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Structure   (2.6)   Home  >  Vacationers  >  Vacationer FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a rental?

What key information should I look for?

What do I do when I find a rental I like?

What is MyVacations and how does it work?

How do I find a listing if I already know the property ID?

Do you have a list of long-term winter rentals?

What general advice do you have for renters?

Pets: Can we bring our dog or cat with us?

How can I provide feedback on my vacation at one of the rentals?

What assurance can you provide regarding the vacation rentals?

How can I contact you?

How do I find a rental?

There are two ways to find a vacation rental:

Power Search -- This is the most popular and efficient method.  Indicate your rental property preferences, including your vacation time frame, number of bedrooms, maximum price, proximity to beach, and key amenities. Select a specific location, an entire region, or even a combination of towns. The search results will be presented as a list of suitable properties according to price (you can choose to view them "from most expensive" or "from least expensive").  To use the search method, select the "Power Search" link on the home page, or click here.

Once you have performed your search, you can save both your requirements and the results by using MyVacations. Please see below for information on how this feature works, or click here.

Browse all rentals--  A directory of all of the rentals in each town listed by occupancy, high to low, within each town. To see all rentals in a specific town, select the "Browse all rentals" link on the home page, or click here.

What key information should I look for on a listing?

Calendar -- Most of our properties have an availability calendar, indicated by the symbol. You will select a rental term (daily, weekly, or monthly); the season; and the length of your vacation. For weekly rentals, you can choose to search for as many as four starting dates.

Owner Specials -- Many homeowners post an Owner Special with a special offer or discount. Look for the bright pink message.

Last-Minute Availability Alert -- Look for this icon: .  This means that the rental has at least one week available within the next month.  The listing will give the dates of availability.

Videos -- Some of the listings have videos.  Look for this icon: .

What do I do once I've found a rental I want to inquire about?

When you find a rental you are interested in, you can phone or email the rental's contact person. The contact information is displayed at the top and bottom of the picture page, as well as on the calendar. To email, click on the hyperlink "email." This will bring you to a form to complete; this form will be sent directly to the rental's contact person. In a given session, you need to input your information only once; you can then send email to the lister of as many properties as you wish. You will be able to email all listers a general comment about the composition of your party, etc.; you will also be able to send a message to individual listers if you have specific questions about their property.

What is MyVacations and how does it work?

MyVacations enables you to indicate the search criteria of your ideal rental, which we will save for you. We will also remember the rentals you find; when you return, you can rerun your search and add to your existing list of favorites. In addition, you can take online notes about the rentals and even rate them. You can share your list with family and friends, and they too can record notes and rate them.

In order to use MyVacations, you must provide your email address and an optional password. You can do this either before or after performing the Power Search. Once registered, when you return to WeNeedaVacation.com, you will choose the MyVacations link on the home page. Log in and you can either review previously set up "vacations" or start a new one by performing a Power Search. Learn more.

How do I find a listing if I already know the property ID?

To find a listing by its Property ID, look for "Find by Property ID" field in the upper right corner of our home page. Put the property ID number in the field and click "Go."

Do you have a list of long-term winter rentals? 

Our Long-Term Rental Directory lists, by town, the rentals available for one month or longer, generally during the off season.  Select the "Long-term rentals" link on the home page, or click here.  

What general advice do you have for renters?

Length of Stay
Summer rentals usually require a minimum stay of one week and generally run from Saturday to Saturday. However, some rentals begin on another day of the week, especially on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Off-season stays are generally more flexible, with many homes available to rent on a daily basis or for long weekends.
Check-in/Check-out Time
Check-in time is most often early to mid-afternoon with check-out time in the mid- to late morning.
Security Deposit
Most homeowners and realtors require a security deposit for a rental home. Check with the homeowner or realtor for details.
It is in your best interest, as well as that of the homeowner, to have a signed lease that spells out the details of your tenancy, including information about the security deposit, schedule for payment, and the cancellation policy. Many homeowners and listing agents require a security deposit and at least half of the rent due at the time of lease signing, with the remainder of the rent due a month or so prior to tenancy. Generally the deposit is returned two weeks to a month after tenancy.
In-Season and Off-Season
"In-season" generally refers to the weeks in July and August. Some homeowners interpret the term differently and have a range of prices for in-season, shoulder season, and off-season. Check with the homeowner or listing agent for details.
Book Early
Because of the tremendous popularity of the Cape and Islands as a vacation destination, we encourage you to begin your search early for a rental property. Many rental homes are often booked for the summer by the end of February. This is particularly true with waterfront and water view properties. Plan ahead to accommodate a greater number of guests, as larger homes tend to book first.
Visitors to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in particular are advised to make precise rental and travel plans well in advance. If you intend to take a car to the islands, make ferry reservations early in the year through the Steamship Authority at 508-771-4000. For Island ferry info.
Most short-term rentals include all utility costs, with the exception of the phone costs. It is very common for homeowners to put a phone block on the home's phone, in which case a credit card must be used for long-distance calls.

