5 Amazing Sights & Features to See at the New Volcano Bay

Volcano Bay is Orlando, Florida’s latest and most exciting adventure park. They celebrated their opening anniversary this past month. Volcano Bay is a water-themed park for the entire family. Even if you’ve already had the chance to take in some of the sights, the park is planning on expansion in the upcoming year.

Here are 5 of the amazing sights and features you’ll get to see at Volcano Bay. If you’re planning on visiting, check out CuddlyNest to book your apartment or condo, as vacation rentals going to book up fast this summer.

  1. Unique Entry Point. Instead of being faced with turnstiles and ticket booths, visitors enter the park through a wooden gazebo, complete with totem poles, music, and water features. If you’ve booked with one of the cabanas, you get to use the concierge services.
  1. Adventure Park Amenities. There is a lot to do at Volcano Bay, so expect to spend an entire day here. Your visit can start at the Waturi Beach, where there is a huge wave pool bigger than a football field. There is also the Krakatau Aqua Coaster that launches you up and down in the air. There are also locker rooms where you can store your stuff.
  1. Krakatau. All points in the park lead to Krakatau, a tall man-made mountain, full of cascading waterfalls. At night, this is the center of a light and sound show. There are even seats where you can sit and relax after a hard day of adventuring to watch as Krakatau erupts in fiery bright colors of red and orange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. TapuTapu Technology. This tech features a special wristband that is a lot like a fitness tracker, but more. It contains your hotel key, credit card information, theme park tickets, and works as an RFID locator, handy if your kids go wandering off. Volcano Bay is the testing ground for this new technology, and it could soon be rolled out to Universal Parks, making your vacation more enjoyable.

     5. More Expansion on the Way. In order for adventure parks to stay fresh and attract more guests, they must stay ahead of the game. Universal is already planning on extending Volcano Bay another five acres. This could involve more water slides, a bar, or an interactive experience. Some of these plans may have been what originally got cut from the park’s initial conception. The Aventura Hotel is also due to open soon, providing a way for guests to stay right on the resort. If your entire family is planning to stay in Orlando, it may be better to stay at vacation rentals than a hotel. You can rent directly from property managers or homeowners at CuddlyNest. Here you can find short-term accommodations with plenty of amenities that are needed for your family. Fully-equipped kitchens can save you money over time, as you won’t have to pay for three restaurant meals a day.It’s the height of tourist season in Orlando, Florida. Book your vacation travel now, and plan on spending at least one day at Volcano Bay.

Explaining High-Season Rates for Your Vacation Rental

It can be surprising that many travelers still haven’t clued into the fact that prices can increase with demand, which is one of the truths of the travel industry. Business travelers and frequent flyers understand that flight prices, hotel prices, and accommodation rentals can be considerably higher during peak travel times. Yet, it doesn’t stop travelers from asking homeowners and property managers why rates are higher during certain times of the year.

But it’s good to know that higher vacation rates aren’t the same across the entire industry. For example, Florida vacation rental rates may be higher in the summer, as the kids are out of school for summer vacation, while ski resorts may have higher rates in February, near the end of the season. Long weekends can also command higher rates.

No matter how you’re questioned by your future guest, your answer is always going to be that the busy travel season means that guests pay normal rates during these times, but you do offer discounts during off-season.

But what does this really mean in business? It’s one of the fundamental laws of capitalism that is known as supply and demand. A marketing manager may call this a compressed demand, something that occurs during a specific time of the year. This is what causes the rates to go up.

Airlines, short-accommodation hosts, and vacation rental owners know they can raise the prices during these higher times of supply and demand, and there will still be plenty of people willing to pay the higher prices. This pushes the rates up so there is a better ROI—Return on Investment—for owners. This means that the owners make higher profits off of travelers and guests.

This is one of the basic concepts of business, and can be likened to how gas prices are always raised right before a long weekend too.

This means that a guest has to expect they’re going to pay higher prices during the summer vacation, a long weekend, holidays, and even special events or conventions that are occurring in your chosen city that week.

The good news is that if guests are flexible with travel plans, they can also benefit from discounts from off-season. Vacation rental owners are happy to announce special discounts, as they want to get accommodations booked up during these quiet times.

To fill up bookings year-round, guests will be enticed with lower rates during the quieter times of the year. While the owners don’t get as much cash, they certainly can optimize their revenues by still being fully booked throughout the entire year.

If you’re listing your vacation rentals at CuddlyNest, or you are a property manager wanting to provide the best customer service to your guests, the best way to think positively about it is to realize that the high season means that you’re charging regular or normal rates, while the low season is the time that you give the big discounts.

It’s best to offer guests who complain about regular vacation rental rates an option for discounted rates during off-season. Stay positive, and you never know, your guest may still be willing to pay a “regular rate” for the convenience of summer travel.

