Los Angeles hotels can eat up a hefty chunk of your travel budget. In prime locations, like the major hotels in downtown Los Angeles, the nightly cost climbs even higher. Renting a vacation in LA home is sometimes a less costly alternative. Plus, you get to enjoy the comforts of home, like a kitchen to make meals that cost less than eating out.

  1. Plan Ahead

    Plan six months to a year ahead if you’re looking for a rental vacation home in a popular area or one that has popular features. Vacation homes with popular amenities, like swimming pools, often get booked quickly, so planning ahead increases your chance of finding a rental with the features you want. It also helps to plan ahead as far as possible for getting the location you want, because vacation homes in prime Los Angeles locations don’t stay empty for long.

  2. Consider a Home’s Proximity to Your Favorite Destinations

    Save on the cost of traveling to attractions you want to visit by searching for vacation homes near the venues you most want to visit. When you find a home that’s close to venues you plan to visit, such as the Santa Monica Beach and Pier or Walt Disney Concert Hall, it saves both time on the road and transportation costs.

  3. Decide Which Extras You Want the Most
    Yulia von Eisenstein/

    Vacation homes with extra luxury features tend to draw a higher rental price. Consider which extras you’re willing to pay more to use when shopping for a vacation rental home. Amenities like a pool, beach-side location or a gourmet kitchen push the cost higher. The size of the home and number of bedrooms also affect the rental price.

  4. Pay Attention to the Terms

    Planning farther ahead gives you the chance to negotiate with the home’s owner to get better terms on your vacation rental. Negotiate for your best price, and get everything in writing. Also, if you’re planning months in advance, know the cancellation policy in case something changes your plans.

  5. Check for Extra Images of the Property

    Make sure the property looks the way it’s described by checking multiple images of it. Check out the satellite view to get a look at the neighborhood. Or, look the address up using a tool like Google Street View to see images of the home so you can get a look at the property’s overall condition and make sure it is well-maintained and looks like the pictures shared by the owner or property manager in the listing.