Household Supplies
Unless otherwise noted, all rental homes supply kitchen utensils, dishes, and cleaning supplies. You are expected to supply your own linens and towels unless the listing specifies that the owner will supply them via "linens included" in the amenities section. There are linen rental companies, several of which will even deliver the linens.


Prior to Your Vacation
Before you leave for your vacation home, be sure you have precise directions; a key (or arrangements for picking up the key) to the home; and the phone number of the homeowner, listing agent, or property manager, in case you need to contact someone when you arrive at the property or during your tenancy there.
A common problem can be difficulty in contacting homeowners immediately before tenancy; many owners travel, so do not wait until the last minute. If anything is amiss at the home when you arrive, contact the owners or their agent immediately. We are happy to say that we have had very few reports of this type of situation.
Click here for information on the Cape and Islands individual towns. To see actual properties, use our Power Search or our "Browse all rentals".
Homeowners Are Responsible for Their Own Listings and Information
All of the information found on the individual property pages has been provided by the property owner or listing agent. WeNeedaVacation.com is not responsible for the accuracy of the content provided.

Pets: Can I bring my dog or cat on vacation with me?

Yes, start by using WeNeedaVacation.com’s Power Search to find vacation rentals that will allow pets.  Dogs are more likely to be accepted than cats unless the cats are declawed.  In most cases, you will be required to pay an additional pet deposit.  Rental owners appreciate pet parents who offer to bring sheets to cover upholstered furniture if pets are used to lounging on the furniture. 

For your pet’s well being, and to avoid extermination charges at your rental, be sure to treat your pet with a flea and tick preventive at least a week prior to your vacation.  Also, never allow your dog off leash except at designated dog parks – an unexpected encounter with a skunk would be less than pleasant for you as well as Fido.

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety when left alone and tends to bark, please be considerate of the neighbors. Take Fido with you or confine him to a crate or one room with doors and windows closed.  An alternative is doggie day care such as that provided at Nauset Kennels in Eastham.

Of course, never leave your dog unattended.  Always keep him on a leash (or under voice control if at an off-leash facility) and always clean up after him, both at the rental property and elsewhere.

For information about dog-friendly beaches and great locations to walk your dogs, click here.

How can I provide feedback to you on my vacation at one of your rentals?

Guest Reviews are an effective means of building credibility, confidence, and trust in our listings and are invaluable to homeowners and future vacationers alike. If you would like to write a review about your experience in a vacation rental, go to the listing and click on the "Write a review" link. Provided the guest review meets our Guidelines, a copy is sent to the homeowner, who may submit a response if they choose, and the review will be posted, generally within 7 business days.

In the unlikely event that your experience at one of our properties is unduly negative, please email us with the details. We will follow up with you and the homeowner. In most cases, we find that disagreements stem from vacationers' expectations not being met. Be sure that you take the time to verify that the home you select meets your needs and that all of your questions are adequately answered by the homeowner before you book the rental. Substantiated and serious complaints have led to removal from the site of homeowners whom we do not deem responsible.

What assurance can you provide regarding the vacation rentals? 

At WeNeedaVacation.com, we want you to have peace of mind when booking your vacation rental home.   

You can feel comfortable and confident when booking your vacation home on WeNeedaVacation.com because:

  • Since 1997, tens of thousands of vacationers have booked vacation rental homes through WeNeedaVacation.com and have reported very positive experiences to us.
  • Vacationers rely on our site year after year to find their vacation rental homes.  Read testimonials.
  • With more than 3,500 vacation rentals homes on WeNeedaVacation.com, we have options for everyone and every budget.
  • A majority of WeNeedaVacation.com homeowners have an established history in the rental industry and have been on our site for years.  Each property listing documents the length of time on our site.
  • Our individualized customer service enables us to know many homeowners personally and maintain strong working relationships with them.
  • We are the Cape and Islands vacation rental specialists and are a valuable resource for information about the local area. 
  • We genuinely care about your vacation rental experience.  To help make it as seamless as possible, please refer to "Tips for Renters."
  • WeNeedaVacation.com values vacationers' input
  • In the unlikely event that your rental experience is unduly negative, please inform us in detail. We adhere to a strict listing policy: Discretionary removal may result if a listing receives significant grievances.  Because the vast majority of our vacationers have been satisfied with their rental experience, we have removed very few listings since our founding in 1997.

How can I contact you?

Address any questions or concerns to us. (See contact info below.) Remember that we do not book the properties; we help the owners advertise them and they do all bookings. Also, all the information that we have is on the website, so if you email us about specific needs, we will usually refer you to the website.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on how we can make our website easier for you to use, please let us know!

Joan and Jeff Talmadge, Owners


The premier website for vacation rentals on the Cape and Islands
(781) 239-1469
(781) 239-0474 (fax)
E-mail: info@weneedavacation.com