4 Vacation Rental Sites vs. CuddlyNest: How do We Stand Up?

We aren’t going to lie to you and say that CuddlyNest is the only vacation rental site out there. We’re only one of many in the short term accommodation game, and that’s certainly not a secret. This brings up a lot of questions that we don’t blame you for having.

Is CuddlyNest really the best option out there for listing short term accommodations?

What sets CuddlyNest apart from the competition?

 

Let’s examine four other short term rental sites and then CuddlyNest. We’ll prove to you that we really are the best vacation rental listing platform out there.

 

Airbnb

 

This is the most well-known of the short term listing websites. Airbnb is certainly the largest vacation rental listing platform, but what are its qualifications?

  • Guests pay a 5-15% service fee that’s based on the booking total.
  • Hosts pay anywhere from 3-5% of the booking total back to Airbnb, though this number can fluctuate based on different factors.
  • It is, however, free to list properties and rooms with Airbnb.

 

HomeAway

HomeAway isn’t just one company — it’s an umbrella of a variety of short term rental listing sites. HomeAway, VacationRentals, VRBO…and those are only three of many!

  • The fee guests pay is anywhere between 5-12% of the booking total.
  • The hosting fees are more complicated. Because you pay to be a part of HomeAway sites (more on that in the third bullet), the fees are dependent on the plan you choose. Pay-per-booking is 8% of the booking total, while subscription holders don’t have to pay hosting fees.
  • HomeAway is a pay-to-use listing site. You can either pay a commission fee for single bookings, or (if you want to list a lot of properties for long periods of time) sign up for an annual subscription fee from $399 to $549.

 

TripAdvisor

You may know of TripAdvisor as a travel recommendation website, not as one that helps you find short term rental properties. However, the site has expanded from its beginning built in reviews. The properties that they list also automatically show up on 26 other property listing sites.

  • The booking fee guests pay can range from 8-14.5%.
  • Hosts only pay a 3% fee for every booking, and this gets deducted from the fee guests pay for booking.
  • There are currently no contracts that hostees are forced to sign, and all listings are free to post.

 

Roomorama

 

Finally, Roomorama is another short term listing site that is both global and luxurious. Unlike other sites, Roomorama lists properties for longer periods of time, which makes their cut and the cost to rent a property higher.

  • The guests fees for Roomorama hinge on factors like the length of stay. Usually the fees range from 12-15%; 12% is for stays of one month or longer.
  • Hosts don’t pay any fees.
  • All properties are free to list.

 

 

 

CuddlyNest

 

Now let’s talk about the credentials of CuddlyNest:

  • The fees at CuddlyNest are a little more unique than at other short term listing sites. Instead of having a set fee, we put the power in the hands of those who list with us. We have a standard 9% fee that can be totally paid by the guests, split between the host and the guests or only paid by the host. You set up the process in a way that benefits you. We also have a 3% fee the host needs to pay.
  • How much is it to list with CuddlyNest? It’s totally free!
  • We will promote your property all over social media, that’s more exposure!
  • You can post your vacation rental website link right on CuddlyNest!
  • Communication and calls between guests and hosts are direct at your wish.

 

You may notice that our fee rates are quite low as compared to other sites. For instance, Airbnb fees can be 20% when you combine the fees the guests and hosts pay. Ours are collectively 12%, less than half of what Airbnb could potentially take. No surprising add-ons for your guests.

 

This is just one aspect of CuddlyNest that we think puts us above the rest. Curious about why we’re the best? The reasons are just one click away.

6 Ways to Respectfully Decline Vacation Rental Inquiries

Many owners and managers of vacation rentals at CuddlyNest choose to take booking requests rather than instant bookings for a variety of reasons. Not only is it important to respond to all inquiries, your type of response matters too, as you don’t want to offend potential customers who can leave you bad reviews online.

 

Here are six ways to respectfully respond to all guest inquiries to your vacation rentals.

 

  1. Always remain polite. No matter how your potential guest has sent their inquiry, you should always maintain a professional and polite demeanor. It’s not even necessary to give an exact reason for declining their preferred vacation rental dates, but you can always give them a generic reply. Simply thank them for their inquiry, but add that the property isn’t available for the dates requested.

