My husband and I booked our first vacation rental through TripAdvisor this past July, and everything turned out very nicely. However, I wish I had read this prep list beforehand; it would have helped us plan ahead for things such as what food to bring, and what bath items would be available.
Also, the suggestion to talk to the owners before arriving is an excellent one. I decided to research and explore on our own, and I wish I hadn’t! We went hiking on a trail in the Lake of the Ozarks state park one afternoon. We arrived with the clothes on our backs, water, snack bars, and a compass. We left with chiggers, ticks and fleas. Almost six weeks later, we are still dealing with the fallout from those little buggers!
I recommend doing vacation rentals if you’re the kind of traveler who trusts your research and preparation skill.