Best Practices When Dealing with Negative Vacation Property Reviews

When you read the first negative review on your vacation rental property it may be tempting to backlash, so it’s important to take a step back and not take the guest review personally. Unfortunately, even the best vacation rental properties on CuddlyNest are going to eventually get a negative review, as you can’t please everyone.

Here’s how to cope when you get that first negative review.

A Negative Review May Have Just Been One Thing

People are quick to tap on the one star, even though all other aspects of their stay were enjoyable. They may have been overreacting when they said the coffee wasn’t good, or the door hinge squeaked. It may be a quick-fix for the next guest.

Respond to all Negative Comments

Often, it’s the way that you tackle the problem that can provide for a happy resolution for the guest. They may still book with you in the future, or, if the system allows it, they may be willing to add an update to the review. Often when a guest posts a negative review, they are waiting for a response. It’s important to read the review, apologize, and offer a solution for the future.

Respond Quickly

Don’t check through your reviews once a month. Set aside times at least twice a week to check into the ratings review system. Often many property managers and homeowners also like to post a “thank you” for the positive reviews too. This shows that there really is a real person at the other end. You may even be able to set a Google Alert for when someone posts a review about your vacation rental property.

Turn the Negative into a Positive

Most of the time, negative reviews are related to a bad experience, rather than being an intentional attack on you. For example, if you have a review that says your apartment isn’t kid-friendly, maybe you can turn that into a positive and get more adults staying at your quiet and tranquil place because your rental is not suitable for a family environment.

If there are complaints that your neighborhood is too noisy, you can highlight how your apartment is located in a fun and lively part of the city.

As for complaints on cleanliness, it’s time to put on your glasses and do a good scrubbing and sanitation of your rental space. Sometimes we can tune out dirt and grime.

What You Shouldn’t Do in a Review

Never show your emotions in a response. This means not personally attacking someone just because you don’t agree with them. If someone has truly lied on the review, post a photo or a link to a past review to temper it down, and thank them for their review.

It can be a cause for alarm if all your reviews are five-star experiences, as some guests may wonder if your five-star reviews are fake. The good news about negative vacation property reviews on CuddlyNest means that your excellent reviews became even more real.

A Basic Guide to Vacation Rentals for New Hosts

If you own property in a city or town that would be considered a tourist destination, you’ve probably wondered how much you could make renting it out during the months you’re not staying there. Or maybe you have a home with an extra room no one is using and know that you could make some extra money renting it our short-term.

Whatever your situation, you’re probably wondering what the basic first steps are to positioning your property for short-term or vacation rental. Here are some of the basics to get you started:

Choose a Platform to Post Your Listing

There are a lot of short-term rental vacation portals to choose from. Understand that there are upfront charges that you will need to consider.

Some vacation portals charge as high as 35% booking fees for every reservation that you accept, while at CuddlyNest the booking fees never go higher than 9%. Also, while some vacation rental platforms will charge well over $300 for a 12-month annual subscription, on CuddlyNest, there’s no subscription fee to be paid, and there’s no restriction on the number of properties you can list.

Remove Personal Items from the Property

Personal items should be removed for safety purposes as well as aesthetic reasons. While it is nice to stay in a vacation home that has personality, it is another thing entirely to enjoy a relaxing evening in front of the fireplace with a very large, framed photo of the family who owns the house watching you.

Hide any personal effects like picture frames or monogrammed towels. Clear away any clutter like old bills you have stored in the drawers. Valuables and irreplaceable items should be stowed away somewhere safe and secure.

Take Stock of Your Property’s Best Features

Start thinking about what makes your property unique. There may be a fascinating story to when and how it was built or perhaps you’ve just renovated the kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. Whatever interesting and special things there are about the home and property, write it all down. You’ll need all those details when you create your listing description.

Take as many photos of you can of every angle of the home. Open up the curtains and let natural light in so you can capture the bright photos. You may even want to hire a professional to take high-quality images of your property.

Think About Amenities You Want to Offer

Your home may already be equipped with the basics to make a guest’s stay comfortable. However, adding special amenities like a hair dryer, free Wi-Fi, a coffee machine, a video game console, or snacks are simple additions that can elevate the guest’s experience and lead to positive reviews.

Protect Your Property and Consider Insurance

Accidents can happen. Unfortunately, so can theft.

Before you rent out your home, you have to be realistic and accept that there is the possibility of renters damaging your home in some way, whether accidental or intentional. And you often will not know it until they have left and you inspect the property.

While you can hold them accountable and demand that they pay for the damages, having that extra layer of protection is recommended.

Rental Rates Table

Once you’ve got the home clear of clutter, rent-ready, a chosen platform to advertise on, photos ready for uploading, and a compelling description, you still need one very crucial component to your property listing – rental rates.

Be smart about how much you intend to charge per night. Consider its location, size, and amenities. Do your research and see how much the rates are for properties in your area that are similar to yours. If your property is in a city with changing seasons, think about if you want to charge more during tourist peak seasons. You may even want to charge a higher rate for weekend stays.