 

  1. Offer helpful suggestions. If you receive an inquiry but know it won’t be right for your rental space, offer suggestions for the guests. Perhaps you know of another rental on the site that would better suit their needs.

 

  1. Be honest within reason. If you have business reasons for declining a request, it’s fine to share them with your guests, as long as they don’t offend or discriminate against that person. But it’s perfectly okay to mention that you prefer guests who want shorter or longer stays, or that you don’t have space for extra guests or pets.

 

 

  1. Don’t forget the rules. It’s important to have the rules listed in your vacation rental listing. Many times, people simply don’t read them and are quick to send a message off to you. If you must decline a request, feel free to refer people back to the rules on the site. Guests may also make a note to more carefully read descriptions in the future. This also reinforces that the rules are the same for everyone.

 

  1. Trust your instincts. Everyone has that inner gut instinct that tells them if something is right or not. It’s better to stay safe than have to deal with a vacation rental scam or an unreasonable and demanding guest. Don’t feel guilty about denying a request, as it’s not your fault that the request doesn’t fit your vacation rental expectations.

 

  1. Don’t let them push your buttons. If you find yourself having nothing nice to say to a rude inquiry, it’s often best to say nothing at all. Many vacation rental websites have simple buttons with basic responses that you can use. That’s all you are required to do. You can keep your emotions in check and head to the next vacation property request that may just be perfect for your property.

 

Cuddlynest is vacation rental site that makes it a simple way to rent out your rooms, condos, houses, or cottages. When you keep your communications polite and professional, guests will be impressed and may even come back at a later date with a request that fits better with your schedule or rules.

Colorado Ski resort Aspen Cuddlynest 2020

Must See Ski Resorts in Colorado

Colorado ski resorts have much to offer when it comes to family holidays.  If you have not started to plan your Christmas holiday just yet, it is the very last minute to do so! Instead of sticking to the same resort year after year, then why not indulge in one of the many beautiful ski resorts in Colorado? Make your 2020 New Year’s celebration fun – take your family exploring the beauty of different slopes. We composed the top-list of the best resorts in Colorado to consider before booking your next winter holiday in 2020.

Christmas and New Year Holiday at Steamboat Resort

Venture out to the famous Steamboat snow! If you’re heading out to this resort with your family, you are about to be impressed. Steamboat Resort is a good match for all those looking for a family-oriented destination. In fact, they have several family programs, including amazing offers like “Kids Ski Free”. Kids under 12 can ride the chairlift free, if parents are going, too. The resort facilitates mountain cycling and swimming learning with Bike Park 101 lessons to get them on mountain and swimming lessons in the clear waters of Burgess Creek of Gondola Square beach.

No matter your skill level, you can enjoy this resort as the six available peaks meet each individual’s ability level, with special assistance for first-timers.

The resort also offers Steamboat Springs wedding ceremony and reception venues, making it as close to the fairy-tale wedding as possible with the year-round, from summer flowers to pristine Champagne Powder snow of winter. Wonder what is the champagne powder here? The dry, light and smooth snow, perfectly suited for skiing (and your wedding photography session!) Wondering how they ever came up with such a name? This term appeared by a local rancher named Joe McElroy in the 1950s. While he was skiing, he mentioned how the snow tickled his nose, just like champagne.

Colorado Aspen Snowmass

Started with the silver rush in the 1870s, the Aspen Town embraced the idea that fortunes can be made in difficult places. Indeed, the mountainous region was hard to live at, but people were tough, and with World War II, the Aspen became synonymous with leisure, offering fishing, climbing, as well as arts and music. With the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Aspen Snowmass became the glory of  Elk Mountain Range.

Hosting the first world skiing competition in the US, Aspen debuted its way into a ski resort, now being the hosts of Aspen Ideas Festival, X Games, and even Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in 2017.

Located five minutes from the airport makes visiting Aspen Mountain — as well as Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk – convenient for visitors. Celebrating the 50 year anniversary in 2018, Aspen Snowmass has indeed marked its place in US ski resort map.

You can expect 300 inches of snow per year in this area. Aspen Snowmass is one of the best choices for a ski vacation due to its interconnectedness and tradition of leisure activity services for decades. Interconnected with other ski resorts on Aspen Mountain, the Snowmass Base Village, featuring outdoor skating rink and five-story climbing wall, the tallest in North America the resort is one of the best choices if you crave for some adventure this Christmas.

