Cottage getaways, whether with family or a group of friends, are central to the Canadian experience. The perfect occasion to get front row seats to lush vegetation and, with a bit of luck, local wildlife. Whatever your preference, a rustic or luxury cottage, secluded in the woods or on the lakeshore, extravagant or budget friendly, here are 8 tips to help you find the perfect cottage!
To save time and search efficiently, start by choosing your vacation dates, the number of guests in the cottage, and the region you’d like to stay in.
If you have clear plans, it is better to reserve in advance. “Most rentals are booked a few months before the stay, but some waterfront cottages can be reserved up to a year in advance,” warns Jean-François Demers, Director of Cottages for Rent.
It’s possible to rent a cottage even with a small budget! Take advantage of last minute offers and discounts advertised on most websites for a longer rental period or a stay during the week, for example.
You can also reduce the share of each participant by asking owners if they allow additional guests at no charge or for a small fee.
Jean-François Demers adds that the price of cottages varies according to the rental period,amenities provided, location, proximity to water, etc. If you want to save a little, it’s better to not be too demanding!
Whether it’s a dishwasher, a high chair for children, or an internet connection, make sure that the accommodations you’ve found offer the features you need.
Besides, take into consideration that some extras such as a spa, kayaks, or a home theatre can increase the price of the rental but reduce the budget allotted to activities.
Fishing, hiking, tours... Vacation means planning a whole slew of activities! Make sure the activities you’d like to do are available near your cottage to avoid being disappointed when you arrive. Also check whether it’s possible to do groceries nearby so you can plan your meals during your stay.
Make sure that the regulations established by the cottage owner do not include a rule that may affect your plans, for example, additional cleaning fees, no smoking, or no pets. Also, avoid unpleasant surprises by checking in advance whether extras, such as linens and wood for the fireplace, come at an additional cost.
In theory, the owner is liable for damages due to property-related default such as a loose stair leading to a fall. On the other hand, renters are responsible for accidents caused by their own negligence, such as a poorly extinguished cigarette that causes a fire. For peace of mind, contact your insurer before your trip and check what is covered.
To get an idea of the quality of a cottage, you can contact the regional tourist office or rely on its rating on a review website like Trip Advisor or Airbnb.
The reviews posted by previous renters allow you to see beyond what is published in the ads. At the end of your vacation, you can share your own observations: they will be useful to the next renters!
Avoid paying for your reservation in cash; instead, pay with your credit or debit card to have proof of payment. Also, request a rental agreement stipulating:
- The rental period
- The rental price
- The deposit amount (if applicable)
- The cottage rules
- The equipment provided
Once your rental is booked, all that’s left to do is to pack your bags. Hiking boots, board games, and marshmallows to roast over the fire.Let the vacation begin!
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