Memorial Day means the start of summer, and with it summer vacation plans. Perhaps spurred by the astronomical growth of services like Airbnb, the summer rental market is hotter than ever. The industry accounts for $100 billion worldwide, $25 billion of that in the United States.
What that means is that you’re likely to spend at least a weekend at a vacation rental house this summer. Whether you’re a guest or sharing a house with friends , here’s some advice for making the most of your summer house.
If you are a guest at a vacation house
Only bring yourself.
Your invitation does not extend to your boyfriend, daughter, college roommate, or Chihuahua unless expressly stated by your host. Similarly, avoid bringing guests over to the house without the permission of the host.
Be respectful of personal items.
Ask before using! Don’t assume that you can eat everything in the refrigerator, slather on sunscreen, or use your host’s laptop without permission.
Clean up after yourself.
You’re not a preteen living with your parents (presumably). As a grown person visiting friends or family at a vacation house, make your bed (and strip it before you leave), pick up after yourself, and offer to run the dishwasher and do laundry.
Bring a gift.
A good guest always brings a gift for the hosts. Of course, you don’t want to carry anything too heavy . Coasters are always a good gift, as are consumables like wine and chocolates. If you’re staying for longer than a day or two, up your game. Consider tickets to a local play or performance, or perhaps an in-home massage. Here are some other good gift ideas for your host.
If you are sharing a house
Sharing the cost of a summer rental with friends is an increasingly common method of vacationing. Some people do the same thing in winter, sharing a winter ski lodge. One of the most popular location for summer share houses is the Hamptons, in New York. Houses can be rented from landlords or through travel accommodation services like Airbnb and Homeaway.
Typically, a group will rent a share house for a summer, with individuals or couples spending alternate weekends (half shares) or a weekend a month (quarter shares) in the house.
If you are spending your summer in a share house, here are a few ways to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Have a policy for visitors.
Nobody wants a freeloader who spends every weekend at the house without paying for it. Establish a guest policy. Maybe there’s a guest fee, or a limit to the number of times someone can have a guest at the house. Whatever it is, decide ahead of time.
Have a policy for food and drinks.
Decide whether you’re pooling money for a food and drink budget or letting everyone fend for themselves. This will prevent later conflicts about consumed leftovers and paying for poolside beers.
Choose a house manager.
Collective action doesn’t work when it comes to organizing a share house. Choose one person to work with the landlord, collect rent payments, manage guest schedules, and organize house services. In return, the manager may enjoy reduced or even free rent for the summer, depending on complexity.
Set up delivery services.
Spend more time relaxing at your vacation rental share – tap into food delivery services like Amazon Fresh and Peapod, cleaning services like Handy, and liquor deliveries like Minibar and Drizly. For massage on vacation, consider having Zeel Massages delivered right to your summer house. (If you’re planning to have your massage outside on the deck or by the pool, follow these tips for outdoor massages.)
No matter where your Memorial Day Weekend takes you, enjoy the summer!
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.