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Travel Everything to know about vacation rentals, including the best booking platforms, COVID-19 safety info, and the best places to go in the US

01:50  15 july  2020
01:50  15 july  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

Will future pandemics be covered by travel insurance? Experts say yes

  Will future pandemics be covered by travel insurance? Experts say yes Even if you never thought much about travel insurance or trip protection in the past, these policies may be top of mind now. After all, the coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to read the fine print on our credit card trip protection benefits, as well as travel cancellation and rebooking policies. Visit TPG’s …According to Google Trends, there’s been a meteoric rise in travel insurance search queries online, which peaked the week of March 8. Many of these searchers are likely feeling motivated to buy travel insurance policies for future trips.

Connect with us on social media for travel guidance amid COVID - 19 . A message from our CEO and Common signs of infection include shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, fever and cough. Situation dashboard from Johns Hopkins University ( best viewed in desktop). COVID - 19 News and

Because COVID - 19 is spreading in the United States and abroad, CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in public, including during travel. Before you travel, learn if COVID - 19 is spreading in your local area or in any of the places you are going .

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  • Although the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the US, some states are continuing phased reopenings and people are seeking safe ways to book future trips.
  • Renting a vacation home can offer a safer alternative than hotels, according to experts, since you can book an entire home and minimize contact with others.
  • Below, we outline some of the best vacation rental companies, plus how to decide if home rentals are safe, and the best places to book vacation rentals in the US.
  • Read more: Which is safer: Airbnb or hotels? Here's what doctors say
Table of Contents

The novel coronavirus has disrupted travel plans across the globe. Even as some states and countries lift restrictions and continue phased reopenings, other states are experiencing spikes and seeing the highest number of cases yet. Not to mention the recent EU ban on US travelers entering.

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Here's what to know about your COVID - 19 cancellation. Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's " Good Morning The Hotels.com COVID - 19 “travel advice” page states “ we are waiving change fees for many hotels based on where you are traveling to or from.

Accommodation providers should consider how best to inform guests about their policy for Covid -symptomatic guests, for example during the booking or check-in process. To help us improve GOV.UK, we ’d like to know more about your visit today. We ’ll send you a link to a feedback form.

However, in states where things are finally looking up, some travelers are cautiously looking to book travel, especially domestic trips that are closer to home.

And while hotels have implemented stringent new COVID-19 policies, many vacationers are opting instead for home vacation rentals. This is because it's easier to social distance when you have an entire home to yourself. You'll come into contact with far fewer people staying at a secluded home than you would wandering through a hotel lobby and stopping at the check-in desk. Even experts agree that vacation rentals like Airbnb may be a safer alternative to hotels right now.

Keep in mind, as expanded on below, that there is no guarantee of safety when it comes to travel right now no matter what type of accommodation you book. We always recommend following guidelines from the CDC and WHO, as well as local and state policies, and assessing your own level of risk.

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cross the border regularly to go to work, including in the health care sector or critical infrastructure workers. Making the choice to stay at home and not travel outside of Canada is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the most vulnerable groups in our communities from COVID - 19 .

Help us continue to slow the spread of COVID - 19 . Practise good hygiene and stay home if unwell. We ’ve got a plan to provide a COVID Safe regional transport network as restrictions ease and the Bookings of three or more family members on the same ticket will be seated together, groups of more

However, if you are looking to make future travel plans, considering a home vacation rental is a wise option.

These are some of the best vacation rental companies, including everything you should know about their COVID-19 policies, and the best places to book vacation rentals in the US.

The best home vacation rental companies

a wooden bench in front of a house: Airbnb © Airbnb Airbnb

Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the most widely recognized and used sites for booking vacation homes. While travelers on a budget sometimes turn to the platform to score a cheap room within a home, the draw for many during these times is the option to filter by and book entire homes. Users can easily search by location for homes to rent and filter by date, price, rating, and more.

Listings and hosts are reviewed by past guests on everything from cleanliness to location to accuracy (so you know if the photos really match what you'll be getting in person).

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Here's everything you need to know about Austria's reopening. The first 19 countries currently being allowed into the Seychelles for the purposes of tourism are quite the mixed bag. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately

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While reading through past reviews is a solid way to filter out any potential duds or scams, those looking for a guarantee of hotel-quality stays can also filter exclusively for Airbnb Plus listings.

See a full break down of the difference between regular listings and Airbnb Plus listings here.

a house with trees in the background: Vrbo © Vrbo Vrbo

Vrbo

Vrbo is actually an acronym for "vacation rentals by owner," which is exactly what this site is all about. Much like on Airbnb, users can search in specific destinations by price point and other amenity factors for homes to rent from owners.

