Instead of the traditional hotel or all-inclusive experience, we’re seeing more and more visitors to Vallarta choosing lodging through local rental agencies or online rental services like Airbnb and VRBO/Homeaway.

Certainly hotels and all-inclusives are amazing, and a perfect choice for travelers who want to be pampered. With daily housekeeping, onsite dining, drinking, pools, massages, concierge service and entertainment, they’re hard to beat. But for those looking for more of a “locals” experience, a vacation rental in or around Old Town is ideal.

Vallarta Eats Tips for Travelers:
Vacation Rentals in Puerto Vallarta

1. Substantial Savings
The bottom line is that a vacation rental can really save you some money and has a lot to offer larger groups and families: more space, a private pool, kitchen, extended stay and more autonomy.

Insider tip***: Be sure to take a Signature Taco Tour-with Vallarta Eats, to get the scoop on shopping and dining like a local during your stay.

Dining room with vies of the Bay

2. Helpful Rental Owners/Managers
A good owner/manager can be an excellent resource for learning about a local culture and customs. It’s like having a friend onsite, in case you need advice or assistance.

Mi casa es su casa tile sign

3. Read the Reviews!
The world of online customer reviews can be extremely helpful. Find out if your rental agency is trustworthy, and check out previous travelers experiences with the vacation rental. Ads and descriptions can be misleading, so protect yourself.
Vacation Rental Reviews

4. Ensure Availability: Plan in Advance
You may find the ideal place, but it may be booked when you want to travel. Especially during the High-Season (December-March). Plan ahead so that you can enjoy in the vacation rental of your dreams.

**Insider Tip: Did you know, that it’s often best when shopping for airline tickets and travel lodging to use your browser’s “privacy” or “incognito mode”?  It’s a great way to avoid fare hikes based on your search history.

5. Short-Term Rentals Are Not Always As Cheap As They Appear
There are often hidden fees you’ll have to pay to the listing service. And remember you’ll also be required to provide a deposit in the event you damage the rental unit. Too there may be separate cleaning fees. Read the fine print.

**Insider Tip: Prices are usually negotiable (especially during the slower summer months). Don’t be afraid to ask for a nightly discount, or even a free night if you are booking for more than a week.

Looking at hidden fees with a magnifying glass

6. Talk to Someone in Advance
Problems can happen in all kinds of vacation rentals–a place that looks fantastic online may turn out to be messy, with an uncomfortable bed in a bad neighborhood with noisy neighbors. Make sure that you talk to someone on the phone prior to booking to get a sense of the rental and the person renting it.

2 boys talking on tin cans

  1. Our Advice: Choose Carefully!
    Do your homework before booking. Research the host, rental service, accommodations, neighborhood, amenities, all fees, and cancellation policies.

          Have a great trip to Puerto Vallarta, and be sure to drop Vallarta Eats a line when you get into town. We love helping visitors!