The levels of experience range from beginner to expert. You can even enjoy a free Lavazza hot chocolate each morning at the base of each mountain.


Travelling to Colorado? Read more:  The Best Bars You Need To Know About In Colorado 2019 – Top 6 Things to Do in the Winter in Steamboat Springs, Colorado 


Winter Park Resort: Best Colorado Winter Holiday Destination

This resort can be found along the Continental Divide, located only 67 miles from Denver. You can expect over 320 inches of snow per year at this resort. This resort is known for a lot such as being family-friendly, its award-winning Ride + Ski School, and its fun and laid-back vibe. Traveling by train will put you literally steps from the ski lift.

Skiing isn’t the only activity available here. You can also enjoy sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, snowshoeing, and dog mushing.

Colorado Skiing at Telluride Ski Resort

Located in southwest Colorado, Telluride offers both alpine skiing and cross-country skiing opportunities to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Most of its terrain (60%) is dedicated to beginners and intermediates. Advanced skiers have access to the legendary inbound terrain with moguls, and glades and Hike-to- terrain on the upper mountain.

Telluride has the highest concentration of 13,000 and 14,000- foot peaks in North America, but no matter your ability you can go on the top of San Juan Mountains and have a 360-degree views.

If you are into Nordic skiing, you are in luck! The Mountain Village Trail Network has approximately 8 miles of winter trails. Beware the fact that this is not exclusive-to-skiers only, as trails are accommodating hikers, snowshoers, bikers and dogs as well. To get into Top-A-Ten Nordic Trails higher in the mountain, you will have to pay $25 single-use lift ticket including up-down ride via Lift 10.

To get here, follow resort’s guide to getting to Telluride ski resort. There are daily winter flights from Dallas, Newark, Denver and Salt Lake City, but you can check the full list here.

Colorado Ski Resorts: Copper Mountain

Approximately 75 miles west of Denver is where you can find Copper Mountain, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This resort is ideal for all ages and abilities. With 2,490 skiable acres, Copper Mountain is one of the Summit County’s largest ski areas. Just a couple years ago, Copper Mountain added a new activity called Apres Alley and it’s set up to offer fun activities such as ladder golf, ping pong, and live music, and even shuffleboard every Saturday.

Have you personally visited any of the above locations? How was your experience? We would love to know! Read more about Colorado Coffee shop guide, best bars in Colorado and what to do in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

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8 Common Words to Avoid in Your Property Rental Listing

If you’re listing your vacation rental home on Cuddlynest, it can be tempting to use flowery language to describe your property. But this can be subject to personal taste. It’s best to stick to the facts and avoid bad grammar, spelling mistakes, and meaningless phrases in your listing.

 

To help you get started, here are eight of the worst words to use in your listing.

 

  1. Nice. Your English teacher told you that nice is overdone, so you shouldn’t be using it in your property descriptions either. It can give an air of laziness to your property listing which can trigger a red flag for guests who are wondering what else you were lazy about. Use one of the other adjectives to describe your property.

 

  1. Broken or needs repairs. No one wants to stay in a rental that has broken things. There’s no reason why you can’t get broken hinges fixed, or buy a new coffee maker, or fix a squeaking door. You’d be surprised at how little time these tasks take to do. Get your rental fixed up so you can avoid having to mention any faults in your vacation property.

  1. Hidden gem. This phrase suggests that your property is worn and decaying. It’s best to think up something new instead. You could mention that your property is new on Cuddlynest, or that it has undergone a renovation or some other reasonable explanation as to why you don’t have a whole lot of bookings yet.

  1. Breathtaking. It’s alright to say your property has a view, but the breathtaking word is so commonly used that you should try thinking up something unique to your listing.

  1. World-class. This is a subjective phrase at best. Think about what you’re trying to compare your property to. If you provide a full continental breakfast, just say so. If there is maid service, put that in your listing. Describe the amenities instead of using a catch-all phrase.

 

  1. No, never, not. Even though you may be cleverly using these words in your rental listing, they have negative connotations. Avoid using them completely, and rewrite your rental listings to only using positive words.

 

  1. Must-see, must-do. The word “must” is something you’d use at work. You must do this, or you must do that. It makes a person feel stressed out. Remember that this is their vacation time, and if they want to simply do nothing at all, that’s fine too. It’s all right to make sightseeing recommendations but let guests decide what to do on their own.

