Barbados Sapphire Beach Holiday Rental Experience

A new addition to the wealth of accommodation choices for holiday rentals in Barbados. Sapphire Beach Condominiums or Condos in Barbados for short was opened in December 2009 and select luxury self-catering apartments have been rented since then.

The property is a well laid-out 54-apartment complex with excellent Facilities spread over three separate ocean facing buildings and was designed by renowned architect Ian Morrison. It benefits from over 370 feet of beachfront which extends and expands onto the popular Dover Beach with its white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. ALL apartments are beachfront and have direct ocean and beach views.

The location of the property very near St Lawrence Gap or The Gap on the south coast provides a level of convenience few other properties offer as many shopping, dining, entertainment and activity options are within easy walking distance. As a result, guests at Sapphire Beach in Barbados do not require a vehicle to access much of what visitors require such as banking and dining to grocery facilities and more.

The international airport in Barbados, Grantley Adams International Airport (airport code BGI), is a short 15 minute drive to the east and the island’s main city and shopping centre, Bridgetown is a similar short drive to the west.

Among the facilities available at Sapphire Beach in Barbados are two large beachfront pools, private off-road parking and a fully equipped gym. Common amenities to all apartments include air-conditioning, fully equipped Italian kitchens, telephone, cable TV and wireless internet.

Sapphire Beach extends onto Dover Beach which is one of the longer and wider white sand beaches found on the island and has mostly calm waters and is safe for swimming year-round. For the safety of locals and visitors alike there is a daily lifeguard presence as can be identified by the yellow lifeguard hut found there and on many of the other popular swimming beaches. Because of its beauty and popularity, Dover Beach hosts a wide range of both water sport and other beach rental service providers such as SunFish and catamaran sailing, boogey board, snorkel, beach lounges and umbrella rentals to name a few.
The property is located a short 15-minute drive from the airport in the south east and also from the main city Bridgetown in the south west. Barbados is a mostly flat coral island of only 21 by 14 miles (166 square miles) so getting anywhere is a short drive by comparison to most other travel destinations. As a mature holiday destination, the islands infrastructure such as road and road signage are also well developed.

Barbados is well-known for being safe and for the friendliness of its people so getting around and seeing the sights is recommended and locals will be happy to offer directions should you lose your way. Aside from renting a car, visitors can utilize the available public transportation of Government operated Mercedes coaches or the smaller privately owned busses and vans which can take you anywhere for no more than US$1.00 per trip. Bus stops are located along almost every road and in the case of Sapphire Beach are no more than five minutes’ walk away.

Through its history Barbados has been a British colony from 1628 to 1966 when it gained its independence as a independent island. As such the language spoken is English with a Caribbean flare or dialect referred to as Bajan. Islanders are referred to as Barbadians or Bajans. It functions as a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, modeled on the British Westminster system, with Elizabeth II, Queen of England, as head of state. The island has had a history of stability both in its governance and its economic management and low crime making it an ideal location for investment. Unlike many of the other Caribbean islands, it has its own currency which is the Barbados dollar and is pegged to the US dollar with an exchange rate of 2 to 1 i.e. BDS$ 2 = 1 $US.

Travelling To Dubai – Safety Tips

Dubai is one of the most progressive nations in the world. This desert city is known for its grandiose structures and extravagant hotels and malls. It is the perfect blend of modern innovation and age old traditions. The city has a huge influx of immigrant population and while Arabic is the official national language, English is spoken extensively. If you are travelling to Dubai for the first time, the following tips will greatly help you.

Dress in a modest way:
This is one of the most important tips to consider if you are visiting the Dubai city. You must know that Dubai is a Muslim country and just any other Islamic countries in the Middle East you need to dress modestly as a mark of respect to the local culture and customs. Although, you can sport bikinis and swimsuits while you are on the beach, you must not wear revealing clothes in public places. Men should avoid walking without shirts on the road. Although, unlike other Arab countries, Dubai doesnt have stringent laws about dressing while travelling to Dubai it is best advised to dress in a modest way to avoid any problems.

