My husband and I are in our 5th year of renting our 3 vacation properties. We have been very selective about taking vacations ourselves, with the intent to be as available as possible while we are traveling. I find it is becoming tiring and limiting in where we can go and what we can do. I would like to know how other property owners take vacations? I'm considering closing all the houses for a month during the low season so that we can travel comfortably. If you close your rentals, how do you handle the email traffic that is year-round?
I travel at least 2-3 times per year with most being out of the country. I also have 3 properties. It takes some planning. Here are some thoughts:
1. When I know my dates of travel, I start to watch my calendar intently. If it's a travel day for me, I will mark the days off as unavailable. Or if I have just a few days open toward the end of my trip I will mark them unavailable so not to stress me out.
2. I try to not have back to backs because it's too ******* my housekeeper and I worry about it the entire time.
3. Sometimes I just the mark the days unavailable if it makes sense.
4. I do travel in January/February quite frequently. I normally go to Paris off-season. I don't have to worry about bookings because more than likely my houses will be empty and I can get smokin hot frequent flyer deals that allow us to travel first class off-season.
5. Unfortunately you can never get away from email. It's the sacrifice I have to make to have a vacation rental in having to travel with a laptop and always having access to internet. You could shut everything down but you will still get emails and need to respond.
6. Have an awesome housekeeper that you can trust. A few years ago, I had what I thought an amazing housekeeper. I was leaving for Paris for 6 weeks on a Saturday and she up and quit the Wednesday before. It was a nightmare. I'll leave that story to another discussion.
7. Have a link lock or other remote locking devices on your home so you can have some peace of mind on who is in your property.
8. I give my housekeeper names and #'s of support people than can help her if I am totally unavailable. Her husband is a plumber which helps immensely!
I have a week long trip planned to the VI in September and 5 nights in Vegas in October and Africa in January. The Africa trip might be tricky as I probably won't have internet.