 

  1. Unique. This is another word that may raise warning flags for potential guests. What’s so unique about it that it must be mentioned? Guests want a secure, quiet spot where they can rest. They’re not looking for surprises.

Remember that when you type up your first draft of your Cuddlynest rental listing that you can always go back and edit it. If it appeals to you, then it will appeal to your future guests, which will result in plenty of bookings.

Crafting a Short-Term Rental Welcome Book: 6 Pages You MUST Include

 

Every short-term rental owner should have a pre-made welcome book ready for every property they’re currently renting out. Why? For one, a welcome book is, well…welcoming! Tenants will feel a lot more at home within a property if they open the door, come inside and find a greeting just for them.

Additionally, welcome books contain a lot of information that is important for tenants to keep in mind while staying in your property. What information would that be? CuddlyNest has developed a list of six pages your welcome book should have for your tenants to be as informed as possible.

 

  1. An Introduction

One of your first pages — if not THE first page — in your welcome book should be a personal greeting from you to your tenants. You don’t have to go out of the way to type up a new message for every tenant, but this should be a letter of sorts from you to any tenant that comes through your door.

 

  1. Arrival and Departure

While you’ve likely already discussed what time they can arrive and leave, it’s always good to give guests a tangible copy of their arrival and departure information. This allows them to quickly reference for their own scheduling needs, and it also gives you concrete proof that you’ve supplied this time to them in case they are late arriving or leaving.

 

  1. Activities and Attractions

Don’t just be a property owner — be a tour guide! If someone is utilizing your property as a vacation rental, help them out and give them your own little guide to the area around your property. The best way to utilize this page is to give them a “Day in the Life of…” type list.

 

For instance: if you live in Orlando, they already know about Disney World. Where’s the best park for dog walking? Where’s the best place to go if you want to buy nice clothing? Give them recommendations that aren’t on the front page of a quick Google search. CuddlyNest offers a detailed map of the most popular attractions in the surrounding area of the vacation property to make it easy for your guests to get familiar with the area and reach their points of interest easily.

 

  1. Food and Drink

Continue your travel guide onto the next page. Going out to eat is something everyone does on vacation, so let your tenants know about the best restaurants in town. Give them options for a variety of styles of food, as well as bars and clubs. Again, don’t give them the obvious. Give them the true local experience!

 

  1. Property Information

This is where you place any additional information about the property itself OR the area you’re in. What day is trash picked up? Does the city have any ordinances pertaining to noise? What are some common pet policies, like leash laws? Also, go into detail about any quirks you can find in and around your home — “the fireplace door likes to stick a little, so make sure to give it an extra push to close it.” Things like that are extremely helpful for your tenants.

 

  1. Useful Area Info

Finally, don’t forget the practical things. This page can include important numbers, like a non-emergency police line or the number of a hospital directory. Also consider things like gas stations, ATMs, and pharmacies.

 

Does it take some effort to create a tenant-friendly welcome book? Yes. Will your tenants thank you for it (and potentially give you a higher rating)? Absolutely

Home-Sharing Rules and Regulations: 3 Things You Should Know Before Renting Out Your Property

If you’ve ever done anything having to do with real estate, you’ll know there’s a lot of paperwork, red tape and documentation involved. Owning a home, renting a home, leasing a home…it’s all a lot more complicated and regulated than you think. This same standard applies to home-sharing.

 

Before you ever consider renting out your property for short term use, you’ll need to do a lot of research. Why? There are specific rules and regulations that go along with short-term renting, and it’s very likely that you aren’t entirely educated on the subject.

 

That’s why CuddlyNest is here to help. We have three great pieces of information and advice for current or future short-term accommodation owners who want to make sure they’ve dotted every I and crossed every T.

 

  1. Start locally. What are your community regulations?

 

Most short-term property laws are handled on a state or community level. At the micro level, within your specific community, home-sharing ordinances may be completely different as compared to a town 30 minutes from where you live. Every community has their own way of zoning their land, and ordinances may vary from one town to another.

In order to begin your life as a short-term rental property owner, you must first research and understand these laws and ordinances. These laws will tell you what you’re required to do to rent your home out to others, or if it’s even allowed at all!