Avoid consuming alcohol in public places:
Dubai is a dry state and alcohol is completely banned in the city except that it sold only in few duty free shops, however, as per the law, tourists cannot have more 4 bottles of alcohol in hand at any point of time. The travelling agents in Dubai strictly advise the foreign tourists to avoid drinking at public place and avoid drinking and driving. While as tourists you can purchase drinks in bars and restaurants, you may not be able to buy alcohol from the local liquor shop since the locals required liquor license. Drink and drive a serious punishable offense here and if you are caught, you may spend a lot of time behind bars and/or pay hefty amount of fine.

Avoid public display of affection:
This is another important tip to remember for all tourists visiting Dubai. Indulging in affectionate activities with your partner like kissing or hugging is considered a serious offense in entire UAE. The city follow Sharia laws and public display of affection is considered immoral and against the law. Some travel agents in Dubai would even suggest the unwed couples to book separate hotel rooms.

Driving in Dubai:
Dubai has one of the best networks of public transport system in UAE, but if you wish to drive your own vehicle, you need to have a valid international driving license. If you plan to settle down in Dubai, you would need to obtain a permanent Dubai driving license.

Be careful while clicking pictures:
During your stay in Dubai it is advisable that you avoid taking photographs with people who are not part of your travelling group without asking for their permission. It is also advised that you avoid taking pictures of government buildings, docks, airports and more importantly you must strictly avoid clicking a picture of a local woman without her permission.

Thus, following the above-mentioned etiquettes would greatly help you have an enjoyable and safe time while travelling to Dubai.

Travelling Is Now In Affordable Prices

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3 Experts Tips from Someone With Experience

A Guide In Finding For Cleaning Services We can’t deny the fact that there is a need for you to spend so much time and effort in order to make cleaning possible. Doing the procedure on your own can be a tough job then. If you do the cleaning on your own, there is a chance that you can do so but then, there is a probability that you won’t be contented with the output of it. Hiring a professional cleaning service provider is the most ideal thing for you to adhere then. You can take advantage of saving your time and energy when you choose to do so and at the same time you will have the contentment with the result of the service. Besides, you can avoid the possibility of hurting yourself upon doing the task. With the idea of getting the professional cleaning service, it is apparent that you have to get your budget ready for it. Due to the quality of service along with your saved time and energy, you can obtain the proper justification of your money then. There are special equipment and tools that the professional cleaner owns to be utilized for the procedure and you don’t have. Aside from that, there are new chemicals and compounds that can be applied so as to make the process more effective. In order to secure the successful outcome, these factors are essential. There is a wide array of cleaning jobs that can be done by the professional cleaner to their potential clients. There is a chance for you to get a washing service included in the cleaning service once you require it. In fact, the use of hot water is observed with professional cleaning so as to make sure that debris and germs are removed. There are machines that make high suction to be used by the professional as well. A clean surface is secured to you then due to this factor. With the utilization of advanced chemicals, it is guaranteed to you as well that the deep layers of your floor will be cleaned well.
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It is overwhelming for you to know that there are other ideal remedies once you don’t like the idea of using chemicals for the cleaning service. It is beneficial for you to look for the professional cleaners that offer service through steam cleaning. You are guaranteed that proper cleaning will be achieved besides, you are safe with this option. In connection to this, there is a need for you to find for the experienced one in order for you have the guarantee that proper procedure will be provided to you. Due to the fact that professional cleaners have been in the field for long duration, you are secured of the quick and effective job to be done.Where To Start with Experts and More

With New Tourism Records Set, Tours Japan Unveils Fresh New Options for Visitors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TOKYO — International tourists set a new record this past November, according to JTB Tourism Research and Consulting, with nearly 1.9 million visitors arriving to experience Japan’s unique culture and history. A ten percent jump compared to the previous year, the new high-water mark for November is a sign of steadily growing global interest in what Japan has to offer.

Rather than settle for shallow, off-the-shelf experiences, visitors driven to understand Japan can dive in deeper with the help of Tours Japan. As detailed at the company’s website at Tours Japan guides offer the kinds of insights, context, and connections that only long-term residents can provide.

Going far beyond pointing out the usual names and places, Tours Japan guides help visitors understand the cultural and historical significance of what they are seeing. With a brand-new Food Tour now adding to the company’s list of tour options and others planned for the near future, a visit to the Tours Japan website at belongs on every traveler’s list of things to do.

