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Assurance for booking vacation rentals online?

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Yellowknife, Canada
posts: 1
Assurance for booking vacation rentals online?

Hi folks,

I found a nice-looking vacation rental in Paia online (not listed through Trip Advisor). I haven't booked vacation rentals online before, and considering the price, would like assurance that my family is going to get what we see, and that I'm mailing money to someone I can trust. There is a Maui County Permit listed on their website but I can't seem to find out anything about this permit system and how it might provide this kind of assurance.

Any thoughts on this would be helpful - thank you!

5 replies to this topic
Nanaimo, Canada
posts: 11,938
reviews: 28
1. Re: Assurance for booking vacation rentals online?


This thread is a year old, but a lot of the information given, is still relevant. Have a read through it, and hopefully it will help you.

There are other ways to rent as well, not just with vrbo. Most importantly, PHONE the owner. And do not use Craig's list either!!! I have mailed money orders, but will never wire money.

Welcome to Trip Advisor too!

Sutherlin, Oregon
posts: 205
reviews: 2
2. Re: Assurance for booking vacation rentals online?

VRBO and Flipkey are pretty safe and you pay them with credit card I won't use a check of any kind. If I use VRBO they stand behind it if you follow the directions. Credit card companies will also go after scammers for you. Two levels of protection

ON, Canada
posts: 9,231
reviews: 34
3. Re: Assurance for booking vacation rentals online?

If you want to post the link here to the listing, we'll be glad to give our feedback about the it. Many of us here have rented many times from owners through various on line sites.

Phoning the owner to discuss the house/apt. will give you a good feel for who you are dealing with.

If it's not clear in the listing, I'll ask about when updates were done, ask for photos of rooms not shown in the listing (e.g. bathrooms), if there is carpeting, I'll ask how often they have it cleaned.

If it's not indicated in the listing, I'll ask for an address of the location and I do a google street view search to see where it's located and what the neighbourhood is like. I also google the phone number of the owner to see if it matches the location where I'm sending my payment to.

You could also ask for references.

Credit card payments are the most secure.

Just to add, are you sure that Paia is the location where you want to be? Are you familiar with Maui, or will this be a first visit?

Edited: 9:48 am, December 01, 2013
Destination Expert
for Maui
posts: 5,502
reviews: 34
4. Re: Assurance for booking vacation rentals online?

I wouldn't send my money to anyone before I knew it was an actual rental and I am sending the money to the owner or managing company. I would stick with VRBO etc. it sounds like you are questioning it a bit yourself. Also yes, have you been to Maui and is that the area you want to stay, may be great for surfers and wind surfers, but don't much for just swimmers or snorkelers.

ON, Canada
posts: 9,231
reviews: 34
5. Re: Assurance for booking vacation rentals online?

Forgot to add an important question in my list above:

Who looks after the property/who do you call if there's a problem while you are staying there? e.g. Does the owner live nearby and take care of the property, or do they hire someone else to look after it?

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