The best way to do this is to contact your local government directly. Ask questions about online resources or print editions of these laws and any specific rules they have regarding the number of days you can rent a property to be still considered short-term.

 

  1. Taxes and permits and licenses…oh my!

 

One of the most basic aspects of short-term property renting is getting a permit. Most cities in North America have made this a requirement before you start your rental business. This permit gives you permission to act as a “landlord,” so to speak, except only for a set amount of time. These permits are necessary no matter how long you plan on renting out a property — whether it’s just for a week during vacation season, or all year round.

Also, don’t forget that money you make off of sharing your home is taxable income. It’s your responsibility to keep track of tax information that comes with home-sharing. Without these reports, you may face penalties. CuddlyNest makes it easy for you to track your rental schedule and maintenance throughout the year to make filing for your taxes as easy as a breeze.

 

 

 

 

  1. Think about responsibility.

 

Finally, think about other laws that pertain to simply living in an area. Your tenants are responsible for keeping their noise level down, just like you would be if you were staying in your property. While a great tenant will look up this information on their own, the best owners and managers will give their tenants a dossier of the most important ordinances and rules they should be mindful of.

It’s also the job of the property owner to keep their guests safe. Safety should be your number one concern once the rental process has started — are your tenants in good hands?

CuddlyNest! Oh, So Hip!

As the vacation rental market has been expanding dramatically within the last few years, a great number of VR new websites has come to existence. However; one sees not much difference among most of these websites. Does any of them fill a gap in the vacation rental market? Is any of them giving hosts a real opportunity to gain more control over their listings? Set their standards in convenience with their circumstances? Not really. It is not crucially to add a new VR website to the already crowded market as much as it is to fill a gap in it and listen to the needs of those who practically comprise it- the hosts.

It was a matter of time before the founder of CuddlyNest realized the fact that hosts are struggling with some of the restraints they were obliged to follow, simply because they have no other choice.  The whole idea of the vacation rental market is to provide hospitality to guests exploring new horizons, making them feel like they are at home when they are thousands of miles away from it. But, who thought about the hosts?

When people decide to list their homes, they are making a drastic change to their lives, adjusting to it, and taking much of their time, effort, and money to provide the best service to others. They are giving others comfort, joy, and pleasure but are sometimes giving these out at the expense of their peace of mind.

Why are hosts struggling? Well, to start with, unicorn companies impose their terms that do not – in many cases- take any consideration of the hosts’ benefits. Hosts need to pay big chunks of money to list their homes, not to mention if they want to list hundreds of homes and need to pay to list them all.

CuddlyNest start up brought up a great opportunity that cannot be matched. Hosts pay no subscription fees, no matter how many listings they have. Period. The idea is to save hosts some money that could be better spent on renovations, adding amenities to the properties or just kept in the bank! CuddlyNest will never impose subscription fees out of the fact that hosts should not be exploited to get their listings-hopefully- viewed and rented. They can fully synchronize their calendars from other unicorn VR websites. All it takes is a click, and the calendar is ready! This means no proactive management of the listing is necessary on CuddlyNest.

To give hosts even a great promotional booster when using CuddlyNest, they can provide links to their vacation rental websites for no charge. This is a great opportunity that no other website than CuddlyNest offers. This way, hosts get far more clicks and inquiries on their websites. If they have no websites, they get inquiries on their Cuddlynest inbox and can choose to transact and pay on Cuddlynest platform or transact outside it.

Atop of all these privileges, CuddlyNest has a professional services department that fully lists properties on behalf of hosts who do not have time to relist their VR properties but want to advertise them on other popular VR sites starting with Cuddlynest. Hosts using major VR brands can get more visibility and exposure, and increase their chances of filling their rental calendar by using Cuddlynest.

Other great promotional opportunities include social media and featured homes viewing. No other VR website in the market can beat this!

Another fact hosts need to accept when using vacation rental websites is that they need to conform to one method of payment: website booking with a surprising fee that usually leaves guests unhappy at checkout. Guests need to add this amount of fee to the overall booking cost, which they could spend touring around the city and enjoying their vacation. This fee usually varies between 18% -25%. This is a lot of money added especially for stays of more than a few days.  So, how does CuddlyNest eventually guarantee to have happy hosts and no run-away guests? Right from the time a host lists the property, they set up the payment method, which could be completed through CuddlyNest or off-site.