“Japan is truly a special, unique country, and one that draws people from all over the world every year,” said Tours Japan representative Barbara Manning, “In recent years, we’ve seen even more interest in Japan, with new tourism records being set regularly. While any visit to Japan is likely to prove rewarding and satisfying, it pays to try to make the most of that precious time. We pride ourselves on helping our clients experience Japan and its culture and history in deeper, more substantial ways. Our guides are the most passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated to be found anywhere, and that really makes a difference.”

With a long, complex history that has sometimes seen it isolated from the rest of the world, the island nation of Japan is today home to around 127 million residents. As one of the most highly developed countries of all in economic terms, Japan boasts a very high standard of living and notably low rates of crime.

Where other services provide checklist-style tours that are led by guides lacking in knowledge, experience, and cultural fluency, Tours Japan offers something different and better. With an in-depth approach that helps visitors understand the significance and context of the many sights to be seen, bilingual Tours Japan guides leverage their long-term residency and impressive knowledge of Japan’s culture and history to ensure truly rewarding experiences.

With new tour packages, including a much-anticipated Food Tour, now available, anyone planning to travel to Japan will want to visit the Tours Japan website at Website visitors can learn more about the company’s services and inquire about their tour options.

About Tours Japan:
The bilingual tour guides of Tours Japan help visitors experience Japan on a deeper, more rewarding level, with culturally, historically informed perspectives illuminating a fascinating country in new ways.

Source: http://markets.financialcontent.com/gafri/news/read/33701360/With_New_Tourism_Records_Set

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7 Tips With this, Pregnant While You Still Can Still Traveling

Travelling is the need of every person, no limit of age, gender, even the person’s condition, including pregnant women. Indeed, we can not deny that the myths that developed in the community about the ban on pregnant women traveling is still believed today. Actually, there is no limit for anyone to travel, and this also applies to pregnant mothers.
Now as the development of knowledge about pregnancy, you do not have to worry to make the trip to conditions even pregnant. Trends traveling began to be known among pregnant women, it is often called a babymoon. Babymoon is a condition in which the mother and father spend vacation time together before the birth of the baby. Many benefits will you dapatklan of this babymoon. Here are 7 tips on traveling while pregnant is fun.
1. Consult a Doctor Before Traveling
Consult a physician before traveling is something you must do. Follow the advice and recommendation of your doctor. This order not to complicate you on the way later. You can also get advice traveling safe for pregnant women as anything, are you allowed to board the plane or not. In case of unwanted things you can anticipate in advance by holding Hospitals and doctors available in the area will you visit.
2. Do not Forget to Take Vitamins and Drugs, If Necessary
Take vitamins and drugs given by your doctor. Due to the current conditions differ from normal pregnant normally, you also need more intake with additional vitamin.
3. Self-Control, Limits Know Yourself
During pregnancy the body conditions you will feel exhausted, therefore, you should know the limit yourself to what extent. Do not let traveling activity you are doing your energy drained. If you feel tired, take a moment to restore your power. Do not force yourself, remember that you are pregnant.
4. Find a Safe Event
Because you’re pregnant, so choose activities that traveling is safe and does not harm your pregnancy condition. Do not do activities that extreme and dangerous. Always remember that you are pregnant, you quite enjoy it from a distance just for a while.
5. Enough Sleep
In order for the condition of your body to stay fresh while traveling, you need enough sleep to maintain stamina. sleep at least 8 hours in a day. Traveling should not make you stay up all night outside. Maintain your physical condition, keep in mind that you are pregnant with the child.
6. Bring Snacks, Not Starving For a road
It can not be denied that the condition of pregnancy makes you feel hungry faster. Well, make sure when you are traveling bring a snack to prop your stomach. Do not let you starve, because it has a bad effect on the health of your fetus if left unchecked. Travelling not to bring bad influence on the condition of your pregnancy.
7. Use Outfit Comfortable and Moderation
Last tips for pregnant mothers who want to do the traveling is to find a comfortable outfit and not excessive. Tight clothes and high heels is not the right answer for the use of pregnant women when traveling. Bleak outfit that will make your traveling. You would not be convenient to use when traveling. Choose an appropriate and comfortable outfit.

