Decision Points in Choosing Vacation Rentals in Orlando FL

The great thing about choosing an Orlando vacation rental home is that you have over ten thousand homes to choose from.  While choice is a wonderful thing, it can be a bit daunting to sort through dozens, let alone hundreds or thousands of homes to find the right one!  Luckily most good websites have tools that let you narrow down the properties available so you can quickly discard the ones that do not meet your needs, then take your time perusing the rest.

orlando vacation rental homes Decision Points in Choosing Vacation Rentals in Orlando FL

Generally the first thing searchers do is enter travel dates.  After all, unless your dates are flexible, there isn’t much point looking at properties that aren’t available during your vacation.  The next step might be specifying the community or town the where the property is located.  Here in the Orlando vacation rental market, virtually everything is marketed as “close to Disney” and indeed it is.  You would have a tough time finding a home more than 20 miles away from Disney.  So unless you need to be right on top of Disney or closer to some of the other parks (Universal, Sea World) you can probably skip this step.  That said, some people have family nearby or have favorite restaurants, shopping centers or Interstates (for trips to the beach!)  they want to be near.  Good websites will have maps so you can narrow down your search if this is important to you.

The next item is number of bedrooms.  If you are bringing two families or the in-laws, you may want to look for a home with two master suites.  A master suite generally means a Queen or King bed and an adjoining bathroom only accessible from the bedroom.  If you have a bunch of kids (who doesn’t – you’re coming to Disney after all!) you might look for more bedrooms.  You will also want to look at the configuration, which is generally two twins in each kids room.  And speaking of kids rooms, some homes have themed bedrooms for the little ones, which can be a nice bonus!

Note that Florida State Law for occupancy is number of bedrooms x 2 (plus 2 if the home has a pull out sofa or sleeper couch.)  So that means a 5 bedroom home maxes out at 12 persons.  Practically speaking, 12 people in a five bedroom home is more than enough bodies occupying the living areas and kitchen!

Next you will want to search on the amenities that are important to you and your family.  Most every home comes with its own private pool.  Spas (usually a built in raised “hot tub” type pool integrated into the pool infrastructure that can be heated separately) are optional and not always available.  Spas are nice after a long day at the parks.  Usually spa heat can be purchased separately from pool heat, especially since pools only need to be heated over the cooler winter months.  And some folks prefer a saltwater pool, which while rare, can be found.

Some folks like the added security of a gated community.  In practical terms, the gate security can usually be circumvented by “tailgating” or arriving on foot, but some still like it.  Regardless, it does give an air of exclusivity.  If security is an issue, look for a house with an alarm, and make sure that the code has been reset for your stay.  Only you and the property management company should know the code during your stay!

Some homes are located in communities that have a children’s play area, a tennis court, a basketball court, soccer fields, and maybe even a community pool and gym.  Further still, some of these outdoor spaces are lit during the evening hours.  This information may be more difficult to find but if its important to you, call the property manager and find out before you book your vacation!

orlando vacation rental homes Decision Points in Choosing Vacation Rentals in Orlando FL

Regarding the home itself, some homes offer a game room.  This is usually a low end ping pong table, pool table, and foosball table located in the garage, but the configurations are limitless.  Some homes have slate pool tables indoors which adults might enjoy.  (Parents with active children usually enjoy banishing the kids to the game room in the garage!)

Finally, you may want to look at the grounds themselves – would you prefer a lake view?  Or backing to woods?  Both of these are rare but can be found.  You also might find a home with a privacy fence surrounding the pool.  After all, land is precious so vacation homes tend to be placed fairly close together.

Perhaps the best advice is to watch a recent video tour of the property (try typing the name of the property into YouTube).  By watching a video tour, you will quickly get a great feel for the layout of the home, both inside and out.  If you can imagine yourself vacationing there, rent it!

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