If you’re brave enough to travel often, you’ve had some vacation experiences you’d rather forget. HomeAway picked Chevy Chase for a company mascot for a reason. They were tapping deeply seated fears that we all know are out there. Heck, I’ve driven my own Family Truckster
throughout most of high school. But I want to focus on those trips to rental homes where you might not have gotten what you thought you should. Here are the few that come to mind for me.
7. The “Well-stocked” kitchen
Of all of the items on this list, this one is probably the closest one to a sure thing. What started out ten years ago as a cupboard filled with fine china and silver has dwindled to six assorted tupperware lids for plates, three chopsticks (?) for eating, two rusty spoons, a Ronald McDonald’s collector cup featuring the Hamburglar, a Memphis Chicks stadium cup, and three toothpicks. The owner stammers something about good intentions. Well, at least these roads are paved.
6. The Yard Next Door
Dude, could you please mow your couch? After three years, you’d think they would figure out that the trash man is not going to take it. At least the rats have eaten (most of) the edible trash.
5. Beach Balls
There are many descriptions of beaches from Hell, and Port Aransas is not fully immune. My friend told me a story this week of a toddler in her first (exorbitantly expensive) swimsuit who brought over a beach ball to mommy.
A tar ball.
It’s a good thing that we missed this spill. I don’t think I could afford a new summer wardrobe every trip for two girls and a wife.
4. The Security Deposit
Some landlords reasonably expect to take a cleaning fee out of a deposit, but some owners go overboard. If you plan to throw a fit every time that antique Stickley Cherry dining room table gets a tiny new scratch, then maybe you shouldn’t be renting that place to families with dogs and four kids.
And no, I am not the reason you can’t log on through your ancient ten year old wireless router.
3. Wild Life
Best kept outside.
2. The Neighbors
With rental properties, you can’t always control your neighbors. I can tolerate a lot. The usual problems are neighbors that are too noisy when you want it quiet, too quiet when you want to make a little noise (like with a wedding), or just plain inconsiderate. I did have a place next door to a Harley convention of some sort. Truth be told, except for the bikes coming in at odd hours, they weren’t too bad.
But those aren’t always the worst neighbors. Ever find some neighbors that are just a little bit too curious? Friendly, sure, but in a creepy sort of way. Hey, this is a two night trip. I’m not ready to be your best friend. And with two daughters that are increasingly beautiful, I’m getting more suspicious about motivations, if you know what I mean.