Traveling To Bollywood To See Hollywood

Mumbai has always been the Hollywood of India with a thriving film making industry primarily catering to cinema goers in India. The movie, Slum Dog Millionaire shot this ancient Indian city to worldwide attention and is now attracting more curious tourists than ever.

Mumbai, perhaps more well known by its former name, Bombay, is the capital city of India’s Maharashtra state is home to a population of about 13 million people and is the largest metropolis in India. It is also one of the most populated cities in the world. Some people refer to Bombay as the tinsel town of India akin to Hollywood because Bombay is the centre of the Hindi movie industry.

Because of this association with Hollywood, Hindi movies are referred to as Bollywood made movies. The recipe for success in Bollywood is the usual poor boy meets rich girl theme interspersed with plenty of singing, dancing and costume changes. However this successful formula may have to be changed. While this formula is still a staple Bollywood fare, an increasing number of movies are experimenting with diverse story lines, from gritty dramas to horror flicks.

Industry observers say is the changes are related to, ironically, India’s booming economy, which has produced a better educated middle class that demands more sophisticated and more complex plots. This evolution is successfully proven in the movie “Slum Dog Millionaire”.

In a strange twist of events, the transformation is happening at a time when Bollywood’s visual focused style of filmmaking is infiltrating into Hollywood, influencing movies like Moulin Rouge. Indian filmmakers in the United States are infusing Hollywood made movies with the colors and lavish aesthetics, Bollywood style.

oulin Rouge was reportedly influenced by a trip the film’s director Baz Luhrmann made to India and his fascination with Bollywood style movies. The movie even featured a closing number based on the Hindi song “Chamma Chamma”.

Because of the popularity of Bollywood made movies, Mumbai is attracting tourists from all over the world and also domestic tourists, just like its counterpart, Hollywood. To satisfy the estimated 14 million or so Indians who troop to the cinema every day, the Bollywood churns out more than a thousand movies a year. This is at least twice as many movies as Hollywood produce in a year.

The Bollywood actors and actresses will break out into songs and dance routine anytime, something which often leaves Western movie goers somewhat perplexed and puzzled. Earlier made movies may even include up to 40 songs per movie. However, these days, the song and dance segment has watered down to about seven or eight per film. Location shoots in the movies often take place in beautiful foreign locations, something industry sources believe is made to appeal to the poor and to attract domestic tourists.

“Most Indians go to the cinema purely for escape. When there are characters singing and dancing in beautiful locations in Europe, say, like Switzerland and that, for most Indians is the only way they will ever get to see those places” said Ramchandran.

However, with India’s booming economy, millions of people have moved out of poverty trap into a the middle class and film productions seem to be moving in tandem from pure escapism to more sophisticated stories and plots.

How much changes are to be made to Bollywood style of film making will be seen from the years to come. In the meantime, Bollywood has certainly made Bombay famous as a holiday vacation destination for tourists visiting India thanks largely to Slum Dog Millionaire.

Travel In Style With Custom Luggage

The time has come to spruce up your travelling gear! Bored of the same old luggage that looks the same as everyone else’s. Tired of having to come up with ways to distinguish which suitcase is yours amongst the similar ones at the baggage claim area and hoping you haven’t picked out the wrong one or waiting for it to go round the baggage carousel multiple times so you can be sure? Well, the solution has now arrived. custom luggage! You can now customize your suitcase so you can immediately point out which one belongs to you.

So, how does one go about customizing their luggage? A custom suitcase can be designed by you by choosing from a dynamic library created by international designers that allows you to choose an already made design or by uploading a photo of yourself or even a landscape, or writing a text maybe a quote or your name. What you choose to put on your custom suitcase is limited only by your imagination. There are three simple steps to custom luggage. First you choose the size of your suitcase, small, medium or large and the case color, white black or silver. Secondly, you choose the component’s colors which include the top handle, the side handle, the retractable handle, the front left wheel, the front right wheel, the back left wheel, the back right wheel, the top left bumper, the top right bumper, the bottom left bumper and the bottom right bumper which can all be the same color or come in different colors. The colors to choose from when creating a custom suitcase are black, red, pink, orange, yellow, green blue or purple. The final step in designing your luggage is to upload a photo of your choice or choosing one of the designs from a library of designs created by international designers and range from textiles, to images, mottos and even flags.