The choice is entirely up to you. Some property managers maintain comparatively high prices to market their rental as a luxury home while other hosts prefer to keep their rates low, so they enjoy more bookings year-round.

How to Make Your Property Listing Stand Out in a Search

When people search for properties to rent short-term for vacation or business, they’re likely to be presented with multiple options when they perform a search.

What is it that makes certain properties stand out more and keep potential guests from clicking onto the next property? Here are a few tips on how to keep their attention and differentiate you from all the other properties they may be considering.

Post Multiple Photos

We talk a lot about posting the best photos but posting multiple photos is just as important. Many potential guests move on to the next listing when they don’t learn enough about the property at first glance. Presenting them with more visuals creates a clearer picture of the home.

If you’re only renting out a room, you don’t need to stop at just one photo. Take pictures of the room from different angles and perspectives. Take a photo of the bed and maybe even the view outside its window. Post pictures of the amenities and closet space.

If your property boasts four bedrooms and four baths, don’t just share 2 or 3 images that show the living room and the house’s exterior. People want to see details, and if you show little interest to show off the property, they will, in turn, lose interest.

Share What Makes the Property Special

Every home has something special about it. It could be your location, the structure itself, or unique amenities that you offer.

Potential guests will be interested to hear about luxurious eco-friendly linens or goose down pillows. Do you have an oversized bathtub in the master bathroom that fits two? Does your property have a pool or a stone oven in the backyard?

If you worry that your property isn’t glamorous or luxurious enough, think about what makes your property unique. Perhaps there’s history behind when it was built and an ancestral story behind it. Mention if it’s a craftsman-style home with custom-built features.

Talk About the Neighbourhood

Some guests like to go out and explore, particularly if they are on vacation. They want to go home with experiences and stories to tell.

Talk about all the must-see places near the property. Is there a diner in your area that claims to make the best pecan pies? Are there parks nearby that have a great path for running? Perhaps there’s a farmer’s market just a few blocks away.

Describe all the fun and interesting things that can be done in your neighbourhood. Think about all the things that make your community different and how they may appeal to visitors such as historical landmarks, street art, or even spots that sell dishes they won’t be able to try anywhere else.

And beyond all the potential fun, they’ll also want to hear about the 24-hour convenience store just 10-minutes away or that they can take a short bus ride to the nearest mall.

Remember, when thinking about how to make your property stand out, don’t think like a property manager or a host – think like a guest. Consider mentioning all the things that catch your attention when you search through listings and what sparks your interest.

4 Orlando Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

Vacations should be unique experiences. If you take a trip to the same town — let’s say, Orlando — three different times, you should have three different and unique experiences despite visiting the same location over and over again. That’s what makes a vacation fun!

That’s part of why CuddlyNest advises vacationers to stay in non-traditional lodging. Why stay in a hotel when you can have a unique, vacation rental experience? And why do the traditional thing of going to Disney World and seeing a movie when you could visit Orlando during a festival and have a one of a kind experience you’ll likely be unable to replicate?

Bite30

Nothing says “I love food” like a thirty day long food festival. Unlike most events that last a weekend at worst and a week at best, Bite30 is Orlando’s month-long celebration of local eateries.

This means that any time you visit Orlando in June, from the 1st to the 30th, you can spend $30 for a multi-course dinner provided by one of Orlando’s superb restaurants. The purpose is to help expose locals and tourists to new cuisine at a discounted price. You pay the price of one entree and get to sample multiple menu items (like those onion rings up there)!

Puppy Love Dog Festival

You may not be traveling with a pet (though CuddlyNest does include pet-friendly listings), but that doesn’t mean you have to go through furry friend withdrawals. The Annual Puppy Love Dog Festival is held in January and is free to enter. Thousands of dog owners in Orlando bring their pooches to this event as a means of socialising them, having fun and benefiting animal rescue services in Orlando. The event is free, but donations are appreciated!

Humans aren’t left out, either. Recent sponsors have included alcohol distributors like Budweiser and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, so adults are welcome to drink and have a good time.

Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival

Visitors to Orlando don’t have to actually celebrate Chinese New Year to attend this incredible festival. Every year in February, citizens of Orlando hold a festival in honor of this East Asian tradition. Food and drink can be found everywhere, but the biggest draw is the traditional dragon parade that travels through the streets with a procession of traditional Chinese dancers and costumes.

Other cultural activities seen include traditional street food demonstrations, cultural dances, martial art exhibits, lion dancers and arts and crafts.

Florida Film Festival

You may have just missed the 2017 Florida Film Festival, but that doesn’t mean you can’t gear up for next year! This internationally known festival, usually held in April, is home to incredible indie films, special guest stars, outrageous parties and forums on film discussion. Even if you only make it one day, you’re sure to see a movie you like and at least one celebrity. Keep an eye out for news of this festival and start planning your trip for next year!

Make your vacation one to remember. CuddlyNest can provide you the lodgings — Orlando can supply you with the rest!