The blog as a vacation rental tool

This Thanksgiving weekend marks about a dozen apartment rentals that I’ve experienced so far in my traveling tenure. Each stay so far has been colored by facets good and bad — fabulous, gothic row houses, slummy Parisian apartments — each had a distinct flavor that will help me remember the city that I was in.

One critical aspect to the experience is the warmth of your host and the hospitality that he or she provides. Whether you meet your host over the phone, in person or over email, they can acclimate you with your rental and perhaps even show you around the area that will briefly be your home. If you’re lucky, they also will leave you a database of information for your trip — tips for access to the tourist sites, the metro or their favorite restaurants.

My host in Rome greeted us all with a round of champagne then walked around town with us and showed us the good butcher, grocer and a few good places to eat.

Now, in Lisbon, our host from gave us the same tour but also pointed us to her blog where she keeps an active list of good restaurants and attractions on a google map. Feeling peckish? Roll over, find a recommended restaurant within 300 yards and walk down the street. Easy stuff.

Fact of the matter is, keeping a blog and google map tied to your vacation rental maintains an active, fluid database of hotspots that you can update and delete as times change. This keeps your advice on the ball, information up to date and ultimately, your visitors happy.

I love seeing vacation rentals adapt with the times. Nice work, Deb.