Custom luggage, however, may come in handy for another reason completely! By using your company brand or logo on your bag you upgrade your luggage from a travelling necessity to an international advertising campaign. For no extra cost hundreds of people will catch a glimpse of your logo thus creating product awareness and increasing your potential client base. Your organization can now have its own branded luggage displaying your logo or image making it a powerful marketing tool that allows companies, businesses, employees, schools, sports teams, students or any organization to express and showcase their unique and personal identity. Using custom suitcases at events, meetings, trade shows, fairs and conventions are excellent venues to represent your organization. As we all know it’s not only about the looks but quality also plays an important role if not a greater one, for this reason custom luggage is 100% polycarbonate, super lightweight and impact resistant, has inner lining with multiple storage zipped pockets, has a rubber handle for better grip as well as a multiple height stop trolley handle, comes with a built in TSA lock, is equipped with bumper stands for side storage and all four wheels have a 360 degree spin.

Top Tips For Becoming A Home Based Travel Agent

Of all the home-based business possibilities, it’s hard to imagine one that’s more fun or potentially profitable than operating a home-based travel agency.

Not only do you get the enjoyment of sending people off on their dream vacation, but you earn a good commission for selling services that you do not have to actually provide yourself. What could be better than that?

If you’d like to become a home-based travel agent, and enjoy discounted or even free trips for yourself as well, then the following Top Tips For Becoming A Home Based Travel Agent will get you started in the right direction.

1. Affiliate with a legitimate host agency that has all of the required certifications.

The most successful home-based travel agents are independent contractors who work with a host agency. You use the host agency’s resources and established relationships to tap into their network of travel vendors and suppliers. It’s important that your host agency has the proper industry credentials and that they have a program in place that allows you to use those credentials in order to establish yourself as a legitimate travel agency.

As a home based travel agent you need certain credentials like the CLIA card. CLIA stands for the Cruise Line Industry Association. This industry-recognized credential allows you special agent rates on discounted cruises and offers a whole array of benefits to you and your customer.

To be recognized as a travel agency most host agencies are usually bonded and accredited through ARC/IATAN. ARC was established by the travel industry to provide prompt, efficient, and secure distribution and settlement of travel purchased in the U.S. IATAN-International Airlines Travel Agent Network endorses travel agents and provides the IATAN ID card, which identifies you as a U.S.- based travel sales professional.

If you are considering working with a host agency that doesn’t provide you with their IATAN/ARC number, and other required credentials, move on and select one that does.

2. Choose a host travel agency that provides comprehensive training

Even though you are an independent home-based travel agent, you still need professional quality training so you know how to operate in the travel industry as well as what you are and are not allowed to do.

Getting up-to-date on the best places to travel, tourism trends, and how to fulfill the needs of your customer is vital to your travel business. You want to choose a host travel agency that offers comprehensive training and courses on various travel services, products, marketing, etc.

For some host agencies, taking a course or training is necessary in order to be eligible for certain travel credentials. And, although it is not required to book travel, your job will go much easier and you’ll develop more repeat business, if you are well-trained and well-informed.

3. Choose a host travel agency that will help you promote your business.

Don’t choose a travel company that does not offer some assistance with marketing your travel business. The best ones will offer a turn-key website or online booking engine for your clients to use when booking their travel.

Even better are the travel companies that also provide you with automated marketing tools such as auto responders to handle email campaigns and promotions.

You’ll save money, and gain more customers, if you partner up with a host travel agency that provides ready-made templates to print business cards, postcards, flyers, etc. These are all the tools in your marketing arsenal that will help you get the word out about your home-based travel business.

4. Choose a host travel agency that handles ALL of the travel details for you.

Most host agencies handle all the booking and routine travel details for your clients, but what happens if a name is misspelled on a plane ticket or your customer wants a refund? Find out what type of customer support is available and read their policies carefully before you sign on as a home-based travel agent.

At a minimum, look for:

How long your host agency has been in business and if they are reputable.
24/7 telephone support, not just e-mail or web-based.
Clear and easy-to-understand refund and cancellation policies.
A track record of speedy resolution to customer service issues.

