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Last minute Spring Break house rental...

Indiana
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10,652 posts
13 reviews
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Last minute Spring Break house rental...

Hello,

We are planning on driving down from Indiana to the panhandle for my wife's Spring Break April 2-9. We have two young children, ages 2 and 3.5, and would really like a private pool (pref. heated) and a house (pref. 3 bedrooms or more but 2 might work) preferably a short walk from the beach.

Area-wise, we are looking at the area between Destin and PC (Grayton, Watercolor, Santa Rosa, Seaside, Seacrest, Rosemary Beach, Inlet Beach, etc.). We would consider Destin proper but not Panama City proper. We would also be interested in local things to do with young children but having solitude and being 20 minutes drive from things to do with kids sounds fine to me.

I have found several options between rental agencies and sites like VRBO and HomeAway but I am not sure I want to commit yet. The Spring Break upcharges, in some cases, are outrageous (moreso than I have seen before).

We have rented homes many times before (both in Florida and in the Caribbean) and we have almost always been able to negotiate a discount rate - even at high times like Spring Break and Christmas.

Problem is...every person I have talked to so far (from owners to agents) have said they won't discount that week. Okay, I get that it is high season but 98% of the places I have contacted show that week available and it is three months away. How close to the trip would it have to be to offer a discount? If I have to wait until March to book, I guess I can - but I certainly don't think all these available properties will book up in three months

Anyways...I know there are owners and agents who frequent the TA forums here so I figured I would try my luck posting this here.

Our budget for this trip, including taxes and fees, is $1500 for the week...but I might consider $2,000 if the property were superb (heated pool, great outdoor area, decks, view, super-close to beach, etc.).

Any ideas or comments, I am all ears. I am also open to PMs from agents and owners.

Thanks much!

Wisconsin
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682 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Last minute Spring Break house rental...

Hi there fellow Mid-Westerner! We are going to be vacationing in the Panhandle the week after you are (my husband is a teacher) and driving down from WI as we always do. I'm not surprised to hear that you are having a hard time negotiating a price with people, as you will find that in the area you're looking, the prices are going to be considerably higher than if you stayed in PCB. Because there are so many choices in the area, the PCB owners are much more likely to negotiate a price. For the week you're looking, you're going to be hard pressed to find a decent rental with a pool in your price range. We're looking for the week before yours and we figure we'll spend close to $2500, and that's not directly on the beach! If you're willing to take something that's less than upscale, you might find something close to $2000. Don't expect to get a discount in that area until 2 weeks or so before your vacation week. Do you have to have a private home? There are some very upscale condos on the far west side of PCB that we've stayed at previously and they are practically giving those units away for those weeks. Good luck to you!

Wisconsin
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682 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Last minute Spring Break house rental...

The other thing I forgot to mention is that if you DO get a discount a few weeks before, it may be only 10% or so.

3. Re: Last minute Spring Break house rental...

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