The popularity of Airbnbs and other online vacation rentals is skyrocketing in the Dominican Republic as consumers change their travel habits following the COVID-19 pandemic. With a record amount of vacation rentals available in places like Punta Cana and Puerto Plata, homestays have become a viable alternative to all-inclusive resorts and hotels. But which accommodation type is more suitable for your next Dominican Republic vacation? In this article, we’ll review the main differences between resorts and online rentals, and give you some key tips before booking.
The Big Debate: Resorts Vs Online Rentals
Booking accommodation online is one of the first things travelers do before heading out for their vacation. While resorts have long been the preferred choice for travelers, this year, online rentals have risen in popularity, with more travelers choosing them in search of an authentic experience. Online rentals currently make up around 30% of all accommodation bookings, a sharp increase compared to previous years.
All-inclusive resorts are ideal for guests that want to enjoy a hassle-free vacation. With 24-hour room service, daily cleaning, and concierge services, all-inclusives take care of everything travelers need so that they can make the most of their sun-soaked vacation. On the other hand, online rentals create a hands-on experience where travelers often have to cook their own food, do their own cleaning, and live like a local.
When it comes to online rentals, flexibility is a big plus. Travelers can choose from a range of locations, from beachside villas to downtown abodes. Homestays also provide a more authentic experience, where guests get to experience life as a local. There are also some notable downsides, such as a lack of around-the-clock security and cleaning services. Travelers also need to arrange their own transportation to and from their online rental, and landlords don’t always speak English, so it’s a good idea to read up on some key phrases in Spanish that may come in handy.
Follow These Tips Before Booking An Online Rental
While the popularity of Airbnbs and other online platforms has risen steadily since the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers need to follow some essential tips before booking online. First and foremost, visitors need to be cautious of scams, which have proliferated in the online rental market. Travelers are encouraged to book through reputable sources, like Airbnb. Although platforms like Facebook and Instagram abound with irresistible offers, they often lack secure payment forms and legal guarantees.
Another important factor to consider is location. Travelers need to keep in mind what type of vacation they’re after; from seaside getaways to culturally and historically immersive vacations, online rentals open many doors for sun-seeking tourists. Many Airbnbs come packed with unique features like oceanfront or mountain views, special amenities – including boat and car rentals – and even on-site chefs.
Safety is also crucial, and rentals closer to large resorts and commercial areas are preferable to more remote locations, which have fewer on-duty police officers. Opt for accommodations that have good privacy and come with alarm systems. Platforms like Airbnb have around-the-clock customer service to assist with bookings; they also offer resources to book safely.
Once travelers have found the perfect area, they should carefully read through reviews and options for accommodations that have gathered positive experiences. Avoid booking rooms that have few reviews, and only opt for verified landlords. It’s also a good idea to go for online rentals that have a flexible cancellation policy.
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