5. Choose a host travel agency with a fair commission policy.

Notice that money is not mentioned as the #1 thing to look for when you’re choosing a host travel agency. Sure, the commission is important; it’s how you get paid. But the best commission policy in the world does you no good if the host travel company that you choose to partner with is not aboveboard and honest.

Once you have found a travel company that meet the requirements of items 1-4, it’s time to check their commission policy. Here’s what to look for:

Make sure that you know exactly how much commission you earn on every travel product you offer through your host agency. Be sure to find out if you earn commissions for add-on sales like trip cancellation insurance or lost luggage insurance. The best host travel agency partners pay you a piece of everything you sell.

Be sure you know what their commission chargeback policy is when a client cancels a trip or seeks a refund.

Find out at which point your commission actually gets locked in. Is it when the sale is made; when the client debarks on their trip, or when they return?

Find out how long it takes to get paid. Some agencies pay Net 30, some pay longer. Whatever the payment period is, make sure you can live with it.

6. Choose a host travel agency with the best perks for you

The opportunity to go on a FAM trip is the most appealing benefit to travel agents. FAM trips are short for familiarization trips’. These are special trips specifically for the travel agent. These trips are offered by hotels, cruise lines, convention and visitor bureaus, and tour companies.

The intent of the trip is to familiarize the agent with the product or service so that they can then sell the service or product to their clients. By experiencing the product, agents can sell it more effectively.

These trips are either totally free or have a small cost involved to cover the expense of the trip. These FAM trips are offered at a huge discount compared to what it would cost to the average consumer. If your host agency doesn’t offer FAM trips, you should think about finding one that does.

Also, since you will be working out of home and on your own, medical insurance plans or group coverage plans are sometimes offered. Check to see if the agency you are considering has a group plan that you can buy into. Group plans are usually less expensive than buying medical insurance on your own.

Some final thoughts

Owning your own travel business means you can take advantage of many tax breaks. Deductions are allowed for you initial investment, home office expenses, cell phone and land lines, automobile, computer, fax machine, insurance, and other equipment. In addition, when you travel anywhere in the world, it’s a business expense!

Overall, becoming a home-based travel agent has some major perks and benefits. The important thing is to find a good host agency and become familiar with your product so that you can offer the best travel experience for your customers. Doing this will keeps a consistent flow of repeat and new business coming your way.

Good luck and Bon Voyage!

Tips And Tools To Avoiding Holiday Home And Vacation Rental Scams

It is a rare occurrence in the world of luxury villa rentals when a guest gets scammed. But it can and does happen occasionally. Here are tools and tips to avoid these scams and cheaters who offer fake homes, take deposits and run, or other tricks used by criminals who want to steal your money and time without giving you a villa holiday in return.

Finding The Home

Is the luxury villa owner advertising the home on only one site? Or, is the home on a number of vacation rental websites where owners will typically seek publicity and marketing to increase bookings? The more places the home is being marketed, the more likely it is a legitimate rental. The number of complaints about a fraudulent rental would soon get the home deleted from multiple sites, leaving the scammer with few options to find new victims.

First, is there a private website for the vacation rental? Most scammers are “on the go” and don’t want to go through the trouble of building a good one. Some may be more technologically sophisticated, however, so it’s a good idea to follow through on your other verification steps.

Check the ownership and age of the domain name. Whois.net can provide this data, however some totally honest owners have opted for private registrations of their domains, in which case you will need to use other methods to find out more.

Web tools such as “The Way Back Machine” can help show the history of any given URL. If you are able to see the history of the property website going back several years, and see that it has only undergone normal and legitimate changes (i.e. text and descriptions but the home for rent remains the same) it’s probably a safe bet.

Check the IP address (“internet protocol”) details within the emails sent directly from the owner. Look in the email’s “header” for IP Addresses that might indicate the physical location of the sender, i.e. the header may show that the email came from Nigeria but the home is in Orlando. There are many free IP Lookup tools on the internet. While not always an exact indication, if the header reveals a location not in line with where the owner states that he/she is living/contacting you from, exercise a bit of caution.

Look for comments about the home that might have been made on the internet, either in other ads, or by guests that stayed there. However, this is not foolproof. If a property is a “fake” the criminals will certainly change the name or other details of the “property” each time they run a scam, so this method is not the most reliable. Sometimes owners innocently enough title the home by different names for different advertising and marketing purposes.