  • Choosing to get paid via CuddlyNest means hosts can absorb, share, or get the guest pay the small booking fee of 9% booking- compared to a minimum of % 18 on other websites.
  • Choosing to get paid off-site means that the host’s contact information will not be blanketed. Hosts and guests can communicate and arrange whichever payment method both parties agree on. In this case, CuddlyNest will not charge any booking fees from any party.

If the property is not available on CuddlyNest, guests who like to avoid paying booking fees can simply request the host to synch her property from other unicorn sites – where booking fees are mandatory- to CuddlyNest.

But what about other options like business-friendly listings and instant booking? Does a host have to give up these choices when using CuddlyNest? Absolutely not, hosts can still enjoy listing their business- friendly properties, list all their amenities and provide a great work environment and comfort for business travelers. Guests who want to book a listing in a hotel-like experience- no waiting to communicate with the host- can also find their perfect retreat and get it reserved in a click of a link.

 

Choosing the Best Rates for Online Vacation Rentals

 

You want to set the right rate for your online vacation rental at Cuddlynest, as you don’t want rates so high that you scare away renters, but on the other hand you don’t want rates so cheap that they wonder what is wrong with your property. Remember that in the beginning, it won’t be all about profits. You need to find that perfect price point that will bring in repeat renters, but cover your costs and give a good profit too.

It’s tricky trying to figure out the best rates in the beginning. Utilize these six tips to help you get started, but remember, you can always adjust them later if you need to.

  1. Compile a list of expenses. It’s important to calculate how much you think it costs for the upkeep of your rental. Consider how much electrical, cable, or internet costs, and if there are any strata/HOA fees. You may also have had to purchase new beds, linens, or furnishings. Your rental may need some expensive repairs in the future, such as roofing, new appliances, or painting. You’ll want to spread out these costs over a year or two.
  1. Compare the competition. If there are other rental homes on your block, see if they have comparable amenities, and what they are charging for their rentals. Note that if they have extra rooms or a view, that you won’t be able to ask the same rates for your own property rental.
  1. Apply higher rates at peak seasons. If you live in a city that benefits from the summer tourist season, you may be able to charge increased rates during these times, and rentals in larger cities may command higher rates during long weekends or holidays. Certain cities that have ski resorts can ask for higher rates during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday seasons.
  1. Plan for vacancies. You’ll need to ensure that your costs are still covered, even when you are experiencing a high vacancy rate. Even the best rentals in the most desired vacation spots don’t have 100% occupancy rates. Usually, 25% vacancy rate is on average. And if you are a vacation destination, you may have to plan for five weeks of vacancy over eighteen weeks of potential rental times.
  1. Experiment. When you sign up on a site such as Cuddlynest, you’ll have a chance to create a vacation property listing, and set the rates you want. If you find that you are 100% fully booked up, you may wish to increase your rates slightly to take advantage of the demand. If you aren’t getting any bookings at all, edit your listing and lower your rates. Have friends check out your listing to offer their feedback. Often, they’ll see things that you’ve missed.

Remember never to rush your listing as you want to take your time carefully writing it up, and choosing the best vacation rental rates. When you choose a site such as Cuddlynest, you’ll find it’s a lot simpler booking your vacation rental property.

Security Tips for New Vacation Rental Owners

 

 

 

It can be exciting to get your vacation rental space fixed up and listed on Cuddlynest. Whether you’re doing it as a business or simply to keep yourself busy, there are many considerations when you want to have a successful investment. It’s imperative that you keep your vacation rental home safe and secure, whether there are guests staying in it or not.

 

1.Maintain a lived-in appearance. Just like your own home, you also want to have your vacation property appear like there is always someone living there. If you live close by, it will be a simple task, otherwise, have your caretaker take a few necessary steps.