The biggest difference between the two platforms is that Vrbo is exclusively for entire homes — so there's no chance you can accidentally book a room or shared space. For peace of mind, Vrbo also offers a Book With Confidence Guarantee, which provides every traveler with payment protection against fraudulent listings and access to a team of re-booking specialists.

It's worth noting that HomeAway and Vbro used to be separately branded sites both run by Expedia Group. However, as of July 2020, HomeAway has been entirely folded into Vrbo.

TurnKey Vacation Rental listings are typically more expensive than ones on Airbnb and Vrbo, but every property is vetted to ensure a hotel-like experience — here's how it works and what to expect

  TurnKey Vacation Rental listings are typically more expensive than ones on Airbnb and Vrbo, but every property is vetted to ensure a hotel-like experience — here's how it works and what to expect TurnKey Vacation Rentals includes thousands of well-appointed homes across the US, with standard policies for COVID, cleanings, and cancellations.Many Americans have returned to travel in some measure as the pandemic continues, though the methods they're selecting may be different than in the past. Home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb have reported an uptick in booking private vacation home rentals when compared to this time last year.

Booking .com searches cheap car rental prices in over 53000 locations worldwide. Why rent a car during Coronavirus ( COVID - 19 )? Flexible bookings . Sign up and we 'll send the best deals to you. That's how we know our reviews come from real guests who have stayed at the property.

COVID - 19 has seriously disrupted the airline industry. Most countries have travel advisories - or outright bans - in place to restrict the spread of the virus. COVID - 19 is throwing everything up in the air— including the fate of airline companies. It’s not yet clear when these stringent travel restrictions

Find a full overview of Vrbo and how it differs from Airbnb here.

a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a building: Marriott © Marriott Marriott

Marriott Homes & Villas

Most travelers are familiar with Marriott and their wide array of hotels, ranging from budget-minded stays like Four Points by Sheraton to iconic luxury brands like St. Regis. However, the company also has a lesser-known arm of bookable vacation homes and villas.

Ideal for travelers who want a private home backed by a major brand for the guarantee of a hotel-like stay, Marriott Bonvoy's Homes & Villas by Marriott International includes over 2,000 homes in over 100 destinations across the globe.

All homes are professionally managed and come with 24/7 customer support, professional cleaning, and high-end amenities. You can even earn and use Marriott Bonvoy points for stays.

Read a full overview and see top Marriott Homes & Villas in the US here.

a large pool of water: Turnkey Vacation Rentals © Turnkey Vacation Rentals Turnkey Vacation Rentals

Turnkey Vacation Rentals

Turnkey has thousands of premium and luxury homes listed in popular destinations across the US. What sets the platform apart is that unlike companies like Airbnb or Vrbo, Turnkey vets every single property to ensure its a quality stay.

Every listing is also run by Turnkey's management company as opposed to just the owners, which means guests can expect higher standards when it comes to customer service, cleanliness, and amenities. The company also sets a higher bar when it comes to tech to create a more seamless process for both hosts and guests. The company's proprietary smart home technology includes time-coded digital locks, in-home tablets, noise decibel monitors, automated scheduling of housekeeping, and more.

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However, while the platform is consistently adding new locations, it is not as widespread as other vacation rental services yet so they may not always have homes listed where you're traveling.

a large room: onefinestay © onefinestay onefinestay

onefinestay

Another offshoot of a well-known hotel brand, onefinestay is part of the Accor group (you know them for brands like Sofitel, Raffles, Banyan Tree, and more).

Onefinestay was launched in London in 2010 and offers a curated global portfolio of high-end homes and villas. The properties are broken down by two categories: City and Villa. City includes apartments available to book in places like New York City, while beachfront homes in the Turks & Caicos are found under Villa.

Every stay includes local support and the option to add tailored amenities and services. Onefinestay also takes care of everything from housekeeping to in-stay maintenance, offering convenience and peace of mind for both guests and homeowners.

a house covered in snow: Booking.com © Booking.com Booking.com

Booking.com, Hotels.com & Expedia.com

Most people turn to online services like Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Expedia.com to compare rates and get the best deals on hotels. However, you can also find homes and apartments available on these sites, too.

After inputting your location and date criteria, filter for "Accomodation type" or "Property type." Here you can choose from options like "homes and apartments," "vacation homes," and "guest houses."

Just like hotels, properties on these sites are rated on specific amenities like location, value, and Wi-Fi, to help you choose the best spot.

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See a comparison of vacation rental sites here.

Are vacation rentals safe right now?