If the home was found on a property listing site, look to see in the profile if there is information about the age of the ad. Any listing site worth its salt will have suspended an ad for a home that has received multiple complaints. Look for a long track record of successful rentals. But don’t alienate newcomers if you think their home may be your perfect vacation rental. Just make a few more checks to make sure you’re comfortable. And, bear in mind that if an owner is new to luxury vacation property renting, you may be in their learning curve with regard to contracts, deposit procedures, housekeeping, and the like. Be prepared to be patient, but if the property really intrigues you, give it a go.

Make an independent verification of the owner and the property. The first step might be to actually ask the owner to provide a reference from their local Chamber of Commerce, a licensing board, tourism bureau, or their attorney or accountant. If they aren’t willing and able to provide something concrete to make you more likely to book the home, reconsider the rental. Contact the organization or person given, but try to verify their contact info through outside means.

Use Google to research the property owners’ name, phone, rental address, and email address. If this address has any record of unhappy customers or truly criminal activity, most likely someone has mentioned it in a public forum (click on Blogs or Groups when doing a Google search; don’t rely solely on normal search). Make sure the property exists by using Google to verify the location in Satellite view (if available), or other mapping techniques.

Making Initial Contact

Your first interaction with a villa owner or agent may be through email, but why not call or request a return call from them? It could be under the excuse of getting to know a little more about the villa or to ask a question. Use your chat to confirm for yourself that you are comfortable with the owner or agent that you are working with to rent the vacation home. They should be more than willing to accommodate you.

When you call, does the vacation rental owner answer the phone, return calls, or do they only respond to emails? Make sure they are are willing to communicate by telephone and don’t rush or brush you off back to emails.

Ask for references and call the references. If someone is a criminal, they can certainly set up fake references for you to call, so do not rely on this as your only verification.

If something doesn’t feel right to you, back off. Property owners and agents should be polite about answering your questions so you will be comfortable and happy renting the home. If they are rude, seem put out by your questions, or not service-oriented, think twice before sending them a deposit check, and consider choosing another property.

Booking The Home

Always work with written booking contracts for your reservation. Before committing, read through all the terms and conditions of renting the home, including payment details, extra charges and cancellation policy. If you would like something altered or amended, don’t hesitate to ask, as the owner may be quite amenable in order to get the booking.

Avoid paying by anonymous/untraceable methods like Western Union or Moneygram or Money orders. Pay the owner or the villa rental agent directly by personal check, credit card, or other method requested.

Beware of someone who claims not to have received your first deposit, and asks for another one. Consider sending your deposit via a trackable method like Federal Express or UPS.

Only pay by trackable means so you could put a trace on the funds if there is a problem later on. Ideally book the home with a credit card as it can offer a good layer of protection. Credit card companies hate chargebacks. Scammers who have a lot of chargebacks won’t be accepting credit cards for long.

Paying

Scammers will always push to be paid by cashier’s checks or money wired. When you hear this, either drop out or take more action to find out if the owner and rental are on the up-and-up.

Please note, the term “money wired” here refers to payments via Western Union or Moneygram, etc. Bank-to-Bank wires are something different and may be acceptable, but it is up to you to feel secure first with the owner and also the reputation of the banking institutions involved.

Some vacation rental owners shun credit cards as a form of payment. Personal checks are their preferred method of payment. Once again, anyone asking for money to be wired may be a red flag that the property is no good.

Go the Extra Mile for Friends, Family, and Guests

When renting a large “destination property” such as a supervilla, a yacht charter, or other luxury vacation experience where a lot of money is at stake (or even a little), pay extra attention to the details. It pays to do your research when multiple friends or family members will be taking time off from work and booking plane reservations to the home, so why not take a little extra time and money to double check on the vacation home? Invest in paying a certified local realtor or reputable real estate agent in that area a modest consulting fee just to help verify that the property and owner is for real.

Before you opt to hire a local realtor on your behalf (see above), first ask the owner if an appointment can be made so the home can be viewed inside and out before payment is made. If they refuse, you know you should just move on to someone else.

It is a truly rare occurrence for anyone to be scammed in the world of luxury vacation rentals, but we hope a bit of extra caution and research can result in a great vacation in a beautiful villa rental or luxury holiday home.