Vacation rental warning phrases: do not e book if you see this!

Can you convey to if a holiday rental is horrible just by studying the description? Are there such items as holiday vacation rental warning terms?


It turns out that family vacation rental hosts usually embed words of warning straight in their assets descriptions. You just have to know how to location and interpret them.

I foundation this on thousands of vacation rental scenarios my crew and I have mediated on behalf of buyers. When you glimpse back again at what went completely wrong, the words of warning were being typically released appropriate on Airbnb or Vrbo.

But like a large amount of vacationers, I sometimes gloss in excess of the specifics. Major blunder.

I’ll operate by the list of family vacation rental phrases of warning in a moment. I’ll also explain to you how to ferret out a bogus holiday vacation rental by on the lookout at the pictures and description. It takes a minor follow, but any one can do it.

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I’ve realized about family vacation rental warning text the difficult way

I have noticed these issue words and phrases in motion.

Final thirty day period, I booked a holiday rental in Athens that seemed perfect on paper. It had a whole kitchen and 4 bedrooms. The only issue that gave me pause was the phrase “eclectic” used in the house description.

I really should have listened to my interior voice.

Rather, I reviewed the images and justified booking the rental. By “eclectic,” the owners have to have meant that they experienced embellished the residence in an attention-grabbing way. I imagined overstuffed sofas and oil paintings on the wall.

But that is not what the house owners experienced in thoughts.

Our closet kitchen area in Athens. Only just one person could in shape in below at a time.

What they intended by “eclectic”

  • The kitchen area was inside of a closet. Not a figurative near — a literal closet. The was a mini-fridge and a Liliputian volume of counter space. You experienced to walk into the eating area to use a sink. Only a person individual could in good shape into the closet-kitchen at a time. And indeed, you could near the closet doors for privateness.
  • You experienced to flip the incredibly hot water on and off all over again. There was a h2o heater in the hallway. Half an hour before showering or doing dishes, you desired to flip it on to warm up the h2o. But you experienced to switch off the heater, if not, you’d get dinged for utility overages.
  • You shared the condominium with other eclectic folks. And by “eclectic,” I imply they stayed up right until immediately after midnight and smoked nonstop. I’m an early riser, so when I acquired into the very small living space at 4 a.m. to do my early morning yoga, I took a deep breath of cigarette smoke.
  • The condominium alone was in a point out of disrepair. The hallway lights did not get the job done, so you experienced to sense your way close to in the dark. The side of the constructing seemed as if a bomb experienced hit it. And the clincher? When the residence manager confirmed us the apartment, he said, “If you choose to continue to be below …”

Fortunately, this eclectic holiday rental misadventure had a pleased ending. I despatched a brief, polite e mail to the manager, complaining about these challenges. The supervisor speedily refunded all of my revenue.

If you want to know how to deal with a problematic holiday rental, then examine out our finish guideline to trip rentals.

Rental exterior
The exterior of our condominium in Athens. This was not in the property description.

What are the problem terms for holiday vacation rentals?

The red flags for holiday rental audio like euphemisms — pleasant strategies of stating something adverse. But they are inadvertent words of warning intended for you.

Listed here are the four most frequent issue text you are going to obtain in a home description:


Typically, “eclectic” is a constructive thing. Maybe it means the interior designer went in his personal direction, applying shag carpet in its place of hardwood on the flooring. But in getaway-rental entire world, eclectic means the operator did anything that you need to never ever do to a holiday rental — or any household, for that make any difference. Like, put a kitchen in a closet.


Here’s an additional optimistic word that has a unfavorable indicating for getaway rentals. When you see a rental that describes by itself as “cozy,” always double-look at the square footage. Cozy does not signify you will be comfy. It indicates you will be living in a shoebox.


This ordinarily implies you will be miles absent from the nearest something. If you want to be out in the middle of nowhere, be my guest. But most persons want to be in the vicinity of a grocery retail store or attractions when they are on vacation. A secluded rental will give you none of individuals. Instead, you will devote 50 percent of your time driving someplace.


The reverse challenge, which is getting in the middle of every little thing, can also be problematic. Urban can be a phrase for significant-crime, crowded and hazardous. An “urban oasis” is even even worse for the reason that it indicates your vacation rental will be the only safe location to operate back again to at the conclude of the day. That is, if you make it.

Don’t get me mistaken, some people want to be absent from all the things or in the middle of almost everything. They like smaller locations, and they enjoy homes with knick-knacks and oddities. To every their personal. But for most getaway rental guests, these terms are problematic. And they’re not the only kinds.

How to decode property descriptions

The holiday vacation rental market makes use of words and phrases to alert prospective guests in a roundabout way. But make no oversight, they are warnings.

Here are a few additional of my most loved pink-flag words.

Common – Growing old household, operate-down furniture. If a thing breaks, you’ll spend to exchange an antique.
Thoroughly clean – Critically? Who would want a family vacation rental that isn’t clean up? Counsel the relaxation of the community is in chaos.
Inviting – Will take a nice image if you use a huge-angle lens. But does just about anything basically function, or is it just for display?
Non-public – So perfectly concealed, you’ll under no circumstances obtain it.
Romantic – Youngsters are not welcome.
Rustic – There are no symptoms of civilization. Much better pack a satellite cellular phone.
Secure – It’s in a poor neighborhood.
Heat – The air conditioning does not often work.

The existence of these words in a property description does not always signify the rental is flawed. But it must give you pause.

How to stay away from challenges on your up coming trip rental

These family vacation rental pink flags are 1 of quite a few techniques to figure out if your subsequent rental will have a difficulty.

Don’t neglect to examine the on-line opinions and recommendations. But remember, individuals can be manipulated. At times you can ferret out a phony by reading through the house description carefully. And checking the photos.

Does it appear much too fantastic to be accurate?

If the photos glimpse like they are proper outta Architectural Digest, it could necessarily mean the home is striving to hide some thing. Large-angle lenses are a different purple flag. Glimpse for the telltale distortion about the edges.

Are the images around-staged?

That could be a sign that the property operator is attempting to make the residence seem better than it is. Pics of the rest room “amenities” are a lifeless giveaway. Who visits a vacation rental site to appear at cleaning soap? If you’re not confident, check out the address on Google Maps, and use the “street view” choice. That could give you a far better notion of what the rental basically seems to be like.

Is the description much too wordy?

Buzzwords and euphemisms can also be a signal of difficulties. If it takes two paragraphs to notify you how numerous bedrooms and loos the property features, and a further paragraph to inform you there’s a pool, then you could be in difficulties.

Are they utilizing the most superlatives ever?

Are you hunting at the “perfect” property for your upcoming loved ones reunion, situated in the “best” place? No you’re not. You are in all probability reading through a perform of fiction. Be on the lookout for other embellishments that might or could not be legitimate. Cause words and phrases incorporate: convenient, roomy, soothing, and nicely-appointed.

Subsequent time you hire an condominium or house, enjoy for these words and phrases of warning. They could be a indicator of issues.

What is your worst holiday rental tale?

Scroll down to leave a comment about your worst holiday rental. Did you see any of these red-flag terms in the house description right before you booked? I’d love to hear about it.

About the art

For this piece, artist Dustin Elliott targeted on capturing what each challenge word represented in visible form. “While pondering these adjectives, I arrived at a few photographs that I thought suited these text most effective,” he says.

About the video clip

Producer Iden Elliott shot this video about two times in a Blueground rental in Athens, Greece. “These had been tough ailments, with light-weight and sound problems,” he states. And the narrator also held forgetting his traces. Subscribe to Elliott’s channel for more video clips.