2020 is full of curveballs. Among the economic crisis and social chaos, there is a silver lining in this peculiar year; we can work from home.
Remote working and schooling are part of our new normal. This gives us the opportunity to work from a vacation rental, on-demand.
If you're considering a rental, here are some tips on what to look for during the pandemic.
What to look for?
Before the pandemic, people used to look for several bedrooms, a large kitchen, nice views, and perhaps a pool and porch. Now, our criteria is quite different since our routines have changed so drastically.
The most important feature of your future rental is probably high-speed internet. Aim for ~200mbps. You can test your internet speed at https://www.speedtest.net/. An important zoom meeting on bad internet is the stuff of nightmares, especially if you have something on the line.
Ask the landlord about the internet, but make sure you check for yourself. Ask if other people use the same network. If you want the best connection possible, offer to pay a portion of the costs to install fiber-optic internet. To put it in layman terms, some internet providers will run a special wire from their building straight to your home, so you get your internet from the source. It's hysterically fast. Great internet for one or two people is ~200mbps, and fiber-optic can achieve speeds upwards of 10Gbps. The whole building will benefit, so, if you so desire the internet speed of the gods, do your research and strike a deal with your landlord.
The second most important thing you should be looking for now in a rental getaway is living area. Is the space suitable to your needs? What's the home office situation like, is there a playroom, maybe you want a backyard, or amenities you don't have access to anymore--like a gym with steam rooms and showers. Consider how you will actually use the space, what are each rentals strengths, and where do they lack?
Your proximity to stores and transport is vital. Groceries, general goods, and things you'll have to pick up often or sporadically-- things to which you'll want easy access-- should exist nearby. You probably don't want to drive 42 miles thru the white mountains for toilet paper. That is, if you haven't stocked up on a years worth already.
Make sure the rental has convenient refund policies and, if possible, free cancellation. We know nothing is promised, but the pandemic has made that old adage too relevant. Also, take into account that travel insurance can protect you, but, due to covid, fewer policies cover cancellations.
Consider who are you going to share the place with, politely ask your immediate family members of friends if they have had exposure to the virus. If the answer is yes, promote utilizing social distancing rules and bring with you hand sanitizer and a mask to stay safe. We recommend getting tested, but how that q-tip looks really unpleasant so we'll understand if you don't. Still, stay safe out there, and, as always...