With COVID-19 spiking across the country, it's a challenging time to make vacation plans and many travelers are wondering if travel is safe at all right now.

We spoke to experts about home booking sites like Airbnb and there is some good news. Experts say that home vacation rentals may actually be safer than hotels right now since you can minimize contact when you book a standalone property, and won't have to encounter crowded common spaces or interact with people at check-in desks.

Airbnb also introduced new Enhanced Clean protocols that hosts can opt into. In addition to rigorous new cleaning standards, those who participate can choose to add a Booking Buffer to ensure listings remain vacant for 24 hours after a guest leaves before a cleaning team or host can enter, and then another 48 hours must pass before a new guest's arrival. However, not all hosts are taking part in the new protocols.

Additionally, not all home rental sites have rolled out such policies, so you'll need to read up before deciding to book.

That said, there is no guarantee of safety right now. We always recommend following government guidelines and avoiding travel to and from coronavirus hot spots for your safety, as well as the safety of others. Regardless of where you stay, you should also wear masks in public spaces, practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly.

See what experts are saying about Airbnb safety here.

Compare hotel safety to Airbnb safety according to doctors here.

Find out how to know if a listing is taking part in Airbnbs new Enhanced Clean protocols here.

What are vacation rental cancellation policies like?

Every home vacation rental policy is different. It's vital to read individual policies to find out how flexible they are before making decisions.

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Many platforms, including Airbnb and Vrbo, do not have any COVID-19 cancellation policies for new bookings currently being made. Instead, travelers should look for individual listings with more flexible options for canceling reservations.

Read more about Airbnb's cancellation policy here.

Read more about Vrbo's cancellation policy here.

a person driving a boat in the water: Jordan Siemens / Getty Images © Jordan Siemens / Getty Images Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

The best places to book vacation rentals in the US

East Coast

  • The best Airbnbs in upstate New York

  • The best cabins in the Catskills

  • Unique and affordable Airbnbs in the Hudson Valley

  • The best Airbnbs in the Adirondacks

  • The best Airbnbs in the Hamptons

  • The best Airbnbs in New England
  • The best Airbnbs in Cape Cod

  • The best Airbnbs in Rhode Island
  • The best Airbnbs on the Jersey Shore

  • The best Airbnbs in Connecticut

  • The best Airbnbs in Maine

  • The best Airbnbs in Vermont

South

  • The best Airbnbs in Florida
  • The best Airbnbs in Destin
  • The best Airbnbs in Nashville
  • The best vacation rentals in the Outer Banks on Airbnb and Vrbo
  • The best Airbnbs in Hilton Head
  • The best Airbnbs in Myrtle Beach

Midwest

  • The best Airbnbs in Chicago

West Coast

  • The best Airbnbs in California

Hawaii

  • The best Airbnbs in Hawaii

Other great home vacation rentals

  • The best Airbnbs with pools in the US
  • Cozy cabins popular on Vrbo
  • The 10 most popular Airbnb destinations in the US right now

Everything else you need to know about booking safe vacations during COVID-19

  • Is travel safe? We interviewed experts on risks associated with flying, booking hotels or Airbnbs, renting cars, and more, plus ideas on safe vacations during COVID-19

  • Airbnb announced vigorous new cleaning protocols for hosts in response to COVID-19. Here's how to know if the listing you're considering is participating — or not.
  • Which is safer: Airbnb or hotels? Here's what doctors say
  • Airbnb vs. Vrbo vs. HomeAway: Here's how each vacation home rental service works, plus their cancellation and coronavirus policies
  • 4 safer summer travel ideas based on expert advice — public charters over commercial flights, private home rentals over crowded resorts, and much more
  • Expert tips for taking a safe, socially distanced road trip
  • Are rental cars safe to drive right now? We talked to 3 leading experts to find out
  • The best RV rentals
  • The best camper van rentals
  • 6 of the top road trips in the US and where to stay along the way
Read the original article on Business Insider

Gallery: Marriott Bonvoy also includes private vacation home rentals through its Homes & Villas platform — here's how it works plus top rentals available to book in the US (Business Insider)

9 rental car rewards programs you need to know about .
If you’re thinking about taking a quick vacation but feel uncomfortable flying during the pandemic, you might consider renting a car. Renting a car provides for ample social distancing and can make for fun road trips, whether you’re traveling solo or with friends and family. If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve probably booked …If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve probably booked the cheapest rental car option in the past without giving much thought to loyalty programs. But you should — as a being a rewards member can get you some sweet perks like car upgrades. Plus, many companies have announced status extensions for their loyal members.

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