Web Sites Allow Online Vacation Planning - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Web Sites Allow Online Vacation Planning

CAROLINA BEACH -- If the recent sunny skies and warm temperatures have you dreaming of a beach vacation, you're not alone.

But don't load up the minivan yet.

Before you surf the waves, you may want to surf the net -- to find place to stay.

At Laney Real Estate in Carolina Beach, Realtors say most renters are doing their bookings strictly online.

 "There are plenty of pictures online, we have a virtual tour online, so they can see as much as we can show them," said Hank Burnett, property manager at the Carolina Beach Laney office.

The trend is not just at Laney.

In March, the award for most bookings at one Wrightsville Beach Intracoastal Realty office went not to a Realtor, but to their Web site.

Part of the draw of online booking are the choices - potential renters can narrow down their options by number of bedrooms, location and amenities. But if you have special requests, make sure you ask before you sign.

"If you're planning to bring a pet, that's a special concern that people could have," Burnett said. "Very few places allow pets, so they need to inquire about that."

Most rental units also ban parties and restrict the number of people who can sleep there, so it's wise to check the restrictions if you're hoping to host an event.

Renters also may want to consider available parking, nearby pools and the smoking policy.

If you're traveling in hurricane season, you also should look into trip interruption insurance, in case you're forced to evacuate or cancel the trip at the last minute.

When browsing, be skeptical. Deals that seem too good to be true usually are, and pictures can't tell the whole story.

As far as rates go, Burnett advises potential renters to shop around to make sure the price is reasonable.

"All our units are individually owned, and we try to fill the needs of our owner, but at the same time, we have to be competitive," Burnett said.  "The main thing for us is to have them rented."

Once you make your choice, the rental agency will usually call to follow up, then send the paperwork and contracts in the mail. Be sure to review everything before signing, so your vacation will be relaxed and fun.

Reported by Jennifer Moore



For local rentals, try some of these sites:

Intracoastal Realty: www.intracoastalrentals.com

Laney: www.laneyvacationrentals.com

Bryant Real Estate: http://www.bryantrealestate.com/

Sea Coast Realty: http://www.unitedbeachvacations.com/

Sloane Realty (Brunswick County): http://www.sloanevacations.com/index2.cfm

Coastal Vacation Resorts (Holden Beach): http://www.coastalvacationresorts.com/book/query.html

Cooke Realty (Ocean Isle Beach): http://cookerealty.com/

Oak Island rentals: http://www.rentalsatthebeach.com/

Better Beach Rentals (Oak Island): http://www.betterbeachrentals.com/

Ocean Isle Beach Realty: http://www.oibrealty.com/

Topsail Realty: http://www.topsail-realty.com/

Island Real Estate (Topsail Island): http://www.topsailvacation.com/

Century 21 Topsail: http://www.century21topsail.com/

Access Realty (Topsail Island): http://www.accessthebeach.com/

Ward Realty (Topsail Island): http://www.wardrealty.com/

Treasure Realty (Topsail Island): http://www.treasurerealty.com/rentals/rentalindex.htm

These sites include local and national rentals:



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