  1. Leave the lights on. If you don’t want to constantly be turning the lights on and off, you can use a special timer that does the job for you. You can also install motion sensor lights in the driveway and along paths that turn on if someone walks past, or if they drive a car into the driveway. This also provides light for guests who are coming in late at night.
  1. Add extra eyes. An outdoor security camera that’s installed in a prominent location can be helpful. You can also give your contact information to neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious people who are casing the property.
  1. Keep the premises maintained. The lawn should be mown on a regular basis, the weeds pulled, and any debris or leaves swept up. You may even wish to move objects around, such as planters, watering cans, or hoses. In the winter, the sidewalks and driveways should be cleared of snow.
  1. Buy good locks. You can buy smart locks that require a pin so that you don’t have to loan a key to your guests. This also prevents the issue of having keys copied and used to break into a property at a later date, as you can simply change the pin code for the next guest. Never leave keys under planters. You can always leave a key with a trusted neighbor if you’re worried about a guest being locked out at night.
  1. Use an alarm system. You have an alarm system on your primary residence, so it makes sense to have an alarm system on your vacation rental too. An alarm can also arm doors and windows, which can make your guests feel much safer while they sleep.
  1. Avoid using signs. Never post a sign on your property saying that it’s available for rent. Instead, register for Cuddlynest where you can list your vacation rental property and easily rent out your space.
  1. Don’t list the exact address. Be careful when taking photographs. Avoid including street signs or house numbers in photos on vacation rental sites. Guests only receive the exact address after they fully make a booking.

To make guests feel safe during their stay, you may wish to make up a manual with safety advice. Don’t forget to include emergency contact information.

 

 

9 of the Most Romantic Canals in the World

 

You’ve probably seen a cliché, romantic scene with a couple on a gondola, going down a waterway under the moonlight. You may have only seen these images in movies and on TV, but the truth is that they can indeed be a reality!

If you want to experience true romance, find a short-term rental property on CuddlyNest in one of the following cities and go on the romantic adventure of a lifetime.

Venice, Italy

 

 

That cliché scene you were thinking of? You were probably thinking of one of the canals in Italy. Italy is famous for its romantic scenery, but perhaps no location is more iconic than Venice and their Grand Canal. Gondolas take tours and couples up and down the Grand Canal all day, especially under the Bridge of Sighs. There’s a legend that says if a couple kisses under this structure, their love will be eternal.

 

Annecy, France

 

France is even more beautiful when you’re touring it via a canal boat ride. For optimum romance, head to Annecy and sail past Vieille Ville, a part of the city containing a myriad of cafes, bridges, and shops that all have a decidedly French flair. Once you’re off the bridge, stop by the lover’s bridge, Pont des Amours

 

St. Petersburg, Russia

If you decide to travel down the Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg, you’ll get to see the stunning Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood up close. The canal flows for about three miles, showing you downtown St. Petersburg like you can’t experience it anywhere else.

 

 

Alleppey, India

 

The canals that can be found in Alleppey are numerous and winding. Couples can enjoy a relaxing boat ride while under cover of palm trees, exploring Indian villages from a houseboat. You can see everyday activities like prawn fishing and peek in on villages from your comfortable boat.

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Canals may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think about Amsterdam, which may be why it’s surprising that there are 165 running through the city. At night, the boats that line the sides of these canals light up to match the bright lights of the shops and restaurants of the city (pictured above), casting Amsterdam in a yellow glow.

 

Nan Madol, Micronesia

Nan Madol is a treat to see in the first place, but experiencing it via a canal boat is an even more incredible experience. The sunken city can be toured by boat, which can allow couples to experience the city that inspired famed authors like Lovecraft and Rollins.

 

Suzhou, China

Suzhou is where you can travel to experience a canal experience under beautiful Chinese blossoms. Dubbed “Venice of the East,” Suzhou, China is home to another Grand Canal that has been around for over a thousand years. Tourists can enjoy a ride down this canal in a traditional Chinese boat while observing the everyday goings on of this beautiful city.

 

Bruges, Belgium

 

Bruges, Belgium is called “Venice of the North.” By traveling the canals in Bruges, you can get a personal look at the Europe you can see in fairytale illustrations — orange brick buildings, green yards with ducks and geese. The scenery is medieval and absolutely stunning.

 

 

Stockholm, Sweden

 

Finally, Stockholm is a beautiful city with a long canal of its own, linking the city to Gothenburg. The Gota Canal is man-made and took over two decades to complete, though the finished product is well worth it. Couples can see historic churches and palaces along their ride, and there are numerous docking spots for a quick lunch or dinner.

 

Romance is waiting for you in any one of these cities. Check out our current rental options on CuddlyNest.com and pick the destination that’s right for you!