” both web and news. Then, I searched Vacation Rentals by OwnerResortQuest, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Beachwalker Rentals and Pam Harrington Exclusives. I bookmarked listings that looked interesting to a folder named Kiawah condos. Later, I went back to review the condos I had chosen and bookmarked the best ones in a folder named Best Kiawah condos.

I paid special attention to the photos, looking for clues. Why doesn’t this listing show an outside shot of the building? Why does another listing leave out a photo of the patio? Another condo shows a photo of the master bathroom but where is the bathtub?

I also checked the comment and recommendation sections of the site paying attention to any clues. Did the remarks complement the owners? What did the renters like about the property? (Of course, remarks can be manipulated so follow your gut feelings.)

Once I whittled my Kiawah Best condo folder down to three or four choices, I invited Alan to take a look. We prioritized the condos and I began calling owners or listing agents depending on the condo.

When I contacted Carrie Randall, owner of 4333 Windswept, I knew that I’d found my Kiawah chill-out spot. Carrie was friendly and helpful. Plus, her condo came with free use of bicycles, beach equipment and access to the owner’s closet, saving us money and packing space.

One more Kiawah tip. Are you interested in using resort facilities including swimming pools, tennis courts, exercise room and golf courses? When renting from an owner or off site leasing agent, be sure that your condo includes thes amenities.

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

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