Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental


(By Bob Oaks) The pressure is on! You’ve been volunteered to find the perfect vacation rental for your extended family (in-laws, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and grandparents). There’s a lot riding on the decision because everyone has their own list of priorities.

Your 6’6” brother-in-law needs a king bed, your mother needs easy access to the beach because of her knees, and the kids have to have a heated pool. How do you pick the perfect spot for your family vacation?

First, how many guests are in your party? What bed configurations will the group need? When can your group make their visit? Is there an alternative set of dates? Are there any amenities (pool table, Bayfront dock, hot tub) that are “must haves”? Good WiFi access is now a necessity as well with students going to school online, and adults zooming for work. If you are off the gulf front, beach chairs and a beach cart to help you haul your stuff to the beach are really nice to have.

A visit to the website for the vacation rental company is a good first step. The individual company’s website is always the least expensive place to book your stay.  Most vacation rental companies charge more on VRBO and AirBnB, because the big online travel agencies  have extra fees for managers and guests them additional fees for bringing the booking.

You can search by number of bedrooms, location and the various amenities, like hot tub, pool and game room. Make sure you know whether linens are provided with your stay. Are the beds made when you arrive? Check-in time is 4 pm – do you have to go to the office, or does the property have keyless entry?

Websites can feature many photos of each home, as well as a floor plan of the home and sometimes a virtual tour. Maps should show the exact location of all homes, and the beach accesses, shops and restaurants nearby. Real time availability shows you when your preferred home will be open for your family. Once you’ve done your online browsing, you can book immediately on the website, or you may have a question for one of our knowledgeable local reservationists. They can offer their personal insights on location, home furnishings, the best place to watch the sunset and upcoming local events.

At Sun Palace Vacation we accept bookings 24 hours ahead of arrival, but to get the perfect property for your group, you probably need to plan ahead. Many of our homes are rebooked by the current guests for the next year – they have a first right of refusal. So start looking early, and be prepared to commit when you find the home that meets your criteria. There could be someone else looking at the same time – whoever makes a decision first gets the house!

Bob Oaks is the President of Sun Palace Vacations on Fort Myers Beach. If you’d like more information on the perfect place to stay on the beach contact Bob at

Our staff strives to provide a memorable family experience – our world revolves around your vacation! We love hosting your family while you make lasting family memories in the natural tropical paradise that is Fort Myers Beach. Start making your plans soon!


  1. You made a good point that looking at the website for a vacation home rental is a good way to know more about the house. I’m thinking about going on a staycation with some close friends soon because we have been planning to hang out ever since last year. I think we would finally have time to catch up within this month of the